A lot of drama has centred around Chelsea this month of February, from Chelsea’s embarrassing defeats to Bournemouth and Manchester City, to also losing to Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round at home.
After the loss to United, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s job seemed to be under threat, and senior members of the Chelsea board were thought to have had a meeting discussing the future of the Italian. It was then reported that the Chelsea manager was given an ultimatum for Chelsea’s next three games against Malmo, Manchester City and Tottenham.
While Chelsea convincingly defeated Malmo 3-0, the Blues lost to Manchester City in the FA Cup final but only on penalties in what was a very difficult game. Chelsea played really well against a City side that had beaten them 6-0 just two weeks before the clash, and both sides had to settle for the luck of penalties, with City going on to win 4-3 in the shootout.
Another drama that ensued this February was Kepa Arrizabalaga’s refusal to leave the pitch during extra time after Sarri decided to sub off the Spaniard for Willy Caballero – an action that put the club in bad light.
Sarri spoke about all these in his press conference ahead of the Tottenham clash and he also revealed that he has a good relationship with the club, and the Italian isn’t expecting to lose his job.
“I spoke with Marina this week, before the final, just for good luck. I spoke to Marina after the match about the Kepa situation. My relationship with the club is like before,” Sarri said.
“The goalkeeper is not a problem. He made a big mistake, but he is really a very nice boy. There is only one difficulty: the results. The atmosphere in the training ground is now very good. The application of the players is better than before.
“I think Willy Caballero is a very good goalkeeper and he’s a great man. He is a point of reference in the dressing room for his personality, for his behaviour, for everything.
“He has the maturity to be ready for anything. The problem now is to have results with consistency. We know the situation. It’s difficult to play every three days with the same mental intensity.
“It’s not easy because, usually, we talk about physical condition, that it is very difficult to play every three days. But the big problem is mental, to play every match with the same level of application and determination is very difficult.
“We have to do it tomorrow because this is a very important match. A very difficult match. Tottenham are playing very well away from home. It’s not easy to play with the same level of application as in the last match because, mentally, we spent a lot in the match on Sunday.”