Resorting to a change of style is the easy way out according to Maurizio Sarri, who says we must continue to have faith in our way of playing if our ambitions are to be reached.
We enjoyed a near-flawless start to life under our new boss, but one win in four Premier League matches has left Sarri questioning his players’ mentality, and outsiders debating a footballing philosophy which bears little resemblance to previous incarnations of this Chelsea team.
Sarri remains adamant in his approach, and does not think multiple transfers is the way to go.
‘If you believe in a style of playing, you have to improve to do this way of football very well,’ Sarri said.
‘The target is this; not to change the style of football, the system and the players every match.
'It’s very easy to change when you face a difficulty, but it’s not the right solution.
— Maurizio Sarri
‘We need to understand very well the style of play. We need to change mentality, not because the old mentality was bad, but because it’s not suitable with the new way of playing.
‘Then, after all this, maybe you need one player in one position to change the team,’ added Sarri.
‘You cannot think you can buy 11 new players without problems. Then the problems will be the same. You have to create a new mentality and a new style of playing.
‘I think we need to improve and arrive at 95 per cent of our potential, and then we can get the last five per cent with one new player, not 11 new players.’
Today we host the league leaders, managed by Pep Guardiola, and Sarri has spoken fondly in the past about the good relationship he enjoys the Manchester City boss.
The pair met in the summer alongside Arrigo Sacchi, the legendary former AC Milan and Italy manager, and Sarri revealed what Guardiola told him about adapting to life in the Premier League.
‘He said to me the first season is very difficult in England. For him it was impossible to improve 20 players in the first season. He said to me that in the first season you have to work on only 14 or 15 players, otherwise you are in trouble; you need too much time to improve the whole squad. You need a season just to understand the real situation.
‘Of course every story is different,’ Sarri pointed out. ‘You learn of course that the Premier League is a fantastic championship but a very difficult one. Every match is difficult.
‘If you are able to win it’s very expensive from a mental and physical point of view. You have to play every three days, you have no time to work, to try to improve the team, so it’s difficult.
‘What would have happened if Guardiola had no time in City? Maybe the best team in the world wouldn’t have been City in the last year.’