Date: 20th January 2019 at 2:38pm
Written by:

But in this moment of turmoil, we must search for solutions and not create more division and angst. I’m in the wait and see camp for now because we are heading for more public humiliation if we sack Sarri.

Many of these players have been through it all before and whilst there is no doubt in my mind they have a huge role to play in the shortcomings at Chelsea over the years, the managers must take their share of the blame.

I don’t wish to waste time on previous coaches and what happened to them. Sarri is the present incumbent and so I’ll focus on him. Accusing the players of mental ineptitude does not excuse your intransigence

With half the season now passed and our chances of top 4 diminishing after every passing game, I would have thought that a coach of Sarri’s experience would have known the folly of speaking out against the players in public. It is not normal to air one’s dirty linen in public. What goes on behind closed doors should stay at Cobham. That is the sanctuary where the group of coaches and players must sort things out.

In giving his statement yesterday, Sarri has weakened his own position. Why do I say that?

In Sarri’s opinion, the most important cog in his system is Jorginho. According to him, he is technically superior to most players in the team. But last week he also said that he was beyond further improvement.


When we go to Stamford Bridge and watch from the stands, most supporters note the weaknesses and strong points of our heroes performing on the pitch. Most know the game very well, many don’t but support the team anyway and some don’t care what the tactics are so long as it’s a good day out with a Chelsea win.

From the stands, we have an enormous advantage over the coaches and the players because we can see the pass or the defensive risk before you or the players can. Why doesn’t Sarri come up and join us one day and sit in the four stands to get different views of his failing system? I would suggest that if he does take another perspective, he’ll never believe his eyes.

Last week I wrote an article Click Here, about the problems with our left flank using the 4-3-3 system that you use and still, we persevere with Alonso, Kovacic with only Jorginho to cover the defence. IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK. Any opposition coach worth his salt, would block and then attack our left-hand side. It is so obvious.

Our game is predictable and slow. Half a season has lapsed and still will see Luiz and Rudiger playing slow ball to each other (unless if Luiz just takes the initiative and makes one his spectacular long passes) or giving it to Jorginho who gives it back to them. Pathetic.

I do not believe that Sarri’s system is the problem on the pitch. I believe it is Jorginho. I do not think that the players have stopped playing for Sarri. I think that they don’t want to play with Jorginho.

Why you might ask?

Well from where I sit, I can clearly hear Jorginho bark out the orders to the team and point where everyone should be. At time Barkley has the chance to move forward but just as he is about to, is physically called back by Jorginho. So basically Barkley has to get back in line and quell his instinct to attack.

Many supporters who have not seen this live, think that Barkley is playing negatively when actually he is doing what Sarri’s general is dictating to him.

I do not think that the other players think that Jorginho is that superior to them that he can dictate play especially because Azpiliqueta is the captain. And I think that it is this lack of respect for Jorginho that the others are finding hard to accept. I think Jorginho should be taken out of the firing line for a while so that he can work in the gym and get more acclimatised to the English game. I base this assessment on the fact that he is just as ineffectual when playing for Italy but was a monster playing for Napoli (so good that Manchester City wanted him).

From the stands, you can hear Luiz losing his rag at Jorginho because he has passed backwards. Luiz also shouts at Azpiliqueta because he too turns back passes backwards.

Sarri says that the team is not ready to adapt to a new system but I would suggest that the “new” system is something that most of the team is already used to from previous seasons. Please let me give you an idea to change the present failing 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1 that could be built on by the professional coaches as below:

(From right to left)

• Kepa (GK)
• Rudiger (RB)
• Christensen (RCD)
• Luiz (LCD)
• Azpiliqueta (LB)
• Kante (RDM)
• Ampadu (LDM)
• Barkley (RAM)
• Hazard (CAM)
• Callum Hudson-Adoi (LAM)
• Higuain (ST)

Other better-skilled supporters will have their own thoughts and I would be intrigued to study their ideas too. I would respect any suggestion that makes our club harmonious again.

You see, I am a Chelsea supporter, end of. I have no personal desire than to go to Stamford Bridge and watch my beloved team, win, lose or draw. But I do have a problem when our manager cannot see that defeat to Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United are not just defeats that can be clouded by some ill-thought-out post-match tantrum.

For us the true supporters, every other Saturday is a pilgrimage and not something to be taken lightly.

So I will support this team till I die but it so pains me to see that professionals are so absorbed in their own glory that they forget the supporters. A few of them can go onto pastures new for lots of money but we the supporters still have to save our coins to pay for the next Season Ticket (s).

We want to feel part of the team but the players apart from a couple of exceptions do not feel the bond with the supporters.

We can see what is happening but we are not allowed to point out the deficiencies. Such a waste of 40k spies in your midst.

I am prepared to do whatever it takes to help my club get through this which includes showing patience, are you?

