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Sarri kicking against pricks


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Sarri kicking against pricks

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LONDON – Maurizio Sarri was left picking over the bones of Chelsea’s FA Cup exit against Manchester United yesterday as the odds shortened on him suffering the same fate as Luiz Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas in failing to last a season as Blues manager.

The chastening 2-0 defeat for the holders on Monday night, which provoked boos from the home faithful at fulltime, offered yet more

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DIARY

ATHLETICS

Coleridge & Parry inter-house championships at the National Stadium – 9:30 a.m.

CRICKET

First One-Day International between West Indies and England at

Kensington Oval – 11 a.m.

ammunition for those who say the Italian was not the man to replace Antonio Conte.

As he has done after similar setbacks, the former Napoli boss spoke candidly after the game – but rather than offer clarity his comments muddied the water.

Don’t understand

Admitting that his players do not completely understand what he wants from them a full seven months into his reign hardly inspires confidence in his methods from the fans, the club’s hierarchy or those in the dressing room.

“Not completely at the moment because, especially in a situation like the second half, we have to move the ball faster mentally and materially,” Sarri told reporters when asked whether his message was getting across.

“We need more movements without the ball and less individual actions.”

After defeat at Arsenal last month, Sarri said his players were “difficult to motivate”. Earlier in the season, after a limp defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, he turned his ire on N’Golo Kante, suggesting the twice Premier Leaguewinning midfielder lacked the technical attributes to play in his favoured central role.

Head coach Sarri has also claimed Belgium forward Eden Hazard, instrumental in Chelsea’s Premier

Risky move

Considering both are playing in their less-favoured positions to accommodate the socalled possession-based “Sarri-ball” system – a fact bemoaned by most fans – criticising them looks risky. On Monday, Chelsea supporters joined in with Manchester United fans’ chants of “Getting sacked in the morning”. Sarri’s side were outplayed by a United whose season has gone in a very different direction since Mourinho was sacked as manager in December.

“I’m worried about the results, not the fans,” Sarri said in response to their angry reaction to a defeat which came barely a week after a 6-0 hammering at Manchester City.

Sarri’s side face Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League last 32 clash tomorrow, and three days later take on Pep Guardiola’s City again in the League Cup final at Wembley before a home Premier League clash with Tottenham. (Reuters)

MAURIZIO SARRI is under pressure to retain his job at Chelsea. (Reuters Picture.)

League title-winning sides under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte and last year’s FA Cup triumph, lacks leadership qualities.

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