Maurizio Sarri’s performances during his first season as Blues manager are largely viewed with mixed reaction from Chelsea fans. Many feel that the former Napoli boss has done well to take the club to the final of the Europa League as well as to a top-four finish. Others feel that he should have managed to challenge for other major trophies apart from the Europa League.
There have been times this season when the Blues have played like a top side and others where they have played poorly. They have been largely inconsistent but it is a positive sign that they will play in Europe’s Premier Club competition next season after they missed out on participating in it this season.
When Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer, he brought along Jorginho with him from his former club Napoli. Jorginho had been a central part of the successful implementation of the Sarri ball style of play which was implemented by Sarri at Napoli. However, the Italian has struggled to find consistency since joining Chelsea and the club has also not yet adapted to the Sarri ball style of play.
After successfully steering the Blues to a top-four finish, Sarri looks set to keep his job for at least another season. He could, however, face a challenging test next season as the Blues have been slapped with a two-window transfer ban. The Blues manage revealed that his club is still adapting to Sarri ball. As quoted by Football.Italia, he said: “It’s not easy, because you run into some pretty strong cultural differences, in terms of mentality, food and doing things, so to a degree you have to show respect and adapt, which means cutting down on training sessions.
“English players are accustomed to playing continually. It’s a high level, it’s not so different a style of football from ours now, seeing as almost all the Coaches here are Italian, Spanish, French and German, so they are starting to play a more tactically-evolved style, but while maintaining the intensity and tempo of English football.
“It is, on the one hand, troubling to play so many games, but on the other, it does turn me on. I enjoy it, there’s a real adrenaline boost. Also, if some of these players have a week to rest, they play worse.
“On a purely tactical level, I am really disappointed that I haven’t been able to work on the defensive line as much, because tonight’s Eintracht goal was entirely avoidable.
“There are many players in England who are talented, but they like to hold the ball, so it takes a while to get them to move it quicker and pass it more often.
“They also have these forwards who have a very specific way of attacking and it’s difficult to get them to change their ways. They want the ball passed right to their feet and often go into one-on-one situations. At that point, it’s counter-productive to force them to go against their nature.
“Clearly, Chelsea have more individualistic players than ones who will follow a system like at Napoli.”