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Maurizio Sarri has rebuffed criticisms for rebuking his players in the press and has insisted that what he told the media, he also told the players in their face.

Sarri slammed the players’ mentality and motivation after the 2-0 loss to Arsenal where the Gunners bossed Chelsea all game long.

After the open criticisms of his players, the Chelsea manager was as well criticised by pundits and insisted that he should have done it in-house.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks insisted that it was a wrong approach by Sarri.

Crooks told BBC: “When is it legitimate for a manager to criticise his players in public?

“Maurizio Sarri felt the time was right after Chelsea’s lamentable performance against Arsenal on Saturday. Both his predecessors at Chelsea, Mourinho and Conte, had no problem whatsoever telling the media exactly what they thought about their players, whether they were good, bad or indifferent.

“What I’ve never come to terms with is, why? Why is it necessary for managers to criticise players in public when they can do it in private?”

Sarri has however set things straight and insisted that he didn’t attack his players but only explained to journalists the reason for the poor performance.

He said: “I discussed it with the players after the match. They agreed with me. I said to them the same things as I said in the press conference. It’s not a big problem. I want to be direct with them, in private and in public.

“I didn’t attack my players. I only explained to the journalists my problem. They are very good boys, with this little problem I can help them with.

“I also have the responsibility for their mental point of view. The performance was my fault of course, but I said I was in trouble because it is very difficult to motivate them. I didn’t want to attack them.

“If we have a problem, we have to discuss the problem, try and find a reason for the problem,” added Sarri.

“We have to do something to improve it. Why do I need to keep it a secret?

“We are changing something in training, and in the pre-match. We are trying to do our best.”

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