Analysis

Maurizio Sarri's midfield options

Maurizio Sarri has revealed the two players he believes can play the central midfield role that is typically filled by Jorginho in his favoured 4-3-3 system.

The Blues were 5-0 victors over Huddersfield Town on Saturday, returning to winning ways in the Premier League and once again dominating the ball, registering 65 per cent possession.

Jorginho was central to that, completing 94 per cent of his game-high 83 passes despite coming off in the 69th minute with what our head coach described as 'a little groin problem'.

Mateo Kovacic was his replacement and Sarri thinks the on-loan Real Madrid man is one of two options he has in reserve for the most central of our three starting midfielders.

'Jorginho played very well and I put Kovacic on the pitch after the fourth goal because Jorginho had a little problem to his groin,' he said. 'This is the only reason, because in my opinion he played a very good match.

'We are trying during the training with two players – the first is Ampadu and the second is Kovacic. Maybe for the characteristics, Kovacic is more suitable for this team. As you know, Ampadu is more defensive, but Kovacic is really close to Jorginho at moving the ball very fast at one touch. So, I think in the future he will be able to do this position well.

'Kovacic could be a very good option, but then we need to recover completely Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the back problem. Then we can play sometimes with Kovacic as a central midfielder and Jorginho will be able to rest.'

Read: Happy Hazard delighted to be playing alongside Higuain
 

Sarri also explained what the player fulfilling that central role requires from the rest of the team in order for the team to tick, something he saw plenty of during a devastating attacking display from the Blues which saw us record our biggest win since the Italian's appointment last summer.

'He needs movement without the ball from other players,' added the former Napoli boss. 'He uses that to play one touch and it's difficult to do that without the movement of the other players. The team in the first 25 or 30 minutes played very well and we had movements without the ball, so for Jorginho it was easier.

'I think in the first 25 minutes we played our football, because we moved the ball very fast, because there was good movements without the ball. We were very dangerous. We attacked the spaces and we played our football.'

Having arrested a two-game losing streak in the league, we regained fourth spot from Arsenal, but Sarri knows there is still work to be done if we are to put together another good run of form.

'My target is to improve the mentality,' he said. 'If we are able to improve that, it will be easier to arrive at every match with the right level of application, of determination. It's not easy, of course, it's a long way, but we need to try to improve in mentality – in every training, every match.'

 

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