Saturday, March 23, 2019

English mentality favours fitness over tactics – Sarri

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Mar 2019

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Chelsea players are more comfortable undertaking high-intensity training sessions than learning tactics, according to manager Maurizio Sarri.

The former Napoli boss has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, culminating in a farcical episode in last weekend’s EFL Cup final when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted.

The Spaniard was subsequently fined and dropped for Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Tottenham on Wednesday with both player and manager insisting a line has now been drawn under the incident.

Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Fulham on Sunday, Sarri has opened up on how he has had to change his approach on the training ground to adapt to the “English mentality”, which he believes focuses more on intensity than tactics.

“I am in the first season in England, and I started to understand some things,” he told Sky Sports.

“Now I realise that here it takes longer and it is more difficult because the mentality is different.

“For example, with an English player it is very easy to have a very good intensity during training, but it is very difficult to have a session only about tactics.

“In Italy, it is the opposite; it is very easy to work on tactics and very difficult to have a very great intensity during the training. It’s different; not worse, not better, just different.

“We have a lot of players who have been here a long time, so the mentality is an English mentality. I have to understand, and I think I also need to have an English mentality. I think I am improving!”

When asked how long it will take for Chelsea to fully adopt his philosophy, Sarri added: “It’s impossible to answer. Sometimes three months is enough, sometimes you need one season or one season and a half.

“I think if you change country, it is longer.”

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