In her latest blog for the official Chelsea website, Blues fan Hannah Kurzawski highlights the impressive work being done by Maurizio Sarri...
I’m not sure many of us would have predicted such a great start to the season. With the introduction of a new manager, you’d be forgiven to expect a few teething problems to start off with while everyone becomes more accustomed to a different style of play and managerial methods.
When a manager joins not only a new league, but a new country, it can take a few weeks to adapt. However, this has not been the case for Maurizio Sarri.
With Chelsea unbeaten in all competitions this season so far, across 16 fixtures, the Italian has hit the ground running in his managerial career with the Blues. Victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday meant we are undefeated in our opening 11 Premier League games, winning eight and drawing three. This ensured that Sarri equalled the longest unbeaten start by a Premier League manager, set by Frank Clark in 1994 with Nottingham Forest.
The Blues are not the only team who remain unbeaten in the league this season so far, with both Manchester City and Liverpool also picking up points in their first 11 fixtures. However, when you consider that Pep Guardiola is in his third season at City, and Jurgen Klopp in his fourth at Liverpool, it makes Sarri’s achievement even more impressive, having been at Stamford Bridge for barely four months.
When asked about his unbeaten start since arriving at Stamford Bridge, Sarri reply was, ‘the record is not the record of the coach but the team.’ He described himself as lucky to have inherited such a good group of players, who over the past two months have been able to produce results ‘without a great level of organisation from the tactical point of view.’ It is clear that Sarri thinks the Blues can improve further and even though we are starting to see ‘Sarri-Ball’ come into effect at Stamford Bridge, it feels as if the boss can go up another gear or two yet.
The performances of certain individuals reflect Sarri’s influence – Ross Barkley, Alvaro Morata and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all flourishing, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Kepa Arrizabalaga have slotted in seamlessly and Eden Hazard has the space and freedom to get on with what he does best.
Here’s a promising stat for you – on the previous two occasions that Chelsea were undefeated in their opening 11 League games (2005-2006 and 2014-2015), they went on to the lift the trophy at the end of the season. Let’s see if Sarri and the Blues can make it a hat-trick.