Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri melted and quit at the first sign of trouble

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Chelsea’s former manager Maurizio Sarri had many narratives about him, most of which have now deflated as he left at the first chance available.

And so, the great Sarriball experiment comes to an end. Surprisingly, despite a string of poor performances, genuine dissatisfaction among Chelsea supporters, and open rebellion in the stands, it was not Roman Abramovich who swung the ax.

Juventus, who, clearly, did not watch Chelsea this past season, paid real money to take Maurizio Sarri off Chelsea’s hands. And to think, they used to be one of the better run clubs in Europe. Anyway, as Maurizio Sarri packs up his cigarette cases, ashtrays and photos of him and Jorginho on a London bus tour, it is left to the fans to make sense of his departure and the legacy of his tumultuous reign.

As all have learned to expect by now, Sarri’s legion of cultists have absolved their messiah of all responsibility and are running around dropping four-letter words all over Twitter, placing all the blame for their guru’s departure on Chelsea.

The club did not support him. The fans did not support him. Poor Sarri. No one loves him, except the Sarritologists, whose Twitter accounts are nothing more than shrines dedicated to Dear Leader. But that is enough about fantastic deadbeats and where to find them.

Take the long walk back to reality and see why Sarri is, to use the popular term, a snowflake for bailing out after just one season.

Yes, that is right. Lest it be forgotten, it was not Chelsea who sacked Sarri. It was Sarri who used Chelsea as a stepping stone to win his first ever trophy and skedaddled at the first opportunity he got. It is quite brilliant listening to people complaining about supporters not being loyal to Sarri, when it was Sarri who decided he would rather be loyal to another club. That should usually be the end of any argument. But humor the cult one last time before they change their allegiances to Juventus or from “Sarri in” to “Lampard/Anyone not named Sarri out”.

Anyone who has supported Chelsea for more than one season would agree that Sarri has received barely 10 percent of the vitriol Rafa Benitez had to take from the fans. For starters, there were no A4 sized placards calling for Sarri to bugger off, nor were there hateful banners made out of bed sheets adorning his front porch.

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But a few thousand anguished souls calling for a made up phenomenon to go forth and multiply is cause for running home and crying into the pillow? Really? It is fairly certain that Sarri did not care for that as much as his disciples on Twitter did. Besides, Sarri never really tried to build a connection with the supporters of the club he represented, so why is it a shock that the supporters did not warm up to him? Answers on a postcard, please.

Now, on to the baffling “Chelsea did not support Sarri” narrative. If anyone has two brain cells to rub together, they would agree that Sarri received almost everything he asked for from the club.

No? Then everyone must have imagined the club buying Jorginho specifically for Sarri as a welcome present, for £50-odd million. Everyone must have dreamed the club signed Gonzalo Higuain on loan, chucking all common sense out the window.

And while at “supporting the manager,” the club did not say a word when the new manager disgracefully exiled the club captain from the first team squad, and simply refused to field another player who cost £30 plus million just a year ago. The club remained silent when two of the brightest young talents at the club were stuck on the periphery of the first team all season until one of them was courted by a European super club. No one could ask for more support than that. Unless they are Sarri, of course.

But as soon as Maurizio “Not interested in transfers” Sarri realizes the club might be serving a transfer ban, he ups sticks and asks to be released from his contract.

Go over that again. Despite repeatedly saying that he has no idea how to motivate his players, the same players won him his first trophy, Sarri’s first reaction was to leverage his newfound status as a European cup winner into a new position at another club.

Right from the moment he was hired, Sarri insisted he had no interest in transfers and then he chose the exact moment when the club could not buy players to engineer his departure. And yet, the Chelsea board and the Chelsea supporters are the bad guys here? Nope.

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The whole sequence of events points to Sarri jumping ship as soon as the club hit rough waters in a final act of self preservation, thereby drawing the curtain on one of the most divisive periods in the club’s history. One can only hope the club has learned its lesson about choosing a manager on the basis of YouTube clips and social media chatter.