Contribution by Navid Deen

Previous article by Navid Deen

If The Premier League Clubs Want To Keep Their Youth Products, Then They Should Incentivise Their Ambitions

Click for the forum
Click for the forum

14 Replies to “Sarri – Forty Thousand Spies Watch Your Team Every Other Week. Ask Them To Help You.”

  • While I agree that a system change is good and can shake things up we need to face the reality that the team cannot be creative without good attacking wingbacks to spread the oppositions defense. Playing Rudiger and Dave as wingbacks may slow the game down even more. So do we give Emerson a chance ? In my opinion he is not a great defender neither is Alonso but Emerson is worse when it comes to tackling marking and actually defending. I’ve seen him get embarrassed time and time again by players that I can’t name, so imagine decent prem wingers . A change in system may be good for the team in the short term but not if we don’t have the right tools to play the type of football that we as fans desire. I believe the other top 6 teams in the prem have better wingbacks than us and this season it’s really showing.

  • I would like Chelsea to play with this formation rather than the other one.

    Rudiger nd luiz (CB)
    Emerson and Azpilicueta(SB)
    Kante (DMF)
    Loftus and kovacic/Barkley
    Hudson odoi

  • We were at our best as 3 at the back, Az – Luiz – Rud. These three interchanged as rocks to build from. Christensen found this system perfect for his skills. Ampadu has the flexibility to be an effective centre back or defensive midfield. Alonso was brilliant as a wing back, Pedro offered a good right wing back alternative. If Jorghino is worth his salt, he will adapt as one of two def m-fielders. Kante will at last be at his best – not just keeping his head above water – poor lad.
    There comes a time when any boss has to look at what will work, rather than keep trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

  • In my opinion, I think the error in our team is that our manager doesn’t have a plan B, Sarri’s preferred formation is 4-3-3 but my opinion is why can’t Sarri try and make use of 4-2-3-1, U can’t expect 4-3-3 to work in every match and you can’t expect that to work in every half either … the 4-2-3-1 will get through best out of Barkley cos he prefer playing behind the main strike : Hazard-Barkley-Odoi/Pedro/Willian and let Kante stay as a defensive midfield in partnering Jorginho and Alonso need a good rest, he had lost it then the rest is good

  • The team is fine as it is .. we just need a striker… All the defensive frailties of our so called ” weak left ” is very well compensated by the attacking flair of those in left side …. We need to stop overanalyzing…sarri has just been the job for 6 months or so… FFS…. Jorginho is truly the maestro…. It’s been only 6 months …. Where is the patience among the “FIFA MANAGERS” here

    • Hello Th

      I value most of what you say but must confess that I am a little surprised that you would classify peoples opinions by calling them “FIFA MANAGERS”. I’m sure that some of the others that have shared their views care very passionately about Chelsea just as you do.

      Personally, I have never played FIFA Manager or any other football related game. But I have coached football and I do go to all home games and cup games so I see what I see.

      The 4-2-3-1 formation was not recommended by anyone here until Sarri himself mentioned it last week. He said he wouldn’t implement it because the present team has not mastered his 4-3-3 system. If after 6 months the present crop of players have not adapted to his system and because as he says that they are mentally weak, this invites debate amongst the fans.

      The debates that we have on fans’ forums do not reach or influence Sarri, the players or Chelsea itself.

      So what’s the problem of harmless football discussions amongst ourselves?

      We’re just venting our disappointment with another poor performance.

      Take care my friend.

  • I am venting my frustrations too… In the last 8 years or so at Emirates we have drawn 4 …lost 2 in the premier league.. it’s always been difficult to play there …and all our rampant maulings of them where at the hands of a Drogba or Costa mostly… so when u talk abt everything else other than the elephant in the room (we have no world class striker) makes no sense…the system is perfect everything is perfect…we just need a striker and backup for jorginho in smaller matches …he lacks the energy which affects his game…I some times laugh when ppl say why jorginho has no assists he is useless… are they even watching the game….in that case how many assists does Fernandinho have …it’s been only six months Well patience is a hard commodity nowadays even for the pundits who have played the game so much…well it’s just the online generation… Who lack it …

    • I feel your frustrations but of course, I have not said anything of the kind about Jorginho. What I am alluding to is that he has come into a team and been asked to dictate a pattern of play to some seasoned professionals some of whom are taking longer to adapt to the change.

      These players don’t seem to like the idea of him taking charge especially as at the moment he is having a poor spell. I then suggested that he should be rested so that he can further acclimatise to this league.

      Finally, I have not mentioned that Sarri should be sacked either and suggested that we should be patient.
      Time will tell.

      We should not let the agenda driven pundits confuse us. It’s what they do. I am fortunate enough to be able to watch all these games live and not online or TV so I don’t get influenced by pundits. I have supported Chelsea since 1965 long before FIFA Manager and the like.

