Chelsea have appointed Italian Maurizio Sarri as their new manager on Friday, with Gianfranco Zola as his assistant. The 59-year-old will replace the outgoing Antonio Conte as manager of the London club. The former Napoli manager was, bizarrely, replaced by Carlo Ancelotti while still employed by the Neapolitan side.
The appointment brings an end to a very long and drawn out saga which has lasted the entirety of the summer up to now. Sarri is heralded with turning Napoli from a Europa League side into Serie A title contenders. The Italian never brought the Scudetto back to Naples, however, two top two finishes in three years represent a successful tenure.
Style of Play
Sarri was brought in to Napoli in 2015 to replace Rafa Benitez. The Napoli board and fans were both fed up with the Spaniard’s style of play. Sarri has demonstrated an attractive, attacking style of play throughout his management career and certainly brought that to Naples.
His next challenge, Chelsea, face a similar issue after years of boring, results-orientated football. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has often been rumoured to have a vision of a ‘Barcelona in Blue’.
Up to now, almost every Chelsea side, despite being successful, has been painfully boring to watch at times. The appointment of Sarri indicates a desire for the London club to finally implement a style that is pleasing on the eye.
The Controversies of Sarri
The Italian is not a shy man, to be blunt. He was fined €20,000 in 2016 for allegedly hurling a homophobic slur at then Inter Millan manager Roberto Manchini. His response to this allegation was “what happens on the pitch, should stay on the pitch”.
This season, a female reporter asked him if his Napoli side had lost the Scudetto championship, he responded by saying “You’re a woman, so I will not tell you to f*** off”. On top of this, Sarri is often spotted smoking during games.
These actions were controversial in Italy, however, they simply will not be tolerated in the Premier League. Sarri will have to clean up his image or he will become the media’s new punching bag.
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