Majority of Chelsea fans were looking forward to a beautiful style of football being played at Stamford Bridge when Maurizio Sarri was appointed as head coach back in August, but many of these fans have been left disappointed with how their team has underperformed this season, especially in the league.
Eight months in, and we have over 80% of the Chelsea fans calling for the manager’s sacking. Looking at the season so far, not many who just follow the scores would understand what is happening. On the pitch, Chelsea have not been as attractive as it was proposed, and Sarri’s stubbornness has made it difficult for the fans to back him.
So what made the majority of the fans to turn their backs on the manager?
3 big mistakes.
Sarri would have still had the backing of the majority of the fans if he was trying hard but right now, that is just not the case. Let’s take a look at the 3 mistakes the manager has made this season:
#1 – Not changing tactics
Sarri came in with a simple formation in mind and has been using it since day one. The 4-3-3 has been his preferred formation, but the issue was that Chelsea were found out really quickly. When Conte changed from 4-5-1 to 3-4-3, there was no stopping Chelsea. It took 13 games for the opponents to figure out a way to stop The Blues and that was expected from Sarri as well.
However, when Jorginho was blocked out of the game, it all fell apart. Sarri’s tactics were ineffective as the opponents had the upper hand and moreover, with the Italian midfielder out of the game, there was no one on the pitch to provide those through balls and defence-splitting passes.
The ideal thing to do at that point was to deploy another tactic and work their way around the situation. That wasn’t the case with Sarri. He stuck with his tactics and Chelsea suffered on the pitch. There was no creativity and just a lot of pointless ball circulation with no intent of getting in behind the opposition defenders, who just had to sit back and relax.
Another mistake was using Eden Hazard as a False 9. The Belgian is not someone who can play with his back towards the goal and it is best for him to run at defenders on the wings. However, Sarri opted to play him there regularly when Alvaro Morata was not firing.
Lately, Sarri has been playing with the 4-2-3-1 formation, but not from the start. It’s always been tried out too late into the game and by then, the opponents would have scored on the counter-attack and got back to their Plan A – sit back and defend.
What could have been done differently? Sarri should have made a ‘Plan B’ from the start and practised both in the training sessions. Every team in the world tries to do things differently when they are not winning but sadly, that was not the case with Sarri.