Alfredo Pedullà became a household name among those Chelsea fans who paid even the tiniest bit of attention to the transfer market this past summer. Reporting exhaustively and almost exclusively on Chelsea’s drawn out pursuit of Maurizio Sarri, as well as the sudden gazumping of Jorginho from right underneath Manchester City’s noses, Pedullà rose from the sea of anonymous Italian sources to become “The Oracle of Sarri”. At least we called him that; he’s not an actual Oracle.
Sarri and Jorginho, a double signature Blues !!!— Alfredo Pedullà (@AlfredoPedulla) July 13, 2018
Pedullà leveraged those hot days of Internet fame and correct predictions into thousands of new followers — in a way, it’s not too dissimilar to stock market speculators building careers based off one or two great calls — and exclusive opportunities such as the chance to go to Cobham for a “grand exclusive” interview with the Chelsea boss.
The subjects covered are as wide-ranging as Sarri’s ability to think, talk, and live football 24/7 (Football Italia has it translated in three parts: 1, 2, and 3), but one of the more ironic topics of conversation were transfer rumors and how Sarri continues to abhor them. The irony is in him telling this to the man who’s literally interviewing him because of covering transfer rumors regarding him, his team, and his players. At least I think that’s ironic — I’ve been unsure ever since Alanis Morisette sang about rain on your wedding day (and I had a blizzard).
“It’s possible this is a limitation of mine, but it’s what I’m like. I will train whoever I am given to work with, out of respect for those who must balance the books.
“My thoughts on the months dedicated to transfer negotiations are well known. I hate it all: summits, meetings, confrontations, a pain in the …. You reporters fill pages and hours of air time on the problems in Italian football, those unresolved and unresolvable issues. That’s the way you like it, but I can’t wait for the ball to get rolling on the turf, the joy of a training session.”
There’s certainly plenty of joy around Cobham these days, as he talked about in another part of the interview, but he’s not necessarily completely without regret, especially when it comes to Gonzalo Higuain, with whom Chelsea were linked in the summer. Chelsea ended up not acquiring the striker, so Sarri did not get a chance to continue what they started together at Napoli and what Higuain destroyed by leaving for Juventus.
“I miss Higuain a great deal. I miss him because he’ll keep scoring goals until the day he dies. He is a goal machine, a systematic and automatic jackpot.”
“Whatever response I give [regarding Higuain transfer questions] will be considered wrong and put words into my mouth. All I can say is that I feel Gonzalo left Napoli too soon. If he had stayed for another season, I think… we could’ve been in a condition to win. Higuain was a part of the fantastic mechanism we created, we understood each other so well. It was perfect synchronicity and the regrets will probably stick with us.”
We can’t end on that down-note, so let’s get back to the part where things are fun, namely the Premier League where not even Daniel Sturridge’s Goal of the Month can dampen the spirits.
“There are moments when the grand spectacle of it all convinces you to put aside any regrets. Even if you concede at the last minute or five minutes into stoppages.
“[Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool] was an extraordinary show. Just 10 minutes earlier, I saw Klopp looking at me with the game going on. I asked: ‘Why are you smiling?’ He replied: ‘Aren’t you having fun?’ I said: ‘So much’ and he added ‘Me too.’ He was losing at the time. Even after the equaliser, remembering that moment, we hugged like two old friends.
“I’m sure he would’ve done the same even if Liverpool hadn’t equalised. The Premier League has this joy of football.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football Italia
Here’s hoping that Sarri can fill the Pipita-shaped void in his heart with another bromance of many goals, and truly experience the joys of football, perhaps even by winning his first career trophy in the end as well.