Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville thinks Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was right to criticise his players after the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Italian thinks some of his Blues stars are “difficult to motivate,” citing poor performances away at Tottenham and the Gunners as examples.
Neville has backed Sarri’s criticism by stating that he feels that many Chelsea players turn their form on and off “like a tap:” He feels the Chelsea boss has little to lose early on in his tenure by questioning the motivation of some of his stars:
“It’s just a dressing room which can turn it on and off like a tap, it’s been able to do that for years. Sarri has probably thought he’s an experienced guy, he’s been around the block, and thinks he doesn’t need to take it.”
“I have to say normally I would always say it’s not right to call out your players. Who are Chelsea’s transfer targets? But we’re going to see more of it, there’s no doubt in the next five or 10 years. I think it’ll become the norm because it’s us or them.”
“When managers have an aspect of control in the early parts of their jobs, they’ll have to seize it and basically will realise they are a difficult bunch at Chelsea. In the last 10-15 years, they’ve had the power to remove managers.”
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Sarri has a rigid tactical system which he is unwilling to change to fit with some of those in his squad. The selection of Eden Hazard as a false nine has blunted their attacking play with Jorginho suffering in the “regista” role as opponents exploit his lack of pace.
Equally, though, the two goals the Blues conceded against the Gunners were purely down to poor concentration. Alexandre Lacazette was allowed four touches in the box before scoring the opening goal while Laurent Koscielny was unmarked in the box despite multiple Blue shirts around him.