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Maurizio Sarri’s Sarri-ball has been called into question as Chelsea are beginning to lose steam at a vital phase of the season.

Chelsea started the season pretty well, and the Blues were unbeaten until suffering a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur back in November, and it’s been downhill from there for the Blues.

It couldn’t have gotten any worse on Wednesday night as Chelsea lost to Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium – Chelsea’s worst defeat in the Premier League in 22 years.

Fans have lost hope on Sarri-ball, and pundits are questioning Sarri’s style of play. But the Italian has pleaded for patience, and has urged everyone to remember that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola were given time after struggling in their first seasons at their respective clubs.

“I want to remember that Klopp in Liverpool was in the middle of the table [in his first season], the situation is clear,” said Sarri.

“There are three teams above the other, in those the coach had five years, the other four and the other three. They were really patient and we need to work to change the mentality and go on.”

Sarri, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Huddersfield on Saturday, has revealed that he has a difficult job of changing the players’ mentality. Sarri revealed that the players are used to counterattacking football, and are finding it hard to adapt to his possession style of play.

He said: “I think my football is about co-operation so I have to speak to my players and involve them in my football more than we are doing at the moment.

“Now, we have the mentality for during the match but we have to improve in our reaction and in the offensive phase. We have a lot of individual players so it’s not easy to change in four or five months. In the last match we reacted very well in the first half, but then we closed spaces ourselves because we stayed too tight with the three offensive players so it was easy for the defenders to defend against us. Sometimes we have to stay high and wide, we have to go inside to receive the ball, not stay inside.

“Now we have some problems to score and we are working on this. The reason is [against Bournemouth] we played with four or five players with their backs to the opposition goal. We have to go there to receive the ball, we need to receive the ball on the run, not receive it there with our backs to goal, so we have to improve in this. But it’s not a big problem, it’s a tactical problem, and I like it very much when I can speak to my players about tactical problems. I don’t like it when I have to speak about mental problems.

“They were used to playing counter attacks so they could drive the ball, now we have to change but it’s a long way. I’m trying to change the mentality. I want to be in control of the match. I want to score goals and have the right reaction if we concede. We were in control of the match for 45 minutes and then after two minutes of the second half we conceded a goal. We have to start again from kick-off and play again. We only have to play.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.