Chris Sutton reckons Maurizio Sarri’s decision to rest Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard in the win against Cardiff serves as proof the Italian should be given the sack at the end of the season.
The Blues needed to come from behind to beat the Bluebirds 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium with Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek scoring in the last six minutes of regulation time to render Victor Camarasa’s 46th-minute opener effectively void. Despite coming away with maximum points, the west Londoners once again laboured on the pitch, prompting away fans to chant “f*** Sarri-ball” and “we want Sarri out” throughout the match.
And Sutton believes that even if Sarri secures Champions League football next season through the Europa League, their below-par display against Neil Warnock’s side will see the Italian given his marching orders at the end of the current term.
“Maurizio Sarri got lucky in Cardiff. If it were not for the assistant referee, Chelsea would have been fortunate to escape with a point,” said the 46-year-old pundit. “Sarri may get lucky again and win the Europa League. Even if he does — securing Champions League football in the process — this abject performance only highlights why he cannot be the man to lead Chelsea next season. His decisions are becoming increasingly erratic.”
The ex-Napoli manager’s decision to name Belgian ace Hazard and N’Golo Kante on the bench may point out to Sarri prioritising the Europa League at this point but that decision did not bode down well with Sutton, saying he should still have started Hazard, who eventually came on in the 53rd minute.
The one-capped former England international added: “There are no easy games at this stage of a Premier League season, especially against a Cardiff side battling against relegation, so why leave out your best player? If Sarri wanted to rest Eden Hazard, would it not have been better to start him, win the game early on and then take him off with half an hour to go?”
Lastly, Sutton thinks that apart from the club’s supporters, the Chelsea board must have also reached their boiling point regarding Sarri.
“The reaction of the Chelsea supporters who made the trip to South Wales shows they have lost faith in their manager,” continued Sutton. “If they haven’t already, the board must be rapidly running out of patience, too.”