At full-time when Maurizio Sarri walked past Pep Guardiola without shaking his hand, it was obvious that the result between Chelsea and Manchester City had struck a huge blow in the psyche of the Italian.
The Manchester club ran riot on Sunday, beating Chelsea 6-0 in a game that was largely one-sided for 90 minutes. It is the heaviest defeat the Blues have suffered in the Premier League and more damning is the fact that Sarri’s men have now dropped out of the top four.
Chelsea started the season with hopes of challenging for the title. But as it stands, the Blues risk missing out on the Champions League next season and their manager cannot escape the blame.
Sarri is a good coach. He is a proven winner, but he is yet to guide any side to a major trophy. Unfortunately, Chelsea look very likely to end the season without any silverware if the Italian continues to remain in charge.
A combination of tactical blunders, a lack of plan B and a host of other factor prove Sarri is not the best man to lead Chelsea in the long term.
Here are three reasons why Chelsea must sack Sarri immediately:
#1 His misuse of Kante is costing the team
Maurizio Sarri’s stubbornness is one thing, but his continuous misuse of N’Golo Kante is absolutely baffling. The France international has been one of Chelsea’s best players since joining from Leicester City two and a half years ago.
However, the arrival of Jorginho has led to Kante being misused in midfield and this is affecting the entire Chelsea team. Sarri’s insistence on having a ball-playing defensive midfielder means Jorginho has been preferred to Kante.
The problem, though, is that by playing Jorginho, it exposes the Blues defence when they come up against quality opposition. In the last three weeks, the Blues have lost 2-0 to Arsenal, 4-0 to Bournemouth and 6-0 to Manchester City and it is no coincidence.
Kante may have improved his goal tally playing in an advanced role, but he is better suited to the defensive midfield role. With him shielding the Chelsea backline, they look more solid and organised. Sarri’s refusal to recognise this is hurting the Blues and perhaps it’s time to bring in a new manager who will value Kante and play him in in his rightful position.
#2 He has brought very little improvement to the team
Chelsea had one of their poorest campaigns last season under Antonio Conte. The Blues finished the season in 5th position and went out of the Champions League in the round of 16. The arrival of Maurizio was meant to change things but currently, things don’t look any better.
The former Napoli boss was supposed to bring improvement to the side, however, all he has managed to do is to sap the remaining confidence in all Chelsea fans. The beginning of the season was good, but in the space of seven weeks, the Blues have moved from 2nd on the Premier League table to 6th.
This cannot be termed as an improvement. Sarri’s job is not only to improve on results but also to improve his players. As it stands, he has failed in both and it looks like he has no clue as to how to salvage the situation.
Conte won two trophies in his two years at Chelsea, yet he was sacked. Sarri’s Chelsea looks worse than his predecessor left it and the only way to save the season will be the axe the manager immediately.
#3 He’s too stubborn to adapt to the Premier League
The Premier League is probably the toughest league in Europe. The English top flight has proven not to be kind to new managers and Sarri is finding out the hard way. When Pep Guardiola first arrived, he was given a baptism of fire, but even he later adapted to the league.
Interestingly, Sarri has simply refused to adapt his style. It is okay to prioritise attacking football. However, once opponents decrypt your system, you need to find other means to grind the result. Earlier this season City ditched their attacking football when they travelled to Liverpool.
Guardiola knew that opening up could have been detrimental to his team so he closed shop and accepted a draw. That is what good managers do – they adapt their systems depending on the type of opposition.
Chelsea’s 6-0 loss to Man City clearly showed that Sarri is too stubborn to adapt his system. Interestingly, the Italian said at the end of the game that he will not change his style despite the humiliating loss.
Stubborn managers don’t often last in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho and Frank de Boer come to mind in recent years. Chelsea is currently a sinking ship and unless they sack Sarri the season, it could become more disastrous.