Friday 22 March 2019

'Sarri-ball' burst but manager not worried

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: REUTERS/David Klein
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: REUTERS/David Klein

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Maurizio Sarri insisted that he is not worried about getting sacked as Chelsea manager or about his growing unpopularity, as his season lurched from bad to worse at Stamford Bridge last night.

Chelsea suffered their third defeat in three weeks. as the home crowd turned on Sarri before, singing "you don't know what you're doing" at him and also "f*** Sarri-ball", in protest against his methodical style of play.

With Chelsea now facing Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday, the Sarri era at Stamford Bridge is at a crucial juncture. Roman Abramovich has sacked other managers in similar circumstances - Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo - and so Sarri must face the prospect of his own possible dismissal.

But when asked, Sarri was pointedly relaxed about his future - especially comparing it to his past.

"No. I was really very worried when I was in league two in Italy. Not now.

"It's not my problem," Sarri said of his future. "My problem is to start (preparing) the game tomorrow morning and to work with my players to try and improve in a few days, and find more determination, more aggression. Because we conceded the second goal without determination or aggression."

But Sarri admitted that he has never been as badly received as he was here, as Chelsea fans turned on him and his methods. Had he ever heard "f*** Sarriball" before? "No. For everything, there is a first time."

But Sarri said that he could not worry specifically about the fans, simply about results. If results improved, then so would his relation with the fans. He made clear that he "understands" their complaints against him. "I am worried about the results, not about the fans," he added.

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