Maurizio Sarri, fans losing patience at Chelsea


Chelsea was well on its way to its biggest Premier League loss in 23 years when a chorus of “You don’t know what you’re doing” rang out from the supporters.

It was directed at Maurizio Sarri, perhaps the first audible sign of disgruntlement toward the Chelsea manager six months into his tenure.

The thing is, Sarri might not have many arguments with the fans.

In his latest dreary post-match post-mortem, Sarri acknowledged after a humiliating 4-0 loss at Bournemouth on Wednesday that he couldn’t explain how his players had performed so poorly. He kept his players in the locker room at Vitality Stadium for more than an hour, demanding answers, but he didn’t get what he wanted.

“I spoke with the players immediately after the match but it is also difficult for them to say why,” Sarri said. “I have to try again tomorrow because I need to understand why, because I need to solve this problem.”

Elon Musk Warns Taylor Swift as Singer Takes Shot at 'Chads, Brads and Dads'

In an alarming remark moments later, Sarri said he was frustrated because he “didn’t see the sign of my work.”

If that really is the case after half a year in charge and as Chelsea heads into a pivotal stage of the season, he must be wondering if his ideas — the so-called “Sarri-ball” approach — will get through.

What is becoming increasingly apparent is that, as a collective, Chelsea’s squad might be the hardest to manage in England, frustrating one coach after another with their inconsistency.

There were echoes in Sarri’s comment of something Jose Mourinho said a few days after he was fired by Chelsea in December 2015.

“I feel my work is betrayed,” Mourinho said after a 2-0 loss at Leicester, before questioning his players’ “pride” and “self-esteem.”

Antonio Conte, Sarri’s predecessor, also publicly questioned his players in his second season at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian are the senior squad members who have been at Chelsea over the last five years with Mourinho, Conte and now Sarri, making them the most influential voices in the locker room.

So it was telling that in a recent interview with France Football magazine, Hazard was quoted as saying: “In my career I have frustrated all of my trainers. Now here I am frustrating Sarri. They think I need to mark more, do more here, more than I am doing. And the next coach I have, I will also frustrate him!”

No wonder Sarri said recently, after a 2-0 loss at Arsenal, that Hazard is not a natural leader. The Belgium winger has also gone missing when Sarri has needed him most the last few weeks, scoring once in the last eight games.

Presidential Elections of 1944 and 2024 Have Staggering Similarities

Azpilicueta spoke after the Bournemouth game about how “angry” he and his teammates were at their display, which saw Chelsea concede all four goals in the second half. It was Chelsea’s worst defeat in all competitions in 17 years.

“It is unacceptable for Chelsea,” Azpilicueta said, “and we have to find the solutions.”

With Chelsea now out of the top four — below Arsenal on goals scored — in the race for Champions League qualification, there’s even the danger Sarri’s job could be at risk if the team loses to last-place Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Huddersfield is without a win since November and is 12 points from safety.


More AP English soccer: and


Steve Douglas is at

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City