Chelsea vs Manchester United: Maurizio Sarri insists he is not worried about getting sacked

It was the worst reaction the Stamford Bridge crowd has given a Chelsea manager since Rafa Benitez was in interim charge here six years ago

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Tuesday 19 February 2019 08:03
Maurizio Sarri not concerned about his Chelsea future

Maurizio Sarri insisted that he is not worried about getting sacked as Chelsea manager and not worried about his unpopularity, as his season lurched from bad to worse at Stamford Bridge tonight.

Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Manchester United, their third defeat in three weeks. The home crowd turned on Sarri worse than ever before, singing “you don’t know what you’re doing” at him and also “f**k Sarri-ball”, a clear protest against his methodical style of play.

It was the worst reaction the Stamford Bridge crowd has given a Chelsea manager since Rafa Benitez was in interim charge here six years ago. It raises serious questions about the viability of Sarri’s tenure in this job if the crowd continues to turn against him and his methods.

With Chelsea now facing Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday, the Sarri era at Stamford Bridge is at a crucial juncture. Roman Abramovich has sacked other managers in similar circumstances – Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo – and so Sarri must face the prospect of his own possible dismissal.

But when asked about it in his post-match press conference, Sarri was pointedly relaxed about his situation and his future, insisting that he was “not worried” about the possibility of losing his job within his first season here. He said that the start of his career in the Italian lower leagues was far more worrying: “No. I was really very worried when I was in league two in Italy. Not now.”

Ultimately Sarri knows that his future is out of his hands so he should only focus on things he can control, like coaching the team. He cannot worry too much about what Abramovich is thinking, simply about the League Cup final on Sunday and then the second leg of the Europa League tie with Malmo next week.

“It’s not my problem,” Sarri said of his future. “My problem is to start (preparing) the game tomorrow morning and to work with my players to try and improve in a few days, and find more determination, more aggression. Because we conceded the second goal without determination or aggression.”

But Sarri admitted that he has never been as badly received as he was here, as Chelsea fans audibly turned on him and his methods. Had he ever heard “fuck Sarriball” before? “No. For everything, there is a first time.”

But Sarri said that he could not worry specifically about the fans, simply about results. If results improved, then so would his relation with the fans. He made clear that he “understands” their complaints against him. “I am worried about the results, not about the fans,” he said. “I can understand the situation and our fans, because the result wasn’t really good. We are out of the FA Cup, so I can understand our fans. But I am worried at the moment about our results.”

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