Maurizio Sarri turned Napoli into one of Europe’s most exciting sides as he made the Naples club a difficult side to beat, while playing a beautiful brand of passing game that was nicknamed Sarri-ball.
Chelsea then thought it wise to sign the Italian manager after letting go of former boss Antonio Conte. High expectations were placed on Sarri, and few months into the job, Sarri-ball was doing well in the Premier League, with many expecting Chelsea to fight for the title this season.
Chelsea were unbeaten until November in all competitions, and Sarri’s side was dominating games, with the Blues dumping their counterattacking football to play possession football and dominate games with up to 70 percent possession.
However, after the 3-1 loss to Tottenham in November, things started to go downhill for Sarri’s philosophy as teams began to test Chelsea more and more, and Chelsea found it difficult to even create chances in games.
Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s best player this season, but the Belgian has had his highs and lows this season. Already at 12 league goals and 11 assists, this could be Hazard’s best individual season since he moved to Chelsea in 2012.
However, football journalist Guillem Balague doesn’t think Hazard is showing he can adapt to Sarri’s system.
“When you sign Sarri, you know what you’re getting,” he said on his Youtube channel.
“If you believe that he’s your leader, you should help him by getting the players that can suit that style.
“We still haven’t seen that from Chelsea. Let’s see if they actually believe in him and this summer bring not just one Jorginho but more players that can suit him.
“The problem partly has been Hazard, in the sense that [he] doesn’t work fully in the Sarri style.
“Hazard is very individualistic, but at the same time with a lot of quality. So the coach has to decide if you play around him, and Sarri doesn’t wanna do that, he wants a whole collective effort out there, but if that’s the case can Hazard adapt to Sarri? And at the moment we’re not seeing consistent signs of that either.
“So that has been one of the problems.’”