An open letter to Maurizio Sarri
Dear Maurizio Sarri,
Welcome to the Premier League! Your honeymoon period got over a long time ago at Chelsea and you're now feeling the heat, just like the previous managers/coaches.
You have been at Stamford Bridge for half a season and well, things are not looking good, at all. And to be fair, I am not that surprised. I saw this coming for some time now. I was excited when you joined Chelsea - to see that attacking based football, but not so much now.
I understand that you want to play your football, the "Sarri-ball". I understand that your system takes time to learn and adapt to. I understand changing philosophy is not that easy, anywhere. I agree with you, 100%
However, just take a moment to reflect back on the last couple of matches. Something is not right, even you agree. Something needs to change. You have said that the players have never even learned your style of football.
You want a certain set of players who are much more suited to your system. Well, it is clear that the board cannot pair you up with your former Napoli players. And the current players are yet to adapt to your style of play.
So, what's the solution? Maybe tweaking the system, a little bit. Or for instance, having a backup plan. Yesterday we were losing by 2 goals and instead of swapping Higuain with Giroud, you could have had 2 strikers up front, no? The passing and the possession game was just not working. There had to be a change. And that's where I feel you need to improve on.
Practice makes a person perfect, yes, but only if there's an improvement. It's been some time now and I do not see any improvement on the field. It is expected that players get better with time, but not in this case. It's the opposite with these players. Playing the same way and expecting a different result is just madness.
Playing the 4-2-3-1 system could be the key with Jorginho and Kante in the defensive mid, Hazard on the left, Loftus-Cheek in the middle and Pedro on the right with Higuain up front, just an example. During the Carabo semifinals, 2nd leg, Spurs changed their formation after halftime and came close to winning but you had no response for that. I consider us lucky to have reached the finals.
But, I also agree with you on the statement that "some of these players are difficult to motivate". These players should not need motivation when playing a derby. That should come from within. These players lack creativity, the hunger to win, there's no leadership in the dressing room, so much is wrong with these set of players. Manchester United were 2 goals down against Burnley in the 81' and the players showed the determination and the fight to salvage a draw. The same cannot be said about the Chelsea players.
You made changes to the squad facing Bournemouth - dropping Alonso and Willan, moving Hazard back to the left wing and yet it was a disastrous game. The board and players also share the blame.
It was a start, but you have to do more now. A tweak/change in your system is needed. Clubs have figured out how to stop us. And, with no disrespect, the likes of Bournemouth thrashing us 4-0 should be a clear-cut indication. Even our former manager, Antonio Conte made changes after losing to Arsenal. And it worked wonders for him. This stubbornness of yours will cost you your job, sooner rather than later.
Having said that, it is high time you bring in a new formation and a plan B, else be prepared to face the sack since this club has the best reputation when it comes to sacking their managers. Unless, the club has suddenly decided that they want to build a foundation and are willing to give you the time for that, which would be very, very surprising.
But you and I both know that's not the case. Maybe your system will take longer to adapt to in the Premier League. Your system did not work out at first during your time at Empoli or Napoli. It took time. But time is what you do not have. Time is a luxury that you cannot afford.
I cannot even begin to express how important this month is for you, the club, the fans, for everyone. This is a season-defining month and I fear it is all going to go downhill at this rate. A spot in the Champions League is a must! We cannot be playing in the Europa League again. This is just not us.
However, I still feel that you should be given another transfer window and a full pre-season before the club decides to sack you. It would be too harsh in my opinion. You deserve more quality players and this squad needs an overhaul, like Manchester City. I am not giving up on you yet. But one thing is clear, you need to improve your in-game management.
A Chelsea Fan.