Pep Guardiola revealed his dismay at the pressure being applied to Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.
Guardiola has highlighted Chelsea’s short-term approach by stating he enjoyed Manchester City’s backing in a way Antonio Conte never did and suggested Maurizio Sarri may encounter the same lack of support.
Sarri’s crisis-hit reign in West London has been pushed to the brink – and another heavy defeat to City could prove the final straw.
The Italian has come in for fierce criticism over his refusal to alter his ‘Sarri-ball’ tactics after humbling defeats to Bournemouth, City and Manchester United in recent weeks.
Guardiola remains a big admirer of the former Napoli coach – but did him no favours when overseeing a 6-0 win at the Etihad earlier this month.
He contrasted Sarri’s predicament with his situation during his barren first season at Manchester City and says his future was never in doubt because the club kept faith with him.
Guardiola struggled during his first season but never felt any sense he would be removed. He cited this when saying his experience was different to that of Sarri, who is under severe pressure during his opening campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Guardiola said: “The situation [Sarri’s] is a little bit different [to mine]. In my first year, never did the club doubt me. It was never in the media that I’d be sacked if they lose this game or the other game. It never happened. I was surprised that when Conte won the title [two years ago] and they lost one or two games at the beginning of the following season, people start to say he was going to be sacked.
“I said: ‘Wow, but two or three months ago they won the Premier League.’ The situation is completely different.”
The pair have long been in a mutual appreciation society for some time, as Guardiola keeps a close eye on Italian football, even more so after City met Napoli in the Champions League last season.