      The fans must stay together and continue to support the club through thick and thin.

      These exchanges are good to try to understand each other so I don’t get offended.

      • Since 1965. Wow.. big respects … I didn’t mean to offend you… But am just tired of all the criticism,where u win u are good when u lose Everything is wrong.. in my opinion we are lucky to be in 4th and the players have done great to adapt so quickly..first lets get a world class striker (or atleast an ex world class ) let the system run with all the players needed…. . If these problems continue after we signed Higuain… Then let’s introspect more… Ur observations of players discontent is very astute… But positionin is the cornerstone of sari ball. Jorginho will keep Barkin instructions until sarri is our manager… There is no other way abt it will continue…it’s very important too… Players have to put their ego aside and work as team… For sarri there is nothing wrong in coming to the toughest and most physical league in the world and lose to the top six teams.. with barely 1 month preseason and just 6 months in the job..and having to completely change our title winning team with counterattckin mentality….to ball possession based game……..For now everything is perfect… We need a striker badly…a proper no.9…. no more false nines 🙂

    • Th aloo, what r you saying how can you defend Sarri a dead man walking after our defeat to Spuds on Thursday he’s gone we don’t need him at Chelsea fc

  • Yes we need a proper number nine who delivers with goals.

    We also need fire in the bellies of our players and loud support from the fans. The stadium needs to rock!!!

    False nine is exactly that, false.

    In our case, a complete and utter waste of time.

  • Hi Navid,

    Unfortunately I am new to your blog,( my apologies). Kindly allow me to offer my thoughts on our Team.(I’am a staunch Chelsea fan living in Ghana, West Africa)

    Sarri is very good coach, that being said like most good coaches he exteremly believes in the system he employs and hence his intransigence. the problem as i see it is that Sarri does not all 18 players he requires to play the system he wishes to employ. Allow me to make a quick analysis of how Pep changed Man city into his team.
    He spent millions of pounds to bring in full backs who will not hug touch lines all the time, but also contribute effectively in playing as inverted midfielders. Pep is also a one philosophy coach, the difference is that he has been supported to acquire all the talents in the world to play the way he wants to play. People complain Sarri plays Hazard & Kante out of positions, Pep played Cesc as a false nine in Barca( he was the brains behind making messi a false nine. Messi’s goal scoring form would have been nowhere near if it wasn’t for the tactical switch), he plays both Silvas in central midfield. That would have been unconceivable to most world class coaches and us football fans, but look at how they thrive in those “unorthodox positions”

    Jorginho is a good player (personally i think Cesc could have played that role better), however being new to a phyiscally imposing league he is struggling. Sarri determination to keep hold of Cesc painted a picture that he prefers a more technical player in the hub of midfield. I can understand that, however the issue with the system is that of Kante. Brilliant as CDM, he does not posses the techincal ability to operate as a regista or deep lying playmaker. I have read and heard some opinions that suggest playing Kante & Jorginho in a two man midfield.I strongly believe that will not work, this is because Sarri wants midfield runners into channels opened up by our wingers moving infield. A two man midfield will stifle that.

    Kante remains a very strange problem for Sarri, he is not the box 2 box player he requires although he gives his best effort every match. RLC is the man to play on the right. Sarri just cannot play him every match because that will mean benching Kante & he knows us Chelsea fans will kill him if he dares do that. Just like Sarri i do not have a working solution to fix the Kante/Jorginho conundrum. dropping Jorginho means a changing the way we play whilst dropping Kante will attract the wrath of the footballing universe.

    Our main problem is with goalscoring, Its been mooted that Higuian is on his way(i remain skeptical), but if he is able to rekindle the type of Napoli form then we should be able to make top 4. Willian is my problem, he seems a little bit of form.( why Hudson Odoi isnt being given starts still baffles me). Our system is largely very narrow and predictably slow. Hudson Odoi is a breathe of very fresh air, he has ridiculous pace, great with both feet and a capable crosser of the ball. he needs to replace Willian in the line up & Pedro can come in as a sub.

    In Defence, Luiz seems to catch most of the attention, but i think our problemis rather Rudiger, kudos to him for playing with all the confidence you will expect from a German defender, but his tackles can be reckless, offside position questionable . I will love to see both Ampadu & Christensen giving more of a look in. they both are comfortable on the ball, make up for their lack of physicality by being more intelligent.

    Come on you Blues.

    P.S we need Icardi and an able replacement for Jorginho. plus a backup right back

    • Kanye can play anywhere…. He is the perfect box to box midfielder… He is playing brilliantly since the start of the season… rotating the ball well…quick one touch passing…. Makin runs into spaces…. Beating players with the ball…. Even scored a few goals I guess… We are so lucky to have him in the team he has so much skills … If he plays only DM it’s waste of his skills and potential

Comments are closed.