Maurizio Sarri gives a brutal assessment of his own players after defeat v Arsenal

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Following a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday night, Chelsea's top-four position is under serious threat. 

The Blues are now just three points clear of the Gunners, who sit in fifth - and Manchester United in sixth. 

First-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny ensured that Chelsea were beaten comfortably by their rivals at the Emirates. 

And actually, this wasn't the first time that they've been completely outplayed this season. 

Back in November, Maurizio Sarri's side suffered another disappointing defeat at the hands of Tottenham, who are also chasing Champions League football and a top-four finish. 

The attitude of the players was heavily criticised by fans and pundits alike that night, but in Saturday's game, that same theme seemed to reappear. 

Except for this time, even their manager has come out and seriously questioned the mentality of his players - and that is very worrying for Chelsea fans.

SARRI DIGS IN 

"I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed. This defeat was due to our mentality. I can’t accept it," Sarri said in his post-match press conference. 

Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

"We had a similar issue against Tottenham in the league. It appears this group of players are extremely difficult to motivate. 

"These players don't have a ferocity, it's the type of players they are. This is a team that's never going to be known for its battling qualities."

Wow. That is a serious statement.

THE WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT IT?

It sounds like Sarri is ready to go to war with his players, and publically criticising them is a big, big gamble. 

We've seen in the past that these kinds of statements can backfire, especially at a club like Chelsea. 

Arsenal FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

After a message like that, it looks like the club's season could go a couple of ways. 

The players could either dig in and prove their manager wrong, by lifting their performances and picking up wins in their next few games - that's what Sarri will hope. 

Or, they could turn the dressing room toxic once again and wait for Roman Abramovich to sack another manager - as he has done on so many occasions before.  

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