Chelsea are currently in a crossroads as regards the faith in the methods of coach Maurizio Sarri just six months into his reign. The embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City has open doubts about Sarri’s philosophy and has led to criticism from fans, former players and the media.
However, it is an open secret that the Russian billionaire desires open entertaining football which is the major reason Sarri was signed from Napoli. The Italian tactician was the toast of Europe last season with a brand of quick passing football which was nicknamed Sarri-ball. The philosophy is based on intelligent players who move the ball quickly and a high press that aims to win the ball high up the field.
At the beginning of the season, this appeared to work as Chelsea won five straight games in a row and was unbeaten until November. The loss to Tottenham in November showed many teams how to stop sarri-ball as Dele Alli was put to mark Jorginho which led to a disruption in rhythm. Several teams have utilized this tactic most notable Arsenal and Bournemouth some few weeks back.
Despite this setback, Sarri is still a world class coach and with time it is apparent that he would be able to implement his style on the players. Several of the current Chelsea players look ill-equipped to handle the demands of Sarri-ball.
Marcos Alonso has been a liability all season alongside Willian and the lack of a true centre forward hampered the squad in the early parts of the season. It should be noted that Chelsea are still in four competitions and the news of a terrible season is farfetched.
The arrival of Gonzalo Higuain should bring a temporary solution to the attack, but what Sarri needs is one more transfer window to shape the squad.
It would be interesting to see if the trigger-happy Blues board are willing to put their faith in the Veteran tactician.