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01 Feb 2019 14:27:00
Was flying from UK to South Africa for work purposes on Wednesday night so mercifully missed the Bournemouth disaster. Am still a bit dazed and despairing, not just about that one result - dreadful though it was - but how once again our beloved club appears to be yet again in something of a crisis. Sarri second favourite to be next to leave post, has been criticising players in public - and mystified by inability to motivate his players - yet seemingly unable to adapt system when needed.

It is quite likely now that we will miss out on top four. Perhaps at least a small further part of the reason may be that we have not prioritised top 4 over the domestic cup competitions. Our crowded January last season spelled disappointing league form although we won FA Cup - didn't save Conte.

But the thought of yet another managerial change pretty depressing and raises question of longer term strategy of the club is or should be. Andy Jacobs of Talksport UK, a lifelong CFC supporter, vented his frustration after Arsenal game by saying we are the worst managed (by the Board) club in the world. GIven our trophy record, this seems unfair but what he's getting at is short-term objectives versus long-term planning that would include careful inclusion of youth from the academy and giving a manager time (and support in transfer market when needed) to mould own side.

I had hoped this would happen when Conte was appointed, and again when Sarri was. But right now looks as though it won't - though of course I still hope it would. Doesn't help that Sarri had been criticising players through the media and seemingly so inflexible re system and substitutions. Will he now have a Conte conversion as happened after the Arsenal game in Conte's first season and change the system. Or will the players still buy in to Sarri-ball and successfully so? At the moment it looks as though the bookies may be paying out on departure of yet another CFC manager in near future. We have had wonderful success in the 21st century, and I am old enough to have gone to games in the bleak periods indeed in the 1970s and 1980s, but this ongoing managerial merry-go-round is pretty exhausting and prevents any constructive long-term planning. What is to be done? Had definitely wanted Sarri to be given at least two seasons once he was appointed, as Conte was, and first couple of months very promising. But should I now change my view given recent league results and second half farce at Bournemouth? I am still a little tired from the flight, and heat on arrival, and no doubt some of you are thinking more clearly than I am!

Agree3 Disagree0

01 Feb 2019 15:02:30
JBS, lucky you in South Africa, one of my favourite countries.

You have put together a wonderful post with, in my view a very accurate analysis.

I’ve also been a supporter through the very dark times and I guess that makes me appreciate our success durythe Roman era.

I have on many occasions expressed my dismay at the boards lack of a coherent direction and what seem to be a very confused business plan.

We have had for many years a very successful youth set up that is producing very good players but for other teams.

I’m not a fan of Sarri (not for football reasons) but let’s see this project through in the same way City and Liverpool have. Let’s get shot of the players that can’t or won't adapt and let’s at least test some of our youth players in the first team.

01 Feb 2019 15:36:29
Thanks TomB for great and clear-headed reply. Good to know that there are others who experienced those very dark days as well as Roman era success. Your conclusion gets my support!

01 Feb 2019 15:49:34
Let's be honest, for even the most positive of fans, it's pretty difficult to defend any element of the club, Sarri or the players, after a 4-0 loss to Bournemouth.

Personally I still think Sarri can do great things at the club, but I do think that a) the club will need to invest in his ideas and tweak the squad to match them, and b) he'll need to tweak his ideas to match the players he has - for now. Make no mistake about it, this slow tempo build up play isn't 'Sarriball’, it clearly isn't how he wants them to play. But if they're not capable of that then he needs to set the team out in a way that fits the squad. Conte's speech about the manager being a tailor comes to mind. Restructure in the summer and let him have a full pre-season with a squad that fits his style - I'm not sure he should be judged until he's had that opportunity. People are unfailry judging him to Guardiola and Klopp who've had years to get their teams where they want them, and we haven't lost that many more games than City this year.

As for tweaking the squad, I do think Hazard, as great a player as he is, moving on is best for all concerned. If his current form continues then this is the third manager, in my opinion, that he'll have downed tools for. Personally I think that says more about him than the managers.

01 Feb 2019 16:22:04
Excellent post JBS. A straight forward view of what you see happening. Like TomB and you I remember the 1970's to 1980's promised so much and delivered so little days and since the Abramovich years I have been over the moon with our success but going back to those bad days, there still seems to be this continuing issue of self destruction in the club. For all we have won in recent years I feel we should have actually done even better but the manager go round has constantly disrupted the process. We have had some of the most decorated managers you could wish for, not all popular, but very successful and for some reason they have fallen out of favour. I was not a Sarri fan but like Avram Grant you get behind him and hope he proves you wrong but even today Sarri says he has no Plan B and basically it is his way or no way and on one one hand you admire him but his way has not one anything other than his teams play nice football. No manager can survive being so intransigent and already I and many others are starting worry that it is starting to unravel yet again which never augurs well when trying to get top players to join.

01 Feb 2019 16:22:57
J, as always a very good and measured post.

I think Sarri has to press on with the so called plan “A” and if any player can’t or won’t adapt no matter who it is then drop them. This continuous player power nonsense has to stop.

