Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri questioned the mentality of his players after Chelsea’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal on Saturday and Danny Mills insists Sarri is right to expect more from his players.
Speaking in Italian after Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, Sarri said: “I’d prefer to come in here to talk about the tactics, about why we lost from a tactical point of view, but the fact is it appears this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate.
“It seems to me that, as a group of players, they’re not aggressive from a mental point of view.
“They don’t have a ferocity in their mentality. That’s down to their characteristics. It’s difficult to change.”
Mills has now backed Sarri’s criticism of his players by saying players have got to put in an effort even if they don’t believe in the manager’s methods.
“As a player, even if you don’t quite believe in what the manager is doing, you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to put the effort in,” Mills said on Sky Sports.
“You’ve got to put the effort in at training and you’ve got to give one hundred per cent every single time.
“It’s a tough accusation to say they weren’t motivated. That probably comes out of frustration as much as anything. You can tell when he spoke in Italian. He didn’t want to speak in English because he wanted to get how frustrated and annoyed he was across to the media and the players.”
Mills also added that it was a last resort to criticize your own players publicly if they haven’t responded to other methods.
“It’s a last resort to come out and criticise your players publicly,” said Mills. “You’ve tried in training, you’ve tried to sort things out, you’ve told them time and time again and they haven’t responded.
“So as a last resort you go ‘okay, maybe if I say to the world they’re not putting a shift in, they may start thinking it’s their attitude or whatever it is, and it might just give them that little bit of extra impetus to go and perform’.
“It’s not quite desperation stakes but it’s not far from it to try and get some sort of reaction.
“It can go one of two ways. Some players react incredibly well. (Didier) Drogba thrived on pressure, every time he was criticised that made him step up.
“Jose Mourinho said when he was at Manchester United that some players asked not to be criticised because they couldn’t handle it in front of the group.
“So you’ve got be aware in this day and age of different mentalities from individual players.
“Gone are the days when you can just blanket cover everybody and treat everybody the same.
“It doesn’t happen and maybe Sarri is trying to learn a little bit about his players, what makes them work and how he can get the best out of them.”