Maurizio Sarri Insists ‘Intelligent’ Chelsea Will Adapt to His Approach Despite Teething Problems

Chelsea manager ?Maurizio Sarri says his side won’t take long to adjust to his tactical approach, citing his players’ intelligence as the reason they will adapt quicker than his previous clubs.

The former Napoli coach is known for implementing a particular style at his clubs, which has been dubbed ‘Sarriball’.

A particular concern to Sarri is the way his side defends, as he attempts to train his players to defend ‘watching the ball, not the man.’ His side’s frailties in this regard were exposed against Arsenal, throwing away an initial two goal lead before stealing the win with a late Marcos Alonso goal. 

However, he says that a team taking time to adapt is nothing new in his experience, and he is sure his players will come round to it sooner rather than later.

He said, via the ?Guardian: “We work on defending every week and I am not worried because, when I arrive at a new team, usually I have problems with the defensive phase for two or three months.

“If you are used to defending by looking at the man, and I ask you to defend by looking only at the ball, if you are 18 it’s maybe easier. If you are 28 and, for 10 years, you’ve played the other way, it’s not so easy.

“My feeling is that, in this team, I have very intelligent players. So they can improve in one month. They will be able to do it very well in one or two months. Not more.”

His side haven’t exactly struggled early on despite perceived teething problems. A comfortable 3-0 win over ?Huddersfield preceded a win over bitter rivals ?Arsenal, heading into Sunday’s ?Prem?ier League clash with ?Newcastle. 

And while approach seems abstract on paper, it essentially centres around defending high up the pitch, rather than sitting deep to negate opposition runs – something ?Chelsea were used to under Antonio Conte.


Sarri added: “Doing things this way depends only on you. You are not depending on the opponent. 

“It’s very easy and, if you defend by looking only at the ball, you can stay very high up the pitch. In the other way you depend on the movements of the opponent.”


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