Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri was given the nod to start at left-back against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and the Brazilian born full-back was impressive. He also converted his penalty during the shoot-out.
While Emerson started against Manchester City, there was no space for Marcos Alonso in the matchday squad at Wembley.
In his prematch press conference on Tuesday, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri revealed why Alonso wasn’t on the bench against Manchester City.
“I didn’t want a left-back on the bench,” Sarri revealed.
“It is the same situation with Emerson usually. It depends on the position.”
Sarri also revealed why he has been using Emerson a lot lately.
“In this moment Emerson is doing very well, so I have to use him,” Sarri said.
“It depends on the mental condition, the physical condition. Emerson now is in a very good physical and mental condition.”
Alonso’s form has dropped lately and Sarri was reminded he said earlier this season that left-back could be the best left-back in the world.
Sarri insisted a drop in form can happen to any player.
“It can happen in 11 months you have one or two months not at the top. It’s not a big problem,” Sarri said.
Sarri led Chelsea to an 18-game unbeaten run before the Blues lost to Tottenham in November. Chelsea have struggled for consistency since the loss to Tottenham with the Blues dropping out of the top four.
Asked what has changed since the loss to Tottenham, Sarri said: “At the beginning we had more enthusiasm so we were able to remedy some mistakes.
“Then we played without enthusiasm for a period. Probably we were mentally tired. Of course in the defensive movement we are better now – if we don’t stop defending.
“After the first goal in Manchester [versus City] we stopped defending. Now we are improving, especially in the defensive phase in the last two matches.
“If we are able to have great solidity in the defensive phase we will be able to find consistency.”