The squeezed timeframes of Chelsea’s preseason, including this trip to Australia, didn’t leave much time for post-match interviews after Monday’s 1-0 win over Perth Glory. Maurizio Sarri himself only had time for about five minutes, before he was ushered off the stage. Less than two hours after the final whistle, Chelsea were back on the bus and heading to the airport.
Maurizio Sarri speaks to the media for less than 5 minutes before he’s rushed away. Says he’s confident of keeping Hazard, Courtois and Willian. Happy with the first 60 miniutes tonight, unhappy with the last 30. #CFCinPerth pic.twitter.com/fg86y4WkYJ— Neil Sherwin (@neilsherwin) July 23, 2018
Five minutes is barely enough time to ask a few questions, but Sarri was able to say a few things about Chelsea’s mixed performance and give his take on the transfer situations of Hazard, Courtois, and Willian.
Pre-season matches are hardly ever about the result, especially when mass changes are made — only Cesc Fàbregas, David Luiz, and Marcin Bulka in goal played the full 90 — and especially when a new system is being implemented. While Perth aren’t exactly tough opposition, Chelsea’s starters looked decently versed in the ideas of “Sarriball” though there were clear areas for improvement both individually (wakey wakey Álvaro) and collectively.
“I think something was good, especially in the first half, less in the second half. We lost the distance between defenders and midfielders, but we knew that we have to work, we have to go back to Cobham and work very hard and we know that we have to improve very quickly.”
“I think that the result is not the mirror of the game. But it is more important in this moment and this period the moment, I think. I am satisfied on the performance of the first half, on the first 15 minutes of the second half, not for the last 30 minutes.”
The fun will have to wait a bit longer.
The need to improve quickly is just one concern at Chelsea these days, especially with the team’s best players not even back in training yet. But Sarri’s clearly counting with all of them, including the Hazard, Courtois, Willian trio, who all continue to make transfer rumor headlines. As before, Sarri wants to talk to them in person first before any decisions are made. For his part, he’s apparently confident in keeping all three of them.
“I would like to talk to the person face by face, I don’t like to talk to the person by telephone. I don’t know, it depends on the club. It is clear from me that it is a pleasure to have Courtois, to have Willian, to have Hazard. But it doesn’t depend on me. So we have to wait. I am confident.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football.London
While the likes of Azpilicueta and Christensen are due back to this week, the trio above aren’t expected back until the calendars turn to August. That leaves barely enough time for any talks, or training before the season starts.
So there’s plenty to be concerned about, but for now, we can be somewhat semi-happy with the win and the promise shown by the team in the first-half.