Chelsea's Sarri planning for long-term, defends tactics

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Chelsea Press Conference - Cobham Training Centre, Cobham, Britain - February 20, 2019 Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is planning for the long-term despite the club's fans booing his side during Monday's FA Cup defeat by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge which has fanned media speculation about his future.

"I have to think that I will be the manager of Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work... I'm not sure but I have to think this," Sarri told a news conference ahead of the League Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

Chelsea had looked like title contenders when the Italian guided them to a 12-game unbeaten Premier League run but six defeats in their last 14 league games -- including a 6-0 reverse at champions City -- has seen the club drop out of the top four.

The 2-0 defeat by United that saw holders Chelsea exit the FA Cup in the fifth round led some supporters to chant that their coach faced being "sacked in the morning" just seven months after Sarri arrived at the club.

"As you know it's not easy as we have no time, we are trying to solve our problems. It's not easy because we have to play every three days so we have no time on the pitch," said Sarri who has not had any talks with the club's owners this week.

Sarri has refused to tweak his 4-3-3 system and possession-based style known as 'Sarri-ball', which has come under scrutiny in recent weeks and on Monday saw the fans resort to expletives to voice their mounting disapproval of his tactical approach.

"The system is a false problem," the 60-year-old added.

"I know very well that when we lose I have to put a striker on the pitch. When we win I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way."

When asked what he could do to restore the supporters' faith in his tactical methods, Sarri said: "It's very easy: we need to win three or four matches in a row.

"I can understand very well the frustration of our fans because they are used to winning.

"Of course, in this moment, it's very difficult... But, in football, everything can change in one day."

Chelsea host Malmo in a Europa League last 32 return game on Thursday, holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Sweden.

Italian full back Davide Zappacosta (illness) and winger Pedro (stomach problem) are unlikely to be involved, while goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has a hamstring problem.

Sarri is uncertain whether Kepa will recover in time to face City at Wembley this weekend, which could mean a chance for Willy Caballero to deputise against his former club.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Football

Soccer-Kane salvages point for Spurs at Chelsea with last-gasp header
Soccer-Awoniyi delivers hammer blow as Forest beat West Ham
Soccer-Juve need to work hard and stay humble in title quest, says Allegri
Soccer-'Rock bottom': Former players tear into Man Utd after Brentford defeat
RTM to broadcast 41 Qatar World Cup 2022 matches
Soccer-Barcelona frustrated by gritty Rayo on Lewandowski's debut
Soccer-Shambolic Man United suffer humiliating 4-0 loss at Brentford
Soccer-Jesus has raised the bar at Arsenal, says Arteta
Soccer-Man City crush Bournemouth, Man Utd humiliated at Brentford
Soccer-Fulham's Mitrovic sees penalty saved in Wolves stalemate

Others Also Read