In all of Chelsea’s recent struggles, much has been made about how Maurizio Sarri has failed to do exactly what the three men previous to him also failed to do: adequately manage the Chelsea dressing room. Although Conte, Mourinho and Andre Villas Boas all struggled to make a long-lasting impression on the Chelsea dressing room, arguably none fell faster and harder than Maurizio Sarri, who seemingly can no longer get the best out of a collection of world class stars. But as things stand, Maurizio Sarri is still the man in charge of the Blues and is in with a shot of saving his job. The only way the Italian’s fortunes are going to change is by accumulating results at the rate that he started the season with, which is not going to be easy. But with the help of The Mastermind, perhaps Maurizio Sarri can save his job and get Chelsea back to winning ways. Here are four ways Maurizio Sarri can save his job.
1. Change the Formation to 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-3
One of Chelsea’s best ever seasons came under Antonio Conte when he had the team playing in one of the most successful 3-4-3 formations ever concocted. The formation was so successful that it started a trend of clubs around the Premier League beginning to adopt back-three systems; many of which are still using the formation today. 3-4-3 still suits the current players that Chelsea have in their roster and it may help to get the best out of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Marcos Alonso again in particular. It would also help Chelsea play both Kante and Jorginho at the same time in a formation that suits both players, while re-incorporating club captain Gary Cahill back into the side.
If Chelsea decide to play with a 4-2-3-1 instead, Kante can be pushed back into his normal position without mitigating the role of Jorginho. Mateo Kovacic or Ross Barkley could also be pushed forward into a position that would come natural to them. Chelsea could also opt to play Eden Hazard as a second striker to Gonzalo Higuain, which might bring the best out of both.
2. Bring Back Christensen and Cahill
Chelsea’s defense has had some shocking performances in recent weeks and even when the side keep a clean sheet, they hardly ever look stable. Club captain Gary Cahill has been out of favour the entire season through seemingly no fault of his own. Even when given the opportunity to leave in January, Cahill remained loyal and decided to fight for his place in the Chelsea squad. Obviously we don’t have the benefit of seeing the 33-year old in training, but he’s been one of Chelsea’s most reliable defenders over the past decade and his exclusion from the squad has been baffling at times. Andreas Christensen meanwhile had a very solid season in David Luiz’s absence last year and came into this season off the back of a solid World Cup campaign, something that cannot be said for Luiz or Rudiger. Christensen and Cahill even just might be better options at this point for the fact that both rarely ever make mistakes in key areas. Both bring a much more calming presence to Chelsea’s back-line than the two currently there and Maurizio Sarri should seriously consider bringing both men back into the fold.
3. Play Loftus Cheek and Hudson-Odoi
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been severely under-used this season by Maurizio Sarri. The 23-year old had a solid World Cup campaign after earning a surprise selection to Southgate’s side and excelled on loan at Crystal Palace last season. Whenever he’s been given his chance to play this season, Loftus Cheek has excelled and it’s a mystery why he hasn’t been given a chance more often, especially given his versatility. Hudson-Odoi is another player who has performed well in his limited Chelsea appearances this season and he’s even caught the eye of Bayern Munich. The 18-year old would have undoubtedly been tempted by the move, especially given the success of other British teenagers like Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson in the Bundesliga. But for now, he remains a Chelsea player and Sarri would be foolish not to use him when Willian and Pedro have not been performing to their best.
4. Rest Those Out Of Form
It’s no secret that Marcos Alonso is not having his best season at Chelsea. Pedro Rodriguez has also really struggled in recent months after starting the season well. David Luiz has also But not much has been made about Jorginho’s awful run of form since about Decemeber. The Italian midfielder has only put together a couple of standout performances in that time and it seems as though most Premier League teams have figured out how to combat the 27-year old. In recent matches he’s looked very tired and after what might have been the worst performance of his career against Manchester City, many would have thought Sarri might change his system or rest the Italian. However, he’s stuck by his guns and continues to play the exact same players in the exact same way every single game. Chelsea just have not been adaptable enough and it’s no surprise that the Premier League clubs around them have figured out how to stop Sarri’s side from playing. Resting those out of form and incorporating new players into the mix may be the only way for Sarri to save himself, particularly if he remains stubborn with his trusted 4-3-3 formation. Emerson, Danny Drinkwater and the players already mentioned above deserve their chance in the squad, it’s now up to Sarri to give them that chance.
So there it is! 4 ways Maurizio Sarri can save his job at Chelsea. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below and check out more Premier League articles.