Maurizio Sarri’s first season as Chelsea’s manager has been very strange.
The campaign started off well. The Blues didn’t taste defeat in the Premier League until late November and were competing at the top of the table.
But 2019 has been tough. Chelsea have lost three of their past four league matches, including a 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth and a 6-0 humiliation against Manchester City, and now sit sixth in the standings.
Sunday’s defeat to City doesn’t bode well for their meeting against Pep Guardiola’s side in the Carabao Cup final on February 24, but it’s an opportunity for silverware nonetheless.
So, it’s been a strange ride under Sarri.
There are now suggestions that the Italian could soon be out of a job, with Gary Neville admitting after the City defeat that it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he was sacked by Monday morning.
Sarri would have wanted time to fully implement his strategy but history tells us that no manager is afforded much of that at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea players have started to complain
And the biggest indictment on him could be the behaviour of his players.
According to Miguel Delaney of the Independent, some players have started to complain that everything under Sarri is “too tactical” and they can’t keep up with the amount of information being given to them.
Others wonder whether the squad is even tactically intelligent enough to learn Sarri’s methods.
That’s pretty worrying for the 60-year-old.
Delaney goes on to mention how Manchester City planned for the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2016 by signing Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne in the summer of 2015, players they knew would suit his style.
It remains to be seen whether Sarri will be given the summer to bring in players that he wants.
But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire a manager who has his own vision but to only give him one season in charge.
Still, Roman Abramovich has brought many glorious years to Chelsea, so who are we to judge?