Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri called out his players publicly after the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.
Despite dominating possession, Chelsea never looked like threatening Arsenal and after the defeat, Sarri criticized the players for lacking motivation.
“I have to say, I’m extremely angry. Very angry indeed,” Sarri said.
“This defeat was due to our mentality, more than anything else.
“This is something I can’t accept.
“This group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.”
Former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has warned Sarri that criticizing the players publicly after the defeat could have a negative effect on the team. Hislop believes the criticism should have be done privately.
“You can only assume [he’s looking for a reaction] at this point, but I just don’t get it,” Hislop told ESPN FC.
“You can say that in the dressing room to the players in that confined space.
“You can say it in the video session on Monday morning, wherever it is you decide to address these issues.
“From the time you go to the media and say this and put it out in public like that, I can’t see how it does anything but have a negative effect.
“Say it in the dressing room and then go out to the press and say: ‘I love this team, we battled hard.’
“Throw out all the cliches you want, but to do it this way has a bad effect.”
We won’t have to wait too long to see the effect of Sarri’s public criticism of his players after the defeat to Arsenal as the Blues will face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Thursday on Stamford Bridge. Chelsea lost the first leg 1-0 at Tottenham.
Sarri will be hoping the signing of Gonzalo Higuain this week will improve results for Chelsea with the Blues now only three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal.
Higuain spent the first half of the campaign on loan at AC Milan after Juventus deemed him surplus to requirement following the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
Higuain worked with Sarri at Napoli and is keen to reunite with Sarri again at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have agreed a deal for Higuain with Juventus and with AC Milan close to signing a replacement, Higuain is expected to complete his move to Chelsea this week in time for the Carabao Cup game against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
The signing of Higuain will see Alvaro Morata leave the club with Atletico Madrid his likely destination.