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Sarri hasn’t changed his mind on Drinkwater

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Unwaveringly unsuitable

Cardiff City v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Danny Drinkwater’s day, night, season, career, and life took a turn for the worse on Monday, when he was arrested, and later charged by Cheshire Police for drink driving, while attempting to get home after midnight from a charity event at a restaurant just a few miles down the road from his house.

And that’s on him, of course, and his poor decisions. That’s his crime, his responsibility to bear, that’s his (forthcoming) punishment to deal with, that’s his life lesson. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt or harmed.

However, the only reason Drinkwater was in Manchester on Monday and not at Stamford Bridge instead, where Chelsea were playing West Ham at almost the same time, is because he’s been ostracized from the squad by the manager from the very start, and deemed surplus to any and all requirements outside of being a training cone. And Sarri has not once wavered from his firm refusal to even entertain the idea of putting Drinkwater in the team — Danny’s only appearance this season remains a 30-minute cameo in the Community Shield.

So while, again, driving under the influence is purely a personal choice, and not a good one by any sense, the circumstances that lead to that situation could be questioned as well — maybe not for the personal choices made by Danny (obviously bad), but for Sarri’s obstinate approach and his frankly hilarious reasoning that Drinkwater is apparently incapable of playing in anything other than a midfield-two. You see, a midfield-three is just sooo different, it’s practically apples and oranges ... but where the oranges have been replaced by Magic 8-balls.

“As he knows very well, he has never played because, in my opinion, he is not suitable to my system. To my way of playing. I told him everything in August. He appreciated it, but he decided to remain. And so he knew very well the situation.

“I spoke with him in August, when the market was still open. I said to him he should look for something different. In my opinion, he doesn’t play. And I said to him the reasons, my reasons. But, as I said before, he decided to stay at Chelsea.

“I don’t know [why he stayed]. Probably he hoped we could change the system, I think.”

“Like all the other players. I have a very good relationship with him because, in my opinion, he’s a good boy. He’s a good player. He’s a good player. And he’s able to play in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 very well. But he’s not suitable for me. He knows this, but I have a good relationship with him.”

Sarri had peddled this line before and “good midfielder but absolutely useless in my midfield” makes about as little sense now as it did back then. Sarri may insist he has a good relationship with Danny, but that claim was made to sound more and more dubious with every single repetition of it as well.

Up until Monday night, Drinkwater, who of course has continued to be highly compensated weekly by Chelsea this whole time — responsibility for that immensely poor £35m decision lies with Chelsea — may have cut an almost sympathetic figure in all this. Now that’s probably gone, too, just like his prospects of ever playing under Sarri.

“No, I cannot do anything. A player usually wants only to play. Anything else. So I cannot do anything. I can only have with him a very good relationship, no more. At the moment, I am not able to satisfy him as a player. So it’s very difficult but he knew.”

-Maurizio Sarri; Source: football.london

Drinkwater was reportedly fined a couple weeks’ wages by Chelsea, who will look to sell him for the third consecutive transfer window this summer.