Danny Murphy has revealed his bewilderment at the term “Sarri-ball” before insisting it is not as original a playstyle as it is because others have implemented it before.
Sarri introduced himself to world football during his three seasons at Serie A side Napoli wherein he transformed the Neapolitan club into one of the most attractive sides in Europe with an enterprising and attacking brand football. While he did not manage to win a trophy with the Partenopei, his famed footballing philosophy, affectionately called “Sarri-ball”, proved sufficient for the Chelsea hierarchy to install him as the successor of Antonio Conte last summer.
While the Blues enjoyed an 18-game unbeaten run at the start of the campaign, they never truly grasped Sarri’s specific brand of football and as an alarming dip in form has since taken over at Stamford Bridge, supporters have voiced their discontent over the Italian’s methods.
Joining the Stamford Bridge faithful in criticising Sarri’s philosophy is former Premier League midfielder turned football pundit Murphy, who admits the phrase “Sarri-ball” confuses him, while also saying there isn’t anything unique about the 60-year-old Chelsea boss’ preferred style of play.
“I’ve never understood the whole “Sarri-ball” thing and it has always bemused me,” said the former Premier League midfielder. “Sarri isn’t trying to implement a style of football that isn’t being played elsewhere and hasn’t been played before. This short and fast passing with a high press has been done a million times before by a lot of managers so I don’t understand how he can claim it or why he doesn’t have a plan B.”
While a former Blues defender thinks Sarri’s stubbornness to stick with his philosophy may force Chelsea players out, Murphy reckons it is what would get him the sack at Stamford Bridge.
“Sarri’s unwavering commitment to ‘Sarri-ball’ will be what gets him sacked at Chelsea,” added Murphy. “It has become so painfully predictable that it’s openly mocked. He’s trying to put square pegs in round holes and is refusing to accept his mistakes.
“Sarri insists on forcing the best defensive midfielder in the world (Kante) to play out of position so that he can use Jorginho as a playmaker despite not having an assist to his name. It’s incredible, really.”