Back when Maurizio Sarri was appointed as the new Chelsea Manager, it was greeted with great positivity especially after taking into account the way things reached a bitter end with Antonio Conte. From ostracizing Diego Costa (telling him that he was not needed anymore via a text message) to the alleged intense trainings amongst other issues.
Appointing Maurizio Sarri seemed like a masterstroke. Maurizio Sarri had just come from Napoli, a team that played swashbuckling football while also being very competitive, while also almost winning the Serie A in the 2017/2018 season, eventually finishing the season in second place, four points behind perennial League winners, Juventus. One key thing that Sarri should be given credit for was the way his team managed the departure of Gonzalo Higuain-their Argentine striker that had just finished the season with 36 League goals- by tinkering with the position of Dries Mertens, the little Belgian winger.
Chelsea (and Sarri) got off to a terrific start of the season, losing their first game in November the year before. It seemed like ‘Sarri-ball’ had come to stay for a long time. It also seemed like Chelsea was a genuine contender to compete for the Premier League title alongside Manchester City.
Fast-forward a number of months later and things do not seem as rosy and upbeat anymore.
Jorginho does not look like an astute signing anymore and there are people (fans, supporters, ex-players and pundits alike) that have been clamouring for Ngolo Kante, arguably the best defensive midfielder in Europe, to go back to his original position at the base of midfield.
Things went from bad to worse when Manchester City put six past them in what was Chelsea’s worst performance in the Premier League. Afterwards Sarri could not even provide insight as to what happened. Chelsea has also lost in the Carabao Cup Final- to Manchester City gain, albeit putting in a very good performance compared to the last time the teams met, the FA Cup 5th Round to Manchester United at home and lost to Everton just last weekend. The weekend before that saw them play out a 1-1 draw thanks to a last minute Eden Hazard equalizer. They (obviously) are no longer in contention for the Premier League. They are also not even in control of their destiny when it comes to Champions League qualification as they sit in sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal. Chelsea seems to be saving their best performances for the Europa League, where they have made the quarter final stage. Maybe (just maybe) Chelsea sees this as one of the ways to secure Champions League football next season especially as the team seemingly cannot raise their game in the Premier League.
Ultimately, this is not what Chelsea (and Chelsea fans) foresaw when the season began but this is ultimately the reality of the way things stand at the moment. Would Maurizio Sarri still have a job especially considering the fact that he claims to be clueless (at times) when results are not going Chelsea’s way?
We would find out soon enough.