Blues great Ron “Chopper” Harris has urged Chelsea to stay patient with Maurizio Sarri and not let him depart early the way Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte did.
Roman Abramovich’s takeover at the club in 2003 heralded the most successful period in the Blues’ history, turning the west London side from a domestic powerhouse into a European heavyweight. While the Russian billionaire’s takeover paved the way for consistent success over a decade and a half, this stretch also characterised instability within the dressing room with Abramovich showing short shrift when it comes to managers.
After his first stint as Blues manager that lasted three years, Mourinho could only do two seasons in his second spell at the helm while Antonio Conte lasted in only two campaigns before being shown the door by Abramovich.
Sarri is the 12th managerial appointment in 15 years of Abramovich’s reign as Chelsea owner and Harris, who was known as a no-nonsense defender for Chelsea in the ’60s and ’70s, has called on the Russian to give the Italian schemer time to fully realise his ideas at west London.
“When you look at the track record over the last 10 years, they only seem to stay a couple of seasons and then they seem to fall out and leave,” said Harris in an interview. “It would be nice for Sarri to do a stint and win a few things for the club.”
With Sarri having led the Stamford Bridge outfit to an unbeaten start in the Premier League, including five straight victories before the goalless stalemate at West Ham last weekend, Harris has expressed his approval of the former Napoli manager’s early season foray, as well as that of the players he has brought over the summer – Jorginho, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic.
“I think that, without being disrespectful to him, a lot of the Chelsea supporters wouldn’t have known who Sarri was until he came here,” Harris continued. “So obviously he’s on trial as much as one or two of the players he’s brought in. He seems to have bought wisely at the moment and things seem to be going ever so well for him.”