Chelsea vs Leicester: Maurizio Sarri says clubs ‘are not ready’ for sports psychology after seeing Blues crumble

After Jamie Vardy's smash-and-grab goal in the second half, Chelsea collapsed into panicky disarray

Tom Kershaw
Sunday 23 December 2018 17:22
Comments
Chelsea: A look back at 2018

Maurizio Sarri claimed that football clubs "aren’t ready" for sports psychology after seeing his Chelsea side collapse to their first home defeat in 13 games against Leicester on Saturday.

Chelsea were dominating the match, enjoying almost 80 per cent of possession, up until Jamie Vardy’s smash-and-grab goal after the interval. Yet from thereon, Sarri’s side seemed to completely negate their tactics and abandon his preferred two-touch passing philosophy, instead overcome by a panicked and ultimately wasteful urgency.

After such an imperious start to the season, the result condemned Chelsea to their third defeat in the last four weeks, and afterwards Sarri admitted that the problem is not a physical one, questioning how his side could crumble so significantly after conceding an “unlucky” goal.

But when pushed on whether he might consider using a sports psychologist, Sarri admitted that it was something that he had unsuccessfully experimented with in the past and that he still felt football clubs weren’t ready.

“No [we don’t have one]. Not at the moment, because it’s not easy. I had a sports psychologist 15 years ago in Italy, it was really very difficult because the clubs were not ready in that moment, but I think that they are not ready also in this moment.

“The physical performance, I don’t know the numbers today but in the match against Bournemouth, it was one of the best of the season, maybe the best in quality. I don’t think it’s possible for the physical conditioning to change in two minutes. Today we were very well for 55 minutes and two minutes after the goal we were in trouble so I think there is another reason.

“We lost the match because the reaction after the goal was in the wrong direction, I think we had only to continue. We were in full control of the match. We were dangerous without conceding anything to the opponents so we had only to continue.”

Sarri also stated that he believes Chelsea have too many players in their squad ahead of the January transfer window, particularly in the attacking midfield area. However, he did concede that would allow him to rotate his starting eleven with two London derbies to come in the next seven days – first at Watford, then at Crystal Palace – and guaranteed that Ruben Loftus-Cheek would start in one of those games.

“At the moment we are too many. We have 28 players and it’s impossible to use all of them. I think 25 is the right number.

“You already know my opinion, because I’ve told you in the past. We have a lot of offensive midfielders and we have only [N’Golo] Kante as a defensive midfielder so it’s not easy now for the midfield to have the right balance.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in