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Maurizio Sarri spent just one year at Chelsea, and it was a fairly successful season as he guided Chelsea to a third place finish in the league as well as winning the Europa League and reaching the final of the Carabao Cup.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t a smooth sailing season per se for Sarri as there were sack threats in the course of the season, especially after heavy 6-0 and 4-0 defeats to Manchester City and Bournemouth respectively.
The club were in crisis at that point and Sarri was heavily criticised for being a one-dimensional manager.
Former Chelsea third choice goalkeeper Rob Green has revealed how he had to speak to the Italian bluntly as the rest of the squad were afraid to speak up.
“The lads put their hands up and said, ‘We care a lot’ but they spoke without saying very much,” Green revealed to The Athletic.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘I can’t have this’.
“I turned to Sarri and said, ‘Look, you are in a really difficult position and I understand that because there is stuff going on at this club that I can see, you can see and no one on the outside can see, so I get you’ but all the while I was thinking, ‘I’m going to give him both barrels in a minute’.
“I just spelled it out. I told him, ‘You have no plan B. You’re a transactional kind of manager. The players in the group are not the kind to speak to you like this — they care very much but are scared to say something to you, like I am. I don’t care because what are you going to do — drop me!?’
“I spoke for 15 minutes. A lot of players said afterwards that they enjoyed me saying that: ‘You said what I wanted to say but I couldn’t say it’. Obviously, if they had, it could have affected their place in the team or their future at the club.
“Two of the assistant coaches, Gianfranco Zola and Carlo Cudicini, said something along the lines of, ‘That was brilliant. We’ve been trying but we are in a compromised position as well in that it is a very hierarchical style and there isn’t a lot of feedback coming in return’.
“How did Sarri take it? We were all walking out of the room at the end and he was standing at the door. I was thinking, ‘Oh f***, I’m dead’ but he shook my hand and said, ‘Thank you, that’s the first time anyone has made me think at a meeting’. The thing is, it didn’t change anything.”