Is Maurizio Sarri the right man For Chelsea?

Chloe Beresford by Chloe Beresford / 10 January 2019, 15:14

Sixty years ago today, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was born in Naples, Italy.

His life story has been well-documented, as has his rise from bank manager in Tuscany to Coach in Serie A and now the Premier League. His elegant style of football wowed audiences across the globe as he took his Napoli side to record points totals in each of the three seasons he was in charge at his home-town club, prompting the Stamford Bridge outfit to snap him up as a replacement for compatriot Antonio Conte.

His arrival was lauded as a much-welcomed move away from Conte’s brusque methods, a step in the right direction for Blues fans as they hoped to become regular viewers of Pep Guardiola-esque swanky football. Indeed, Sarri got off to a positive start, his initial 12-match unbeaten run setting a Premier League record for the longest without defeat for a rookie manager in the English top-flight.

That run stretched to 18 matches, only for Chelsea supporters to become frustrated with his possession-based methods as the goals began to dry up. Defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City were followed up by a 0-0 draw with Southampton on January 2nd, leaving many wondering whether the Italian boss would last long in the notoriously impatient Premier League.

However, the answer to the question of whether Sarri is the right man for the job depends very much on the level of expectations of the club and if the powers that be – and the supporters – have the staying power to see this unusual figure in the dugout complete the job at hand.
 

 

A look at Sarri’s meteoric rise reveals that it was going to take time to adjust to his first season in the Premier League, especially considering that his first ever campaign in Serie A was as recent as 2014/15 with Empoli.

The Tuscan minnows benefited from the Coach’s expertise for just one season in Italy’s top division before Sarri moved on to Napoli. Thankful to the man who helped them earn promotion from the second tier, Empoli supporters know his strengths and limitations all-too-well.

“Sarri is at his best when a club needs a new start,” season ticket holder Francesco Sani exclusively told The Sack Race. “He doesn’t ask for big names and he usually lets the club get on with business decisions.

“Chelsea are a completely different club for him and at the moment Manchester City and Liverpool are way ahead. He will need almost two years of work there. Will the club give him this time? I don’t know. Perhaps he will lay the groundwork and prepare the squad to win with a more competitive manager.”

There’s certainly an element of needing to take the rough with the smooth in order to achieve the results seen at Napoli; that is a side winning football matches whilst simultaneously wowing the crowds. Let’s not forget that Manchester City struggled in their first season under Pep Guardiola, finishing the season with no trophies and the Coach having endured his biggest ever defeat in domestic action with a 4-0 loss to Everton.

What’s for sure is that there is absolutely no sense in bringing Sarri in, only to sack him following a few poor performances. Perhaps the Coach won’t bring them silverware but he will certainly make positive steps in improving the team.

He’s not polished or polite, he’s rough around the edges, but Chelsea need to stick with Maurizio Sarri. At least for now.

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Graham Potter
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