The Chelsea manager is fighting for his job at Stamford Bridge after just six months in the hot seat, after Wednesday night’s disastrous 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to give the Italian more time to get it right – but the pressure is on Sarri from a shocked Blues hierarchy to show that he can adapt his rigid tactics and be more flexible when things are going wrong.
Sarri locked his players in the dressing room at the Vitality Stadium for an hour on Wednesday night as they conducted an inquest into Chelsea’s fifth defeat of the season – and the squad underwent another 50 minute post mortem yesterday.
The Italian, whose side have now lost their last three away games without scoring, still believes his players do not understand ‘Sarri-ball’ yet, saying: “We haven’t even learned the basic moves.
“We had assumed we learned a certain style of football but the truth is we never did learn it and are paying the consequences. We need to work on the basics, the primary foundations of my football – and only then will we try to change things.”
But for the first time, fuming Chelsea fans turned on the Italian at Bournemouth – and anything but a win against bottom side Huddersfield tomorrow (Sat) could spell the end for the former Napoli manager.
Already, ex-Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has been touted as a possible successor, as has former Stamford Bridge hero Frank Lampard, now in charge at Derby.
Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta revealed that Sarri and his players ‘spoke like men’ after the defeat: “We spoke as men between the manager and the players.
“We are very angry. It is unacceptable for Chelsea to lose 4-0 and we have to find the solutions.
“Conceding four goals is unacceptable, and we are very angry. We have to be more consistent. Ten days ago we lost against Arsenal, had a really bad game, then we played two good games in the cup. To drop back again is really frustrating.”
Chelsea dropped out of the top four to be replaced by Arsenal on goals scored after Wednesday – and it is a Champions League place that is the minimum requirement for Sarri.
Azpilicueta added: “The battle for the top four is very tight. We have put ourselves at risk. We are in trouble.
“We have to get three points against Huddersfield. There is no other option. The minimum we should do is qualify for the Champions League.”
Chelsea and Sarri though now face a nightmare fixture pile up. After Huddersfield they face Manchester City away in the league, Malmo away in the Europa League, Manchester United at home in the FA Cup, Malmo away, City in the Carabao Cup final and then travel to Spurs in the league – seven games in the space of 25 days.