Stability for Chelsea with Maurizio Sarri but not others is a non sequitur

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea FC at John Smith's Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea FC at John Smith's Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

Fans of Maurizio Sarri have turned to a new talking point: stability for Chelsea. Where were they last year with Antonio Conte? How about others?

Chelsea has had a managerial merry go round since Roman Abramovich bought the club. The fact that Jose Mourinho, a notoriously short term manager, holds some of Chelsea’s longest stints should speak volumes.

For years now, there has been a sense that Chelsea’s chop and change of managers has caused more woes than successes (despite a trophy cabinet saying otherwise). The fans want stability. But some only want it for some managers.

Maurizio Sarri has created an almost cult like following among some Chelsea fans. Possession, passing, promise and patience is suddenly more important than winning. They urge stability in the managerial seat. And a simple question must be asked: where were they last year when Antonio Conte was in the hot seat?

Antonio Conte took a battered and beaten side and made them champions again. Instead of backing him the next season, the board did what they did to Jose Mourinho after winning the title. Conte saw key figures leave (both with his blessing and without) and was given his second, third, and fourth choice targets.

Chelsea admittedly started to play some awful stuff and that is on Conte for failing to adjust. He did try with switches to the 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 without a striker, but never with enough consistency. Even still, his side won the FA Cup.

But where were the calls for stability with Conte? He had already proven himself with two trophies over two seasons. 2016/2017 offered some of the best football Chelsea had played in a decade. But instead of sticking with him for stability through the next season, many started wanting him out.

They turned to Maurizio Sarri who makes a mean YouTube highlight reel but little in the way of trophies. Suddenly, style of play was more important than winning. And through the rough results, his greatest backers have called for sticking by him in the name of stability.

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The simple fact of the matter is that their calls for stability are not really for stability. They are for a manager they went to battle for and who has repeatedly let many down. Stability is needed, but it cannot be just for the sake of stability. It has to be with the right manager.

Maurizio Sarri keeps showing he is not that manager. Whenever he is faced with losses or draws, he blames the mentality that he does not know how to fix. It is, of course, his job to fix the mentality of the side. It is his job to show any improvement at all and he has not.

Chelsea is only one point better off this season than last season at the same point. They have scored two less goals and conceded six more. Looking through the squad, there has been no youth player to debut and it is hard to argue that any player has truly improved from last season. Last year, similar results started a Conte out brigade. This year those same people are calling for stability.

Sarri has shown little to no indication that he is planning for the long term. The signings made for him have either been short term (Mateo Kovacic) or his own players (Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho). Rather than coaching the players he has (like he said he would and as he was advertised to be good at), he has instead leaned on players he already coached.

Everything about Sarri screams “I have come to get the job done right now” and yet the results do not match. Chelsea was always supposed to do well in the Europa League because they are a Champions League squad (that one has to be on Conte). But being sixth with eight matches left regardless of how far off fourth the squad is does not work. Losing 2-0 to an Everton side that has been in abject misery all season does not work. This is not working.

And if this is not working, then stability for stability’s sake will not work either.  On the other side of the “we need stability” coin has been an argument for a hard reset. A top to bottom rebuild of the club.

Replace the board members who have allowed the rot to set in and hire a technical director with a long term vision for the club. It is hard to believe that had Chelsea had a technical director last summer that they would have concluded Sarri would work with the squad available. It was a jump to far which showed how lacking in vision the club was.

Once the board is replaced and a technical director in place, that technical director needs to decide who will be the new Chelsea manager. Based on this season, it almost surely cannot be Sarri. Whoever it is, with a technical director and the right backing, something like stability can actually be achieved.

Technical director and new manager in place, pick the squad apart. With or without the ban, the squad needs to be broken down to its bare bones and rebuilt under the right regime.

Once all that is done, then stability can be talked about in a realistic way. The current course at Chelsea is not just down to the manager but it is hard to deny that he is a product of that current course and is no less culpable for making it worse.

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Chelsea needs stability but not just any stability for anyone that comes through the door. Stability made sense with a manager who had proven they could get the job done with this side. Not one who throws his hands up in confusion upon losing 2-0 to Everton or who calls a Wolverhampton side beating everyone in the top six “disorganized”. It is time for change at Chelsea and no one, especially not Sarri, should be kept in the name of hypocritical stability.