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Sarri’s post-match inquest focused on constructive criticism rather than tirades

The Chelsea head coach sequestered his team in the dressing room for an hour after Wednesday’s shocking result

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AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The narrative is turning against Maurizio Sarri — check out competing thinkpieces from all three major Chelsea sources: Matt Law in the Telegraph (“he could run out of time”); Dom Fifield in the Guardian (“ball-hogging tedium”); Simon Johnson in the Evening Standard (“Sarri is not inspiring”); plus bonus content from the Mail’s Martin Samuel, too (“is Sarri a genius or a myth?”).

Lest we forget, we used to be against such anti-football nonsense. It’s embedded in the Chelsea DNA, thanks in large part to José Mourinho, and much to Abramovich’s chagrin. Well he’s got his tiki-taka now!

The mad tactical genius is now just mad, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not the definition of insanity. It’s just stubbornness. (Or, as Sarri would probably tell you, an unshakable belief that your way is the best way.)

Sarri would also tell you, just like he’s been telling everyone, that the problem is not in the tactics necessarily. It’s in their execution (both physical and mental): in the squad’s failure to learn and implement it properly, which isn’t exactly a highly motivating set of circumstances. Sarri does have a point — for all the accusations of his tactics not working, it’s not like this is his first season in top flight management. The Premier League is a tough league, but it’s not the only top league in the world. Or do we really think no team before Spurs thought of man-marking Jorginho?

After Wednesday’s humiliation, Sarri kept the team for an hour in the dressing room, delaying his media commitments and annoying the journalists. Some described what happened as a “intense exchange”, but Law’s report claims it was actually a rather more even-handed and sobering assessment, an immediate breakdown of mistakes, both team and individual (Hazard gets mentioned by name in the report as that will draw attention, but he was probably not unique in failing to follow the coach’s instructions).

There was no ranting or raving, despite Sarri’s supposed temper that was often used to describe him prior to his appointment at Chelsea. If the report’s to be believed, Sarri even solicited feedback from the admonished bunch, which isn’t the most conducive way to go about gathering said feedback, but it’s better than nothing. Sarri, for all his stubbornness, understands that results cannot continue on like this if he is to have a long-ish career at Chelsea.

If Chelsea’s problems were easy to solve, chances are we would’ve done so already. There’s improvement needed on all fronts, from the coaches to the players to the front office. If we can work together, perhaps a workable solution will be found.

If not ... well, then the cycle repeats and on we go.

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