For the first time since becoming Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri criticised Chelsea players in public after the loss to Arsenal.
The team were woeful at the Emirates Stadium and were convincingly beaten 2-0 by a Gunners side that has been short of confidence in recent weeks.
Sarri went in hard on the players in his post match press conference and even had to speak in Italian so he could express himself better as he bashed the players’ poor mentality. Sarri criticised the players in public, insisting that they are hard to motivate and also questioned their mentality.
Many pundits criticised Sarri for calling his players out in public, but ahead of the second leg of Chelsea’s EFL Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Thursday, Sarri has insisted he will continue to publicly criticise his players where necessary.
The Italian also said he has already made changes to how the team approach matches in future.
“When you play against Arsenal or Tottenham, you usually arrive at the match with a very high level of motivation and determination, but we made mistakes also in this kind of match. So, it’s very strange and needs to improve,” said Sarri.
Sarri also revealed that the players took his criticisms very well.
“But they agree with me. I discussed it with the players after the match, and said to them the same things as in the press conference. It’s not a big problem.
“I want to be direct with them in private and in public. I don’t know exactly the reason, or maybe there are 100 reasons. It’s difficult, but we have to improve this.
“For me, it’s very difficult to motivate them. I don’t know why, otherwise it would have been easy for me. We are changing something in training, something in pre-match.
“We are trying to do our best. But, for us, it’s a problem… not always, but even in some very important matches. It’s really very strange.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz also revealed that the players took Sarri’s criticisms really well, despite the fact that he called them out in public.
“He was not happy, but nobody was happy, so it was normal,” said the Brazilian following the defeat at the Emirates.
“It is our style, it is our philosophy, I think if you asked at the beginning of the season can Chelsea keep the ball you would have said no.
“And now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have to improve our last 25 metres.
“It is part of the process, when you try to do something and this is inside your mind, if you believe in it you can arrive there.”