Ex-Blues favourite Dennis Wise has praised the stamp Maurizio Sarri has put on the club despite the Italian manager barely having begun his reign as head coach at Chelsea.

The 51-year-old Wise, who played 445 matches in all competitions for the Blues, maintains a cosy relationship with the West London outfit that saw him travel to some of the pre-season games of the club, including their friendly against city rivals Arsenal, which the Blues lost via penalties. Despite the defeat, the former Blues midfielder praised the speed at which Sarri was able to implement his preferred playing style at the club after having arrived only a month ago.

“I think he had only been with them for 21 days [before the Community Shield game against Man City], so it is a short period that he has been in charge,” said Wise. “He has had to change the system from a 3-4-3 to a 4-3-3 now and they have worked on it in an impressive manner, having watched them against Arsenal [in pre-season].

Wise, who skippered Chelsea in the 90s, continued his compliments on the Blues, saying he was amazed at their new system even if Sarri was still missing key players who had participated in the World Cup. “I think in that first half they played very, very well,” added the Chelsea legend.

“I was impressed with the way they were set up and they haven’t had all their personnel throughout pre-season, so probably the team that starts in each game might not stay the same to begin with. After a couple of games into the start of the season you will see a couple of players coming back into it.”

Wise also noted the change in system that Sarri has brought to the Blues, saying the new approach is a massive departure from what has been seen under former managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. “What I see, in terms of the way they play, they press very, very high,” said the midfielder, who also played 21 times for the England national team. “They want the ball constantly and they want to control the game.”

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“It is different from Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, who were more counter-attacking in their football. I think Maurizio wants to play on the front foot. That’s important for him, he wants to press teams high. It is difficult because the work rate, you have to keep up.”

Sarri made Napoli one of the most attractive sides to watch in Europe during a three-year spell at the Serie A club and Wise, who had a two-year stint as head coach of Leeds United, hopes the 59-year-old can implement a similar brand of entertaining football at Stamford Bridge. “He did it at Napoli and it worked extremely well, so I am looking forward to actually seeing him do that because I think it is going to be very exciting to see Chelsea on the front foot and passing it around teams.”