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Sarri working 12-hour days as Chelsea face 7 games in 23 days

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Work work work work play with dog work work work

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri knows the numbers do not lie. Chelsea have averaged 3 points-per-game so far this season, but it’s never easy to continue the same momentum after a two-week hiatus. In fact, Sarri has the numbers committed to memory, and he perhaps repeats those to himself as he falls asleep, like Arya Stark does with her kill-list.

“I remember in my first season in Naples, the average points per match during the season was 2.28, I think. But the average after the international break was only 1.31 or 1.32.

“So I know that the matches after the break are very, very difficult. Fortunately in the last season, the average was the same: 2.4 in the season, 2.45 after the break. Only because after the first season the players understood the difficulty of this kind of match.

“I’m trying to stress this number to my players. Just telling them this number. My experience in this situation.”

Is it normal to know those averages that precisely? Probably not. But then again, no one said anything about Sarri being “normal”. Quite the opposite. He was said to be eccentric, superstitious, and above all, a workaholic ... though he doesn’t consider any of what he does actual work.

“Sometimes I’m working at the training ground, sometimes at my home. They were long days. But, for me, it’s a pleasure. I am not able to think about this as a job, like work. It’s 12 or 13 hours, but for me it’s not working.”

Even though the Premier League took a two-week break, Maurizio Sarri did not. With 7 games coming up in the next 23 days before the October international break, the coach decided to use his extra time to work ahead, so to speak, and start planning for upcoming fixtures beyond just Cardiff as well.

“We have to play seven matches in 23 days, so I had to work. I have seen a lot of matches, of Cardiff and PAOK, West Ham and Liverpool, so I had to work.”

More work leads to more fun leads to more happiness.

“For the moment, I’m really very happy to stay here. I have my dog here with a very big garden, so the dog is very happy. I’m really very happy. I feel like at home. I feel in my home.

“I have a house five miles from here, no more. It’s in Surrey, similar to my name.”

-Maurizio Sarri; source: Independent

We’ll see what tricks and rotations Sarri may have devised during those extended work session at Cobham or at home, or while walking the dog. (By the by, in at least one club, a dog has served as an assistant coach — you know what to do, Maurizio!)