Premier League pundit Tony Cascarino has slammed Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri for continuing to deploy defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante out of his natural position.
After taking over as Blues boss last summer, the 59-year-old Sarri brought Jorginho to the club, a player whom he worked very well with while he was at Napoli. Jorginho’s arrival at the club has led to the Italian taking over the defensive midfield role while the Kante has switched to a more advanced role. Sarri is of the opinion that the 27-year-old Jorginho is a more technically gifted holding midfielder than Kante.
The decision to play the 2018 World Cup winner out of position has been met with a mixed reaction from the football-loving public. Many feel that the Frenchman is not suited to his new role as evidenced by the fact that his performances this season have not been as convincing as during previous campaigns.
Others feel that Kante is a world-class performer who can shine in any midfield role and that ‘Sarri-ball’ is the style of play which the club needs to progress.
Following their 2-0 defeat against Arsenal last Saturday, the Blues face a tough challenge to finish in the top four this season. If they fail to qualify for the Champions League for a second consecutive season, it is likely that Sarri’s decision to deploy Kante outside his natural position will be pointed out.
Cascarino, a former Chelsea striker who now works as a pundit for talkSport spoke to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast and criticized Sarri’s decision to play Kante out of position, even going as far as to call the decision ‘stupid’.
Cascarino said, as quoted by talkSport:“The Kante one is stupid, I can’t describe it any other way. Playing the best holding midfielder on the left… it’s like playing Alan Shearer as a winger!
“Whether Sarri is being stubborn or not… none of us can get it, and I think we’ve been proven right. N’Golo Kante is not playing in the position where he is the absolutely stand-out player.
“He’s won back-to-back Premier League titles, got a World Cup medal and about 100 man-of-the-match awards [playing in that role]. He’s a fantastic athlete. Is he technically a magician on the ball? Of course he’s not.”