Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola has urged the Blues to attain consistency in playing the Maurizio Sarri way, or Sarri-ball, as it is affectionately called.

The arrival of Sarri in the summer has seen the west Londoners radically change their playing style from the reactive, “defensive” football that Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho has employed in recent seasons to a more enterprising and entertaining brand masterminded by the 59-year-old Italian.

Sarri-ball, or Sarrismo, involves playing out from the back and executing short passing techniques with an emphasis on quick transitions of the ball into the final third while defending employs a scheme whereby the players establish their positions by looking at the ball all the time irrespective of the opponents’ positions.

While the west London club started brightly in terms of results, Sarri never really expected the team to be able to implement his playing style immediately, with the ex-Napoli boss having earlier said that it would take two or three months for the side to adapt.

While it has been four months since Sarri has taken charge, the Blues are yet to perfect the 59-year-old’s system and Zola has agreed to such assertions, with the assistant coach saying they need to implement the playing style with more regularity. With Chelsea currently eight points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, a Champions League berth appears a more likely scenario and OLBG members suggest backing this bet using Moplay’s free bet rather than favouring the Blues for an unlikely title challenge.

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“There are days when we are very close and others when we are far but that’s part of the process,” said the Blues assistant coach. “This team sometimes plays how Maurizio’s teams play but so far we haven’t done it consistently all the time. That’s the target we have in front of us. It’s not easy. It’s very demanding what the coach asks from the players, especially certain players.”

Zola also appeared to concur with Sarri’s regular assessment of his players needing to be more attuned to the defensive phase, saying that players need to pay attention to the defensive aspects of their game as well.

“I can understand that because as much as we try to play very offensive football there are a lot of parts where you have to defend a lot, run and always be active,” continued Zola. “There are no moments when there is a pause during the game. That’s what some of the players need to achieve, to be more consistent during the game and not switch off.”