Just like Pep Guardiola in Manchester City, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has struggled in his first season in charge of a Premier League club. Sarri is reportedly one or two games away from losing his job as Chelsea boss but how does Sarri’s first season in England compare to Guardiola’s first season in England?
According to Opta, Sarri has actually had a better first season in England compared to Guradiola’s first season in charge of Manchester City. Due to Manchester City’s dominance last season and their dominant play overall this season, it’s easy for many to forget that Guardiola had a very difficult first season in England.
According to Opta, Sarri has more wins in his first 43 games when compared to Guardiola. Following Chelsea’s 3-0 Europa League victory over Malmo on Thursday, Sarri has won 28 of his first 43 games in charge of Chelsea in all competitions (D6 L9), one more than Pep Guardiola managed in his first 43 with Manchester City (W27 D9 L7).
Chelsea hired Sarri to change the brand of football at Stamford Bridge but it seems Sarri might not have more time at Chelsea like Guardiola had at Manchester City if the Blues lose against Manchester City on Sunday or Tottenham on Wednesday.
Chelsea fans are unimpressed with Sarri’s tactical inflexibility. The Italian insists on playing his 4-3-3 formation despite the team’s poor run of form and uses the same substitutions during games regardless of the result. Mateo Kovacic for Ross Barkley or vice versa tops the list of substitutions between two players in the Premier League this season. Pedro for Willian or vice versa is also among the top three in the league.
It’s easy to forget how Guardiola actually struggled in his first season in England. Manchester City actually failed to win a game for a month in Guardiola’s first season in charge. City drew with Celtic, lost to Tottenham, Drew with Everton, lost to Barcelona, Drew with Southampton and lost to Manchester United. That’s a month of football without a win.
With Chelsea’s 3-0 (5-1 on aggregate) win over Malmo, Sarri’s job is safe for now and results must improve quickly if he sees himself as Chelsea’s long-term manager.
Do you think Sarri can turn Chelsea into title challengers if he’s given time like Guardiola at Manchester City?