Sport Soccer

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Sarri: Chelsea could beat England but are still a work in progress

The Blues are 10 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Maurizio Sarri says he Chelsea could beat England (John Walton/PA)
Maurizio Sarri says he Chelsea could beat England (John Walton/PA)

By Matt McGeehan, Press Association Sport

Maurizio Sarri says his Chelsea side could beat Gareth Southgate’s England team, even though the Italian has not had time to fully mould the Blues to play as he wishes.

The 60-year-old on Friday spoke of his disinterest for international football, including last summer’s World Cup, saying all top-level club teams could beat international sides.

Sarri, though, insisted his Blues team are a work in progress, due to his arrival in mid-July and the lack of quality training time, and because of Chelsea’s hectic fixture schedule.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he is not interested in international football (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“Our level is not less than the England national team,” Sarri said.

“We can draw, we can lose, we can win. Maybe (I have had) more time than a national team but not enough to organise the team as I want.

“The next (week) will be the first week without three matches starting from August 20, so the time is not enough.”

Our level is not less than the England national team Maurizio Sarri

Sarri insisted all club coaches have little time for international football.

Sarri said: “There isn’t anything to learn. It is a usual position, every coach thinks like me. It is unusual to say it.

“It is impossible to organise very well a team in 30 days. Every team in the World Cup will lose against the top level club teams in every match.

“It is very difficult to see a very organised team in the Euros or World Cup.”

Gareth Southgate’s England reached the last four of the World Cup (Adam Davy/PA)

Chelsea play Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday – in Sarri’s 34th game in charge – seeking to avoid a third straight home league game without scoring for the first time in over 25 years.

Sarri’s side lost to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, with the Blues boss following the defeat with a now-traditional hair cut.

“When I lose a match I cut my hair, usually,” the former Napoli boss added.

“Five years I have been doing that. In the last three years in Naples we lost 12 matches in three seasons.”

He expressed hope that he will grow his hair long, like the interpreter who accompanies and supports him in media engagements.

He added: “I hope in the future that I can arrive here like Simonetta.”

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