Maurizio Sarri has the second best win rate for a debut season at Chelsea

Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final

It's about time we put Chelsea's season into perspective.

There was a sense of doom and gloom around Stamford Bridge earlier this week, but it seems Europa League success has finally opened people's eyes to what has been a solid campaign.

We can't remain completely blind to some of the problems in west London, yet much of the rhetoric would leave you thinking that the Blues were in a state of crisis.

Chelsea have confirmed their Champions League status twice over by defeating Arsenal in Baku and not only finishing in the top four but above Tottenham at that.

Marry that to a close miss in the Carabao Cup final - we'll skate over the Kepa Arrizabalaga drama - and you have yourselves the makings of a decent season.

Sarri's first season at Chelsea

That's especially the case when you consider it's Maurizio Sarri's first campaign in charge and one that just a few months ago was rumoured to be ending with an early dismissal.

Sure, the Italian hasn't been able to fully implement his philosophy at the club and his relationship with the players could be better, but the results and statistics speak for themselves.

Suddenly the idea that Sarri could be leaving for Juventus this summer and potentially replaced by a virtual managerial novice in Frank Lampard doesn't look so rosy. 

Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final

Compared to other debut seasons

Besides, an extra pre-season and some returning loanees could be exactly what's needed for Sarri to start consolidating in Europe and mounting a title challenge.

Still not convinced? Well, Sarri has won a total of 39 games this season and the only manager to ever win more in his first year at Chelsea was Jose Mourinho during his initial spell.

That's hardly a slight on the current Chelsea boss either, when you consider that 2004-05 Chelsea side is one of the greatest in Premier League history.

Bearing that in mind, take a look at how he compares to other recent Chelsea managers during their debut campaigns at the club:

1. Jose Mourinho (2004-05) - 42 wins

=2. Maurizio Sarri (2018-19) - 39 wins

=2. Carlo Ancelotti (2009-10) - 39 wins

4. Antonio Conte (2016-17) - 37 wins

5. Jose Mourinho (2013-14) - 35 wins

=6. Claudio Ranieri (2000-01) - 21 wins

=6. Luiz Felipe Scolari (2008-09) - 21 wins

=6. Andre Villas-Boas (2011-12) - 21 wins

Isn't it about time we tempered the criticism of Sarri at Chelsea?

It's perhaps no wonder that the statistic has garnered thousands of retweets on Opta's page, prompting comments such as: "Hope the Sarri haters find their hole and live in it."

Sure, his statistics are beefed up by their presence in the Europa League, but given their impressive cup run and Premier League finish, there's more to it than simply that.

Besides, the Italian was just three wins away from topping the list and is either level with or beating the championship-winning teams from 2010 and 2017 respectively. 

Chelsea's Manager Jose Mourinho (C) hold

Perhaps Chelsea fans are still a little teary-eyed after seeing Sarri looking at his first medal, but the ex-Napoli boss has plenty of statistical ammunition in future boardroom meetings.

For those Chelsea supporters who would be happy to see him leaving for Juventus, be careful what you wish for.

Do you think Sarri will stay at Chelsea this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.

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