Friday, September 20, 2019

Dissecting the Start of Maurizio Sarri’s Tenure at Chelsea – What Can Blues Fans Expect from the Italian?

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Jul 2018

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Maurizio Sarri started the new era at Chelsea with a 1-0 over Perth Glory at Optus Stadium last week in Western Australia.

The Blues then went on to beat Inter Milan on penalties as their International Champions Cup encounter at the Allianz Riviera finished in a 1-1 stalemate after 90 minutes.

The Italian manager Maurizio Sarri decided to shuffle his deck and try out as many footballers as he could with proven stars such as Cesk Fabregas and Pedro dominating the first match together with Callum Hadson-Odoi who was an unexpected shining light with his assist in Perth.

The Blues headed into the second game on the front foot with Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata both making an early impression against the Nerazzurri.

Despite making a strong start in the game against Inter Milan, the Blues lost momentum as the game went by and that’s something Maurizio Sarri is hoping to cure at Chelsea. He was generally satisfied with his team’s display although the general idea is to take tempo up a notch and avoid useless possession.

”You have to move the ball at a great speed on the floor, otherwise we risk playing for 90 minutes with 75 percent of possession but without scoring. So we have to improve on this.” Maurizio Sarri told after the Inter Milan game.

The Sarri-Ball

Chelsea are still without their World Cup stars. Once he gets a full squad, Maurizio Sarri is expected to instill the basic tenets of his unique style and system we all fell in love in at Napoli. Often referred to as the ‘Sarri-ball’ his system revolved around eye-catching, possession-based football characterized with high pressing, quick ball-dispense and commendable efficiency.

A contrast to Antonio Conte’s three-man defense, Sarri’s system uses a 4-3-3 formation which is expected to allow Cesar Azpilicueta to slot in his natural position at right-back whereas the remaining defensive options of Rudiger, Christenten, Cahill and David Luiz will be assessed to fill in the four-man backline.

Following a season of utter disappointment under Antonio Conte and lack of excitement in Blues play, Chelsea supporters are hoping to get an exciting brand of football back to Stamford Bridge. A 59-year-old bonkers banker has a penchant for a show that is Sarri’s case arrives in bundles, through his mouth-watering transition-based football, a lot of running and positional awareness as the main prerequisite.

After just little over a week in charge, the new Chelsea boos took only two games to show pleasing signs of progress. There’s a long way ahead of him, however, and plenty will depend on the roster he will have at his disposal at the beginning of the season.

Eden Hazard and Jorginho Hold the Key

With summer transfer market in full swing, Chelsea have been one of the most talked about clubs thus far.

Eden Hazard as arguably the team’s biggest star are being targeted by the reigning European champions Real Madrid. The Belgium superstar is a 1/2 price to put on a Los Blancos shirt this summer and his potential departure would be a huge blow for Maurizzio Sarri.

As a versatile forward force, Eden Hazard would be a perfect fit into Sarri’s 4-3-3 and could be used wide on each flank or in the centre of attack. Knowing that Maurizio Sarri played Dries Mertens up front last season, a player of Eden Hazard’s caliber and ability is simply Maurizio Sarri’s kind of a player.

To argue Brazilian-born midfielder Jorginho was brought as Eden Hazard complement – and to some extent a replacement – would not be without reason and these two players definitely hold the key for Maurizzio Sarri at Chelsea.

Jorginho completed 100 minutes in two games thus far. The former Napoli man did not misplace a single pass and orchestrated Sarri’s high-pressing defense play from his central midfield position. He definitely is an arm extension of the manager sitting at the base of a 4-3-3, dictating the play.

Together with N’Golo Kante holding his back, the Brazilian is expected to be in full control of the play and bring back excitement days as Chelsea attempt to compete for honours next year in the Premier League.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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