Maurizio Sarri was given the target of at least leading Chelsea to a top four spot, and it could be said that the Italian achieved his targets as Chelsea have ended up in third spot and are now sure of playing in the Champions League next season. The Blues reached two finals, but there is still a sense of dissatisfaction in his performance.
However, Sarri’s job was under threat at some point this season, and despite having met his target, rumours still claim that his job isn’t safe.
Chelsea’s performance this season has been full of ups and downs, and former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has put it down to a lack of leaders in the current squad, compared to the Chelsea team he played for that had the likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.
Mikel said: “There may still be plenty of international stars in the Blues squad, but they lack the edge required to challenge for the grandest of prizes, when I watch them now, they’re fantastic players but I don’t see leaders.
“During our time I could scream at Didier Drogba or Lampard. I was 24 or 25 years old but I could voice my opinion and it would be heard. Now when I watch them, there’s no one talking to each other, taking responsibility of being the leader.
“You need that edge and right now that’s what they’re lacking.”
Current Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta met the old guard as he shared the dressing room with the likes of Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic – all great leaders and veterans that have played for the club in the past decade.
Azpilicueta has now been at Stamford Bridge for 7 years, making him one of the most senior players in the current squad, and the 29-year-old is currently serving as Chelsea captain.
The Chelsea captain has revealed that although he is proud to be captain, there’s so much responsibility for him on the job.
“Obviously it’s something I’m very proud of,” Azpilicueta told Chelsea in the interview with Chelsea magazine.
“I already take responsibility on and off the pitch, trying to give my best for the club, for my team-mates, to help to get the targets, but to wear the armband gives you extra responsibility and I always try to do the best I can and help whoever I can.
“I’m one of the most senior players in the squad now. Some of us have been together for quite a long time so I try to help with the experience that we have here, to try to find a way to get the results.”