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Sarri still clueless about what’s going wrong at Chelsea

Unmoved. Unwavering. Unaware.

Chelsea v Manchester United - FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


That is one of the words Maurizio Sarri used to describe yet another Chelsea defeat, this time at Stamford Bridge, where Manchester United easily downed the home team to the tune of 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup Monday night.

“I think that we were unlucky because the first half we played better than the opponent and at the end the score was 2-0 [for United]. In the second it was difficult because they are physical, defended very low and compact so we played confusing football in the second.”

“In the first half we played well. We need more aggressiveness, more determination in the situation in our box and inside the opposite box because the difference was there.”

“We played 78 balls in the opposite box and United played only 16 in ours.”

And his team are still breaking all sorts of records. Too bad they are negative ones.

Over the years, we’ve seen more than our fair share of coaches comes through the revolving doors of Chelsea Football Club. Many, if not most had retained the faith of Stamford Bridge far longer than they had retained the faith of the club’s owner and decisions-makers.

That appears to not be the case with Maurizio Sarri, who’s alienated a good majority of the supporters in near-record time.

Unlike many of those who had come before him, he apparently could not care less about that. Fans can be fickle after all, and can be won back with wins ... though Europa League-winning Rafa Benítez might disagree about that.

“I am worried about the result. Not about the fans. I can understand the situation because the result wasn’t good. We are out of the FA cup so I can understand. I am worried about our results.”

“It’s very easy. If we can win three of four matches in a row it will be easy. It’s difficult to win five in a row.”

Five in a row? He must be having a laugh.

How about two in a row? Let’s start there. Let’s try two in a row.

Except we can’t (unless facing lower league opposition). This system is clearly not working.

Sarri will of course claim that it’s not Sarriball’s fault. After all, Chelsea are not playing “his football”.

And he does have a point since Chelsea are nowhere near as effective, or as entertaining, as Napoli were. Possession without aggression is nothing, especially in England where teams are more than happy to just sit back and wait to punish your silly mistakes.

“Not completely at the moment, because especially in a situation like the second half when we we need to move the ball faster, mentally and materially. We need more movements without the ball and less actions individually because when you have spaces you can go for the individual action, but when the situation is like the second [half] you must move the ball faster.”

The issue is that Sarri does not see a way to solve this problem outside of his one and only one formula, the one that he has been trying to solve the same exact way over and over from the day he stepped in to Cobham. (Ed.note: he’s not even trying guess-n-check, let alone other hypothetical approaches.)

Whereas other method-coaches, such as Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klöpp, have adapted to the issues that arose during their first years in the Premier League, Sarri refuses to do the same. It’s “Sarri-ball” or nothing.

“It’s not my problem, my problem is to work tomorrow morning to improve in a few days more determination and aggressiveness because we conceded the second goal without that.”

At this point however, he’s not even sure if the players still support him, let alone the fans or the board.

“I think [the players still support me], I am not sure but I think so. The situation with the players is really good for their relationship but the relationship is not so important. It’s important to play and get the results”

“No, [I’m not worried about getting sacked]. I was worried when I was in League Two in Italy, not now.”

-Maurizio Sarri; Source: Football.London

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