Maurizio Sarri: The perfect antidote for Chelsea's woes
New managers are often nothing to write home about at Stamford Bridge. The life cycle of a head coach in the Roman Abramovic era makes Chelsea fans wary of developing a true attachment to any particular manager, rendering the spectacle of such an unveiling less significant than it may be at other clubs.
Antonio Conte's intense and turbulent - albeit successful - reign at Stamford Bridge has finally come to an end. While he was able to add to the Blues' ever-growing trophy cabinet, the sense that he was toxic for a club who arguably needed to stay clear of the headlines became more and more obvious over the course of his disastrous second season, eventually leading to a painful dismissal for the Italian coach.
To an untrained eye, Maurizio Sarri may appear to be yet another "populist" appointment, with the club simply cherry-picking the best available manager without much consideration for the extent to which he gels with the club's wider needs. However, whether by chance or design, the former Napoli man may be the ideal fit for the club at this present time.
His first press conference proved that he is, in many ways, the complete anthesis of Conte. Whereas the former Blues coach constantly railed at the club for the lack of activity in the transfer market, the latter claims to be "bored" by the whole affair. Whereas Conte stressed hard-work and intensity, Sarri reiterates that his intention is, first and foremost, to have fun.
Chelsea is a club in need of a major rebuild. The "core" of the team which has served them so well in the past is soon set to leave, with Willian, Hazard, and Courtois all linked with moves to more glamorous surroundings. The lack of Champions League football makes it more difficult for the club to attract top players, and questions remain over Abramovic's commitment to the club given the scenario concerning his UK VISA.
There is a sense that, given the sheer list of problems at the club, that Sarri is faced with something of a poisoned chalice. However, the former banker is approaching this task with the right outlook and skill set to turn the situation on its head. His commitment to working with the squad he has and his desire to return the sense of "fun" that has long been missing at Stamford Bridge make the once dire situation seem a far more manageable one, especially with Maurizio Sarri at the helm.