Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea has already entered the history books; but for all the wrong reasons.
Only eleven days after suffering the club’s worst defeat since 1996 with a 4-0 humbling from Bournemouth at Dean Court, we broke the record with a hapless performance against Manchester City in their home ground. The 6-0 scoreline, with a hat-trick from Sergio Agüero, a brace from Raheem Sterling and with Ilkay Gündogan rounding up our misery, is our worst ever result in Premier League’s 26-year history.
So it is not with much of a surprise that we may begin the hear rumblings of Sarri’s short tenure coming to an end, as it was the case with André Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari before him right around this time of the the season. But these fears do not cross his mind. Instead, he acknowledges that he is in a very risky job with little security. And chooses to fret over his team’s performances rather than his safety as Chelsea’s first-team coach.
“I don’t know [if I should fear for my job]. You have to ask the club. I am worried about my team, the performance but my job is always at risk. You have to ask the club.”
Sarri spent only three of the 90 minutes played at the Etihad today not venting at the sidelines. He was still fuming when the final whistle was blown, darting past his “friend” and fellow Arrigo Sacchi “disciple” Pep Guardiola as he made his way to the tunnel.
FROSTY! Maurizio Sarri wasn’t for shaking Pep Guardiola’s hand after that defeat pic.twitter.com/Ozh1CAHf3a— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) February 10, 2019
He blamed the gaffe on tunnel vision. Maybe in a less shambolic situation, he would have not made headlines with what was mostly described as a petty act — even if through no fault of his own.
“No, I didn’t see him at that moment. I will see him afterwards, it was by chance. I wanted to go the dressing room.”
As for his football, and his belief in the system he built during his years in Italy, his faith is unmoved and unwavering. The coach did not see his football at display today, and he wants to find out why this is happening so often.
“No [worries about my system], because today I didn’t see my football. No, at the beginning it worked. So now we only have to understand why at the moment it isn’t working.”
“We need to understand the reason. It is not easy. We are playing better at home rather than away. Something has changed, I cannot see the reason, but I have to work for this.”
“The target is to play my football, I am not seeing that.”
And this time, motivation is not to blame. This time, Chelsea made several mistakes which were exploited by the great side that are this Manchester City team, and duly paid for it.
“No [worries on motivation], my feeling before was really very good and I felt the motivation before was the right level. We conceded after four minutes in a stupid way, we made a lot of mistakes against the wrong opponents. They played fantastic football.”
-Maurizio Sarri; Source: football.london
To be fair on Sarri, he did say that Chelsea needed to be at the top of their form if they were to beat City again this season. Even then, the worst versions of Chelsea were not letting other big six sides get this kind of dominant scoreline and performance, be it at home or away.
The heat has come to Sarri. And while players are certainly in part to blame here, so is the coach whose dogmatic approach and questionable starting eleven selections can very well turn into his undoing.