SOCCER TALK: Sarri-balless (ness)

Maurizio Sarri is one troubled man. The latest results, especially the beating by Bournemouth and mauling by Manchester City leave him on the verge of losing the confidence of the top brass at Chelsea football club. The plays seem confused with the avalanche of tactics that the gaffer wants them to implement on the pitch, whereas the gaffer himself is claiming that the current crop of players do not have the capacity to effect his Sarri-ball philosophy. Indeed, the mauling by red hot Man City exposed many weaknesses in Chelsea’s selection and tactics, and bring Sarri under close scrutiny on exactly what his impact is at the Bridge since taking over the reins from Conte.

Inset: Mauricio Sarri shows his frustrations during the 6-0 drubbing by Man City at Etihad Stadium

Dropping crucial points to sink to 6th on the EPL table has not gone well with the fans and top management, especially taking into consideration the battle that is already heated up for the covetous 4th position, with the top three positions but secured.

Ahead, Chelsea has a busy Feb-Mar schedule.  Chelsea players’ resolution for positive results and self-confidence will be put to real test, considering that even Maurizio Sarri himself is worried about his job. Here are The Blues next six fixtures, into early March:

  • 14th February-Europa League Cup: away against Malmo
  • 18th February-FA Cup: at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United
  • 21st February-Europa League Cup: at Stamford Bridge against Malmo
  • 24th February-Carabao Cup Final: at Wembley against Manchester City
  • 27th February-EP League: at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham Hotspurs.
  • 3rd March: English Premier League: at Craven Cottage away to Fulham

As drafted in the schedule, the Blues have to dig in deep and fight for good results, or else their 2018/2019 will be disastrous. Malmo are no push overs, and may bring Chelsea’s Europa campaign to a dead end with a surprise upset, especially bearing in mind the turmoil at Stamford Bridge. The FA Cup match against a resurgent Manchester United is all 50-50, but with the Red Devils breathing fire, stopping them will require total brilliance and change of tactics. The duel for the domestic Carabao Cup against a hungry City side is a match we all relish to witness. City are hungry for silverware, and considering their form, all round performance and individual brilliance of each player and a strong bench, Chelsea are underdogs. Then, on 27th February, Spurs pay a visit to the Blues at the Bridge. Keen to keep hold of the 3rd spot and keep up pressure on Liverpool and City, they will fight for a win. It is really tough, for Sarri and the players. Another dismal performance will see owner Roman Abramovich order Sarri out, given his history to fire managers without second thought.

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