Sarri: ‘Chelsea don’t know basics’

by | Jan 30, 2019 22:46

Maurizio Sarri said Gonzalo Higuain seems out of shape and Chelsea “haven’t even learned the primary foundations of my football yet.”

Sarri started so well in his Premier League career, but the Blues seem to have lost their way, culminating in tonight’s 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

“We are struggling, above all mentally. We had assumed that we learned a certain style of football, but the truth is we never did learn it and are paying the consequences,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

Maurizio Sarri said Gonzalo Higuain seems out of shape and Chelsea “haven’t even learned the primary foundations of my football yet.”

Sarri started so well in his Premier League career, but the Blues seem to have lost their way, culminating in tonight’s 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

“We are struggling, above all mentally. We had assumed that we learned a certain style of football, but the truth is we never did learn it and are paying the consequences,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a good first half, but we conceded after the restart and then stopped being a team. We stopped attacking or defending as a team, we did everything individually.

“I don’t understand why that happened, because we had 45 minutes to go and could comfortably have turned the situation around if we’d kept our focus.

“Every now and then this team reacts in a way I cannot decipher, so that creates some uncertainty. Perhaps some of the steps were inevitable, but we need to understand why we have these mental black-outs and what we can do to stop them.”

Former Milan striker Higuain was given his Premier League debut, but did little to impress and was substituted in the second half.

“He can improve a great deal. At this moment, he is not in good shape, probably because he has played very little recently between transfer market distractions and back pain. He can grow a great deal over the next few weeks.”

Many pundits in England are calling for Sarri to make changes, but he insists the Sarriball approach he was hired for is the way forward.

“We haven’t even learned the most basic moves yet. We need to work on the basics, the primary foundations of my football, and only then will we try to change a few things.”

It is not entirely surprising, because Sarri has always had difficult starts to his club careers, struggling at first with Empoli and then Napoli before turning them into well-oiled machines.

There are reports the Chelsea players are ‘bored’ with his training sessions because they are repetitive, but Sarri’s football is based on movements that are so well-drilled they become second nature, as seen at Napoli during his last season.

Sarri managed only one win and four draws in his first 10 Serie A games with Empoli in 2014, but went on to finish in 15th place with a newly-promoted team.

His first three Serie A games on the Napoli bench were a 2-1 defeat to Sassuolo, followed by 2-2 draws with Sampdoria and Empoli, but they ended the season in second place with 82 points from 38 rounds.

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