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Sarriball or Sorryball? Where has it gone wrong for Chelsea?

Maurizio Sarri was being considered as the one who could take Chelsea to the title. But where has it gone wrong for them?

Last updated: 24.02.2019
Maurizio Sarri posing with the Chelsea Jersey

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All good things have to come to an end. After an unbeaten run of 18 games, Maurizio Sarri's side has struggled in both form and confidence.


Sarri came to the league with a great reputation. His highly attractive and exhilarating style of play pushed Juventus to the wire as Napoli finished a close second and won several plaudits last season.



It was going to be a year of transition and something different for the Chelsea fans as they have always been known for their pragmatic approach, even in their best years under Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.


‘Sarriball’ as it is popularly called, did succeed in the early part of the season but over the last few months, it has been more of a ‘Sorryball’.


After a bright start, Hazard's form has cooled off


League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday, through to the Europa League Round of 16 and still in a battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League, things can still change for the Blues.


But where has it gone wrong for Eden Hazard and co. in recent months?


No flexibility. Predictable. Stubbornness.


When Kovacic starts, Barkley comes on for the Croat or vice-versa. It has become all too predictable under Sarri. Chelsea has struggled for consistency in recent weeks. A 4-0 loss to Bournemouth, then a 6-0 loss to City, most managers would try to make some changes, but not Sarri.


Some may call it stubbornness while some may say the players aren't playing the way he wants them to. But when things aren't going your way then maybe you need to adapt and so far the Italian has been reluctant to change.


Shaky defence (particularly Marcos Alonso)


Under Antonio Conte, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta were the two standout performers. But this season, they have been well below average.



Cesar Azpilicueta has been below par this season


Azpilicueta has struggled to hit form this season while Alonso has been disappointing thus far.


Marcos Alonso continues to disappoint under Sarri 

Defensively, Alonso has been absolutely shocking. Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz have been good with the ball while Gary Cahill has been completely shut out after the arrival of Sarri. Maybe a change in the system is required, for the time being.



Jorginho has struggled with the pace and physicality of the Premier League


The epitome of Sarriball. One of the main tasks of Jorginho is to keep the ball moving, something which he has managed to do but without much effect.


Give him time and space, he will punish you but what sets the Premier League apart from the Serie A is the pace of the league. He has struggled against the big teams this season as he is weak defensively and opposition midfielders run past him with ease.


With most teams having decoded the Sarriball, Chelsea needs to make some changes. Soon.


Kante out of position


World cup winner. Two-time Premier League winner. How could you play one of the best defensive midfielders in the world out of position? With Kante being deployed further forward, any cover for Jorginho is gone. As a result, Chelsea always falters when Jorginho is under pressure.


Sarri recently revealed that he needs a player who moves the ball fast in that position, which isn't a characteristic that Kante possesses. But with Jorginho being overrun consistently in the midfield, it may be time for Sarri to bring Kante back to his best position.


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