Maurizio Sarri odds to leave Chelsea fall further

Maurizio Sarri odds to leave Chelsea fall further

Another defeat see’s Sarri’s odds to leave Chelsea drop again

After their embarrassing 6-0 defeat against Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri’s odds to be the next Premier League manager to go tumbled so that he was 5/4 favourite. Now after yet another comprehensive loss, this time a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester United in the FA Cup, his odds to leave have been slashed further to 1/4 with Betfair.

It was another dismal night for the Italian, with the Blues struggling to penetrate the Manchester United defence whilst mistakes from their own backline cost them. The fans turned against the 60-year-old, with chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning” being heard throughout the second half of the match.

Once you lose the fans at Chelsea, the exit door is usually close. Indeed the clubs owner Roman Abramovich does not usually hesitate to pull the trigger with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari amongst the men who have been sacked by the Russian mid-season.

Having already heard Sarri say that he cannot motivate players including Eden Hazard, the Chelsea hierarchy are surely now considering making yet another managerial change.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

Are Maurizio Sarri’s days at Chelsea numbered after yet another defeat?

‘Sarri Ball’ is failing at Chelsea

When the Italian arrived at Chelsea from Napoli in the summer, there was so much excitement around the club. Despite winning the Premier League and FA Cup, Antonio Conte’s style of football was criticised by many of the Blues faithful for being too defensively minded and they wanted their team to be more attacking.

Maurizio Sarri’s tactics appeared to fit that desire. His Napoli team were often described as the most exciting team to watch in the world last season, they were scoring goals for fun and ran Juventus extremely close in the Serie A title race before ultimately finishing just four points behind.

Their style of play became known as ‘Sarri Ball’, an attractive, exciting brand of football which was focussed on retaining possession and playing lots of quick and short passes on the ground. The man himself was interesting too, Sarri’s smoking on the touchline became a lasting image whilst at Napoli and his character was quirky to say the least.

It was hoped that he would bring all of that to Stamford Bridge this term, making Chelsea easier on the eye whilst also winning plenty of games of football. Unfortunately for Sarri, that hasn’t happened and instead the football they are playing is predictable and they have stopped picking up positive results. ‘Sarri Ball’ has become tedious, one dimensional football which teams are now easily working out how to combat. This has ultimately led to them being eliminated from the FA Cup and dropping to sixth in the Premier League.

Since Tottenham Hotspur inflicted the Blues first defeat of the season in November, several other clubs have followed their blueprint and figured out how to stop Chelsea. The 4-3-3 system is no longer working. Jorginho, the man Sarri brought with him from Napoli to enforce the style of play, is particularly struggling as teams have figured out that if you stick tight to him he cannot influence the game and that then stops Chelsea as a whole.

Maurizio Sarri Napoli

Maurizio Sarri smoking on the sidelines whilst manager of Napoli.

Maurizio Sarri will not change tactics

Perhaps the main reason why Sarri looks likely to lose his job, other than the poor results, is his refusal to change his tactics. Whilst it has become obvious that this system is not suited to the players that he has at his disposal, he continues to do the same things game after game.

The formation is always 4-3-3, even when they are losing a game this does not change. N’Golo Kante, who is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world, is always played out of position in a more advanced midfield role to accommodate an inferior player in Jorginho. Ross Barkley is replaced by Mateo Kovacic midway through a match, or vice versa, almost every week.

It is the stubbornness of Sarri which could ultimately cost him. The fact that he consistently makes the same like-for-like substitutions is now greeted with sarcastic applause from the supporters and sometimes worse. But this doesn’t seem to have any impact on the Italian’s mind set and he continues to do it. Instead of throwing on another attacker against Manchester United such as Callum Hudson-Odoi he opted to put right back Davide Zappacosta onto the pitch in place of Cesar Azpilicueta – another like-for-like change.

His inflexibility is not helping anyone at the moment. When Conte’s Chelsea got hammered against Arsenal back in 2016, he changed to a 3-5-2 and went on to win the Premier League. Sometimes change is necessary, but it seems unlikely to ever happen under this manager.

That makes it seem likely that he will be leaving Chelsea sooner rather than later, just as the bookmakers odds now suggest. Another poor result against either Malmo in the Europa League or Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final could well seal his fate.

Next Premier League manager to leave odds:

(All odds with Betfair)

Maurizio Sarri – 1/4

Marco Silva – 6/1

Claude Puel – 6/1

No Manager To Leave – 15/2

Claudio Ranieri – 20/1

Neil Warnock – 33/1

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