The Blues’ inadequacies were there to see, particularly a lack of leadership both on and off the pitch as they offered little to counter City’s unquestionable superiority. Many have questioned the Italian’s lack of a Plan B, and his substitutions have also become all to predictable. #SarriOut has been trending on Twitter on a regular basis recently. Blues fans have had enough, and in their eye’s only one man is to blame.
Chelsea’s Problems Lie Deeper Than Simply Sacking Maurizio Sarri
Abramovich, Buck and Granovskaia
However, maybe the problems in West London aren’t as simple as sacking the manager. Sarri’s struggles only scratch the surface – there are clearly other issues that need to be addressed at Stamford Bridge. The problems lie both above and below Sarri.
There is no doubt Roman Abramovich has backed Chelsea the best he can. The club has grown from a top six cup team to one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Bruce Buck and Marina Granovskaia have great business brains and negotiating skills, especially when it comes to improving off-field sponsorship deals and the transfer negotiations.
However, the pressure on a manager to deliver leaves the club unable to tap into their full potential. A thriving youth system is rarely called upon as the manager feels they have little choice but to pick the most experienced players at their disposal.
Not filling the Director of Football role since Michael Emenalo quit is another alarming fact. Also, with the manager not getting much of a say in transfers, the question is who is making the decisions?
Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte both questioned the powers that be for the lack favoured player recruitment. Maurizio Sarri held back commenting during the January window, but the Italian still cut a frustrated figure when asked by the media.
Overall, the way the club is run behind the scenes is having a negative effect, with the lack of input from the manager. More say in the transfer market and time to build a squad would see The Blues set up long-term in their quest for further trophies.
There is no doubt players appear to have more power these days. The effort shown by some before Mourinho was fired was certainly questionable.
The same could be said during Conte’s tenure. The fallout from Diego Costa’s situation and Willian’s social media photo in which he edited out the boss gives you an indication of just how much power the players hold in modern football.
They are only two examples, but you certainly didn’t get those sort of reactions during the days of John Terry. The lack of leadership could well be another issue. Cesar Azpilicueta has been a great servant but he seems like too much of a nice guy to fulfil the expectations of a captain.
The next 24 hours could be huge for Chelsea. Abramovich and co are sure to be talking about what to do next. Sacking Sarri will not change a thing, though – not until the other issues are dealt with first. Patience and an overhaul of the playing squad is the answer; a change to the structure of how the club is run. It’s unlikely the former will ever become ‘The Chelsea Way’. The ‘deliver now’ approach has worked in the past and it’s most probably here to stay.
Moving forward, Chelsea still have a lot to play for. Malmo are the opponents in Europa League action next Thursday, then it’s back to the bridge for FA Cup action against Manchester United on the 18th of this month. The following weekend Sarri will get a quick chance of avenging today’s result; the Blues face City at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final.