The board employed a manager because of his style of football was what they craved. A huge amount of fans also sang his praises and expressed there desire for Sarri to replace Conte. All concerned were aware it was a project and not going to be success in an instant.

For me, we have players who have been over rated and indulged. We require player change. Structure change but not manager change.

01 Feb 2019 17:28:22
C1955, you have put up as usual a very constructive post but you have like others made reference to Sarri’s intransigence and NO plan “B” and both are valid points.

Pep, Klopp and to a certain extent Poch, have received praise for sticking with their so called “football philosophy”. I just can’t see why Sarri, at this stage, should change his football phylosophy and move to a so called plan “B”.

In fact Conte changed his philosophy over the first few games of our Premiership winning season and then reverted back to plan “A” and virtually had no players who had played with a back three.

I firmly believe Sarri has to stick to his principles and the board have to support him.

01 Feb 2019 17:51:17
Agreed Tom.

Player change, structure change but also culture change. It's shocking how far the culture seems to have fallen since the likes of Lampard and Terry left the club.

01 Feb 2019 18:26:59
Tom you have made a very good point in that there is no reason for Sarri to change his style of football. Sarri said the same in his press conference today.

Sarri-ball was the making of Maurizo Sarri. A man of his experience and pride will not turn his back on the philosophy that made him and look for a plan B at his age of 60. I agree the team needs to play his football very well before his considers tinkering his formation and playing Kante in the regista role etc. His been in the job 6 months and pundits are asking him to tinker etc and that his stubborn. Yes he has a stubborn element to his personality but he is right to believe in his football style at this early stage. This explains why Neville, Henry etc haven't last long in management. Being a pundit and criticizing managers is easy. Making stories up sells papers too.

Pep Guardiola was lambasted the same way, however the man stuck by his tiki taka style despite everyone saying it won't work in premier league. What did he do? He went and bought Ederson, Stones, Walker, Mendi, KDB, Gundogen, Sane, Jesus etc etc. He bought a whole new squad and taught them to play his way and proved that it works and very well. Sarri has inherited a team managed by jose and Conte, arguably the worst managers he could inherit a team from as they play the complete opposite to his style of football.

In my opinion, Chelsea need to stick by Sarri.

Firstly they need to shut up the media so this stupid stigma of sacking a manager after 2 poor games is eradicated. Its boring emabarrasing now.

Secondary the board have agreed to change its football philosophy, it would be stupid to sack sarri and go back to old ways. See the change through, man city is perfect example. Give it a proper go and don't make half hearted attempts like we did with Scolari and AVB and go immediately back to old ways and appoint complete opposite managers. Big changes take time. I for sure don't want Zidane, blanc, Simione. No turning back from this style of football. Give it a go.

Thirdly help the manager eradicate player power. He needs to be supported like Man city supported pep. Squad overhoul needed.

01 Feb 2019 19:06:35
CFCShak: Totally agree the squad does need a thorough overhaul but I cannot see us shipping out half the team and replacing them as teams will know what we are doing and the prices go through the roof OR as we have found out to our cost someone buys the Rahman and Cuadrado's of this world who get us nowhere so the 'problem' needs to be eradicated which I believe is Hazard but how well does that comment go down?

Of course we want to give him a chance but historically the board do not so that is why the press are warning against his longevity.
As far as Sarri-ball is concerned I think that is a myth made up by the press, it's possession football leading to goals and Sarri's Achilles Heel is relying on Jorghino, who the press are now referring to as the "Teacher's Pet", this league is not for him.

For all Sarri's press, he has never won anything and at the end of the day do we want to play attractive football and lose or route one and win? ; naturally both attractive and win but I will always take the win first and grumble afterwards how we got there!

01 Feb 2019 20:07:03
All comments above impressive because clearly both considered rather than knee-jerk and sincerely felt. J, you make a very good point about club 'culture' and we haven't been as yet adequately able to replace combo of Terry, Lampard and Drogba in that respect i. e. such consistently impressive will to win through spine of team that was self-motivated and translated to whole team for majority of the time they were together. Perhaps that's what Sarri has been getting at if a bit clumsily. Perhaps it will only be replaced if there is careful planning about player 'leadership' in this respect within the squad.

01 Feb 2019 20:10:24
That is my worry C1955, historically the board have been happy to press the trigger and far too quickly in my opinion.

But, unlike previous years I suspect that they may be backing the manager here. I say this because we have just gone and bought him Higuain who probably wasn't their first choice and historically we would never sign Higuain at 31. Pulisic is another player Sarri wanted and the board have delivered. He already has Jorginho and Kepa. It is fair to say that most of Sarri's requests are being met. But i'm sure the board know a big overhaul is required.

Jorginho is struggling a little now. He is marked so heavily in games and that is because opponents respect his quality. If you give him space then he will punish you. Had they not marked him so heaviliy then he dictates the play and we win quite comfortably like we did at the start of the seasons. Onviously, Sarri needs to counter this problem and until today we haven't acheievd it yet.

We need the other players to step up too. Out general play needs a faster tempo, main problem i see is that players are playing as individuals right now. Wrong mindset totally. The 2nd goal at Bournemouth explains alot.







 

 

 
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