Former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has reflected on his exit from Stamford Bridge and admitted that he was at odds with some of the players from the club.

The Italian was appointed to lead Chelsea during the summer of 2018 following the departure of Antonio Conte who had been sacked after the club failed to finish in the top four in the Premier League during the 2017/18 season.

“I had a conflicted relationship with the Chelsea dressing room but, when I told them I’d be leaving, many of them cried,” Sarri said as quoted by Goal. 

“I’m not so much a person who pats others on the back. I talk a lot about what they do wrong and less about the good things they do.

“I think that has a big impact, but then they learn to appreciate you for who you are. The longest relationships are with the lads I played least, so I think they recognise something once they absorb your character.”

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Sarri’s exit was viewed with mixed emotions

The fans of Chelsea largely viewed Sarri’s exit with mixed emotions. During his one season at the helm of the club, he led them to a fifth place finish as well as to the Champions League as they managed to win the Europa League, beating Arsenal in the final.

Chelsea were largely ordinary in the league under Sarri as they fell to ten league defeats but many felt that he needed to be given time to re-build the club, in a similar way to what Liverpool did with manager Jurgen Klopp. The Reds were far from a world-class team when Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers in 2015 but the tactician was given time to work with the side and he subsequently transformed them into the classy outfit which they are today.

By resigning and taking up the Juventus managerial post, Sarri became the first full-time manager to not be sacked by the Blues since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The Blues are regarded as being one of the toughest clubs on managers having previously sacked a number of managers who did not exactly do bad during their stints in charge of the club.

It would, however, be appalling if the club sacks manager Frank Lampard this summer even if they finish outside the top four. Despite having not had an opportunity to sign any new players last summer, Lampard has so far exceeded expectations with his young side and unearthed gems in Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour.