By Steve (The Pundit)
Maurizio Sarri was appointed as Chelsea manager when Conte left the club. His impressive performance at Napoli was noticed and he was brought in to Chelsea to take them to a higher glory. But that has not happened yet.
Sarri’s style of play, popularly known as “Sarri ball” requires a more comprehensive midfield and more passing of the ball round the players.
This style of play was successive at Napoli but has been a major problem at Chelsea. To make this pattern of his more suitable, he brought in Jorginho who played for him at Napoli to dictate the game-play from the midfield.
However, his presence in the team has not helped the team to improve. Sarri needs to understand that playing this type of style in England requires a certain type of players, players Chelsea does not have at the moment.
That being said, in this post, I will discuss some of the issues that have turned ‘Sarri Ball’ into ‘Sorry Ball.’
Player Effect and Positioning
It is not an easy task to come to a new club and instill a new style of play. For the players, it takes time to understand what the new manager requires. The Chelsea players know what Sarri wants but they can’t give him the required performance because of two reasons:
- They do not seem to be the kind of players that can adapt to Sarri’s pattern of play and
- Most of them are aged and can’t do more pressing.
Take a look at the age range in the Chelsea team. Only few of the Chelsea players are below the age of 25 years, something that has been a major issue for Sarri.
Sarri also has the problem of player-positioning, especially in the midfield.
One of the big worries with Jorginho I would say is his inability to defend out of his "comfort zone".
Here vs Man City`s 3-0 goal carelessly pushes up and attempt to pinch the ball away. Got beat and left the centre space open. pic.twitter.com/0zNg65mgjt
— Blueboy (@mrEH98) February 15, 2019
Looking at his midfield trio of Kante, Kovacic and Jorginho. N’golo Kante is the only player that can do the dirty work for him. This same player is the one that has been pushed forward and has been told by the coach to attack more leaving the defensive duties to Jorginho, a player who is not strong enough to go into tackles like Kante.
Although it worked well during the early stages of his managerial tenure, it has become a major issue for Sarri because Jorginho is not the type to help shield your Back Four.
But Maurizio Sarri is stubborn. And he still insists on playing Kante higher up the pitch, a move that has caused Chelsea to concede a lot of goals this season.
Sarri’s Plan B Issues
Any manager would have been able to maneuver the kind of crisis that Chelsea has been facing for a while now. However, Sarri is a manager notorious, not for his flexibility, but for his rigidity.
Sarri does not have a Plan B. It’d be sacrilege to talk about a Plan C.
When things go wrong for his side he sticks to his Sarri Ball style, even when he is losing and teams keep exposing the ‘Jorginho as a defensive midfielder’ error. Sarri needs to come up with a better solution when things are not going his way. He needs to tweak his tactics when things are hard for the team.
These problems occurred during games against Bournemouth, Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal. These teams were able to defeat Chelsea because Jorginho got run over in the midfield. He is not able to cope with the intensity of the game. He lacks the strength that Kante possesses and has been exposed several times.
Dressing Room Organization
This is another major issue that Sarri needs to look out for if he needs to save his job. He needs to watch his words and pick them carefully before addressing his players and the press.
— CalcioMercato (En) (@CmdotCom_En) February 12, 2019
The dressing room is a major factor in football. If you lose your dressing room, you lose the courage and respect of the players. As a manager, you don’t come out openly to criticize your players.
The match against Bournemouth ended in a 4-0 loss to Chelsea and the manager openly accused the players of lacking motivation. The following week, Chelsea lost to Arsenal and Sarri also came out to say he does not know how to motivate his players. As a manager you don’t say words like that.
If you cannot motivate your players and you come out publicly to say it, then you are telling everyone that you are not good enough for the job.
If a manager cannot motivate his players, then who will?
Roman Abramovich will definitely not do that. He’s done his part by appointing the manager. If Sarri continues in delivering discouraging words like this, then his job isn’t safe anymore. He needs to watch his words and pick them selectively.
Do you think there are more obvious reasons that have not been discussed in this post? Share your thoughts by dropping your comments.
Author: For The Goal
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