Maurizio Sarri’s football snobbery and deflections disrespectful to Chelsea

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Etihad Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Etihad Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri saw his side drop points. Afterwards, he deflected blame from his way and acted holier than thou towards Wolves’ approach.

Maurizio Sarri does not drop points gracefully. He has had plenty of opportunities to show that this season as Chelsea has had the worst record against midtable sides and has been smacked aside by others.

Dropped points reveal a lot about a manager. Who or what they blame can point towards their strengths and weaknesses as a manager. Sarri’s points towards a lot of weaknesses.

Simply put, Sarri is a bit of a football snob when it comes to his style and he will throw anyone under the bus to protect himself and Sarrismo. The post match presser was yet another showing of that and it was frankly disrespectful to Chelsea’s history.

Wolverhampton absorbed almost everything Chelsea threw their way. Chelsea dominated possession, shots, and chances created. But everything the Blues did was of such a low quality that it did not matter how large the numbers were. Wolverhampton scored on the chance they had telegraphed all match and it took an Eden Hazard potshot through traffic for Chelsea to even get the point.

Naturally, Sarri blamed the players. He said they were not playing the ball fast enough and were taking too many touches. Jorginho, who played like he was in a neck brace, was absolved from blame because his teammates did not move enough ahead of him.

That is a valid excuse if the calendar read “October”. But it is March and Sarri is still rolling out the excuse that the players are not playing fast enough or moving enough. At what point does the question need to be asked as to why Sarri has allowed that to go on so long?

Related Story. Chelsea player ratings: Wolves’ goal summed up many Blues’ performances. light

Not to mention, that is just the offensive side of things. Defensively, Chelsea still uses a pure zonal system. Over time, they were supposed to have gotten used to each other and the triggers. But the Wolves goal painted a very different picture how Jorginho and David Luiz could not be bothered to come back. Or how Antonio Rudiger had to go to the man on the ball, but neither Cesar Azpilicueta or N’Golo Kante broke their zone to track the eventual goal scorer.

So Sarri blamed the players. One mistake (based on a zonal defense he demands his side play), one goal. Chelsea failed to score more because they did not move enough off the ball or play the ball quickly enough. But surely he praised Eden Hazard for his goal?

Nope because that would make sense. Hazard’s goal was speculative at best but it saved a point in a match where Chelsea should have lost. All Sarri had to do was say Hazard did well. But he stuck a “but” in there and said Hazard was touching the ball too much. On a day where a player’s moment of brilliance saved a point, there was no need to criticize his play.

But perhaps the worst thing Sarri said was Wolverhampton did not come to play. He said they were not organized in defense because they had so many numbers back. That is a laughably ridiculous thing to say and it is football snobbery at its peak.

Sport is about winning. Everything else is window dressing. Yes, at some level fans must be entertained but the win precedes that. Nuno Espirto Santo set his side up to get the job done against a team full of better players and with the home field advantage. And bar one Hazard wonder shot, it would have taken all three points.

To say they did not come to play is to pretend that their way of football is lesser. To say they were not organized in defense is to completely misunderstand what an organized team looks like. Sarri is so far into “his way” that he does not even see another way as a viable option to play the game. So when a team does what Wolves did, of course he thinks they did not try to play.

Someone should ask him if Chelsea came to play in the 2012 Champions League final. Or if they came to play in any of the trophy wins where they absorbed and countered. Chelsea is built on getting the result and worrying about how it looks second and Sarri once again showed that he does not understand that.

The more Sarri blames the players for not playing “his way” or the other team for not playing at all the more it looks like Chelsea will earn Champions League in spite of him instead of because of him. Sarri was tasked with bringing beautiful football to the Bridge but he has only brought a boring, impotent style of play that he blames on the players not doing as he has asked despite it being months into his tenure now.

Sarri does not seem to want to understand what Chelsea is as a club or who they have available. Instead, he only wants to see his way as the right way and everyone else must be wrong. His greatest trick is getting his supporters to blame those he deflects blame on to. And as he does so, it feels increasingly apparent that he does not see Chelsea as his end game.

With the transfer ban looming and Sarri’s overall attitude, would he stay at Chelsea without reinforcements? He seems to believe he cannot reach these players so why would he consider another full season of just them?

Whatever happens in the next few months, it does not feel as though Sarri is the man who will lead Chelsea into the new era. He feels like a coach spinning his wheels and protecting himself from the club as opposed to protecting the club from the outside world. Sarri will lean on his way and sacrifice Chelsea and common sense along the way if he must.

Next. Chelsea Tactics and Transfers: Barca’s total football identity of youth and style. dark

Chelsea needs to move forward and improve. But the more Sarri talks after dropping points, the more it feels like it is not the players. It feels like it is the man at the top who sees no wrong with his way and sees everything wrong with everyone else’s. And maybe not soon, but eventually that will be his downfall.