Can Maurizio Sarri still save his job at Chelsea?

After the last couple of months, it has become clear that Maurizio Sarri’s long term future as Chelsea manager is at risk. Results have improved recently but will they be enough to change Chelsea management’s mind?

Rumours are that Chelsea’s chiefs have started looking at potential replacements if the Italian gets the sack anytime soon.

All the best betting sites as we have seen on BestBettingSites.Online are rather sure that Sarri will leave in the next few months, if not earlier, with the favourite to replace him at the moment Steve Holland (7/2). Zinedine Zidane and Gianfranco Zola are also likely candidates and are available at odds of 3/1 and 6/1 respectively.

“Maurizio Sarri has undoubtedly brought Chelsea a new way of thinking but we all know football is about results and he has a huge task to convince Chelsea to punt on him long term after what has happened in recent weeks. This is why all the major bookmakers are not backing that he will stay next season and are shortening prices on potential replacements with Steve Holland that seems to be in pole position at the moment for the role,” said BestBettingSites.Online chief editor John Pentin.

Sarri managed to relieve some pressure after recording back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Fulham but his position remains under continuous scrutiny. Sarri said that he is unwilling to change his football philosophy (also known as Sarriball). There were also rumours that he had fallen out with some Chelsea players that are not willing to support his project anymore.

Since then though the team has responded professionally on the pitch with a decent display in the Carabao Cup final that was lost on penalties against Manchester City. Last week they then recorded a sensational win over Tottenham and followed that up with a win in another London derby against Fulham. It seems as if Sarri has consulted members of his team in regards to the strategy. After the win against Fulham, defender Antonio Rudiger said that Sarri has been adapting his tactics in the last few weeks and with positive results.

The Germany international said that everyone in the team has to be given the time to adapt to new things and the same is for the coach. He also added that the way they played against Tottenham and Manchester City was different from the way they have been playing before.

Surely everyone needs to adapt, and maybe Sarri has realised that his strategy had to be also adjusted because this league is different from Italy. It was clear that against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup there weren’t differences. When Chelsea lost 6-0 they went high and tried to press and that resulted in a horror show for the Blues.

From rumours, we have learned that many players have expressed concerns that there isn’t a plan B if the Sarriball method is not working during matches. Sarri’s willingness to make some changes to his strategy might have released some internal pressure especially with players but his position remains under immense scrutiny from Chelsea hierarchy. It is understood that another terrible performance in the Carabao Cup Final would have cost the Italian the job. The fact that Chelsea stood up and that players were committed to the cause saved Sarri from the sack on that occasion.

The last two wins against Tottenham and Fulham have consolidated Sarri’s position a bit more even though he still needs to convince the Blues’ board that he should remain long term. There have been further rumours indicating that the club has started to identify potential short- and long-term replacements if Maurizio Sarri is replaced from duties.

Steve Holland, current England No. 2, is currently the first option to replace Sarri on an interim basis if the Chelsea board decide to pull the trigger before the end of the Premier League season. The preference though would be to make a final decision on Sarri at the end of the season but this will depend on the results. Even if he makes it until the end of the season, there are severe reservations on Sarri’s suitability to the job long term.

Even if players have shown some commitment to the cause in the last games, the Kepa Arrizabalaga issue where the goalkeeper refused to be substituted has raised several concerns about the manager’s authority. It seems likely that a finish in the top four places or a win in the Europa League could change the view on Sarri as ultimately he would have completed his first-year task of bringing Chelsea back into the Champions League.

Chelsea still have an excellent chance to finish in the top-four especially after the win over Tottenham. They will need however to find the consistency they had at the start of the season for them to do so. As always time will tell and it looks as this month might be crucial for Sarri and his Sarriball.

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