Are Chelsea going under the radar?

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Unbeaten in the league so far and two points off top-spot, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea are flying high. Yet, the blues have seemingly flown unnoticed.

Dropping just six points in the league so far, Chelsea have acclimatized well to Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy. Whilst still attempting to get to grips with how the incoming boss wants to play, the Chelsea squad have more than matched title contenders Liverpool and Man City’s scintillating start to the season.

Switching from previous boss, Antonio Conte’s, 3-5-2 formation to Sarri’s structured, balanced 4-3-3, Chelsea have made the transition seamless.
When Maurizio Sarri first walked into the door at Cobham, the club were still reeling from the Conte fiasco. Just a few days previous, the Italian was sacked just after a few days of pre-season, with the former Napoli manager facing the task of turning around an already hampered preparation to the upcoming season.
Personnel wise, there was significant unrest among the players, after enduring fractious relationships with the previous management, many players were looking elsewhere. Star players Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard were pushing to go to Real Madrid. However, almost instantly, Sarri managed to settle the squad and ensure the players brought into his style of football.
The impact of incoming assistant, Gianfranco Zola, had on the players and supporters cannot be underestimated. Bringing in a former Chelsea legend, aided the task of galvanizing the club, building a sudden connection between the supporters and the management staff.
Under the new regime, the team remain structured in and out of possession, playing with constant width and discipline in all positions, replicating Sarri’s Napoli team that flourished in Serie A. A clear concept of playing has enabled young English talents such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley to break through and be given added responsibility within the team.

Bringing in his former ally from Napoli in Jorginho, it has given the side more control in possession and are able to dominate games for sustained periods of time through ball retention. Playing within a set structure has allowed Chelsea undoubted jewel in the crown, Eden Hazard, to blossom in the early parts of the campaign. Given a license to roam has allowed the Belgian to find himself in more dangerous areas, where he can add more goals and assists to his game.

Despite the feel good factor returning to the Blue side of London, Manchester City and Liverpool are snatching all the acclaim and are deemed as the favorites to win the title.

Perhaps due to being more expressive managers and are proven within Europe’s elite, Klopp and Guardiola have had years to adapt with their respective clubs. Before his stint at Napoli, Maurizio Sarri was largely unknown to the footballing world. Although he has managed  nineteen clubs, with a managerial career spanning over twenty-eight years, a lack of trophies has hindered him from reaching the top sooner.

Maybe because of  his extroverted style and his unique man management, Jurgen Klopp has received widespread praise since entering the Premier League. Yet, he only has a fifty-five percent win rate; it is feasible to suggest that due to Sarri, a more subdued man on the touchline, Chelsea do not get the attention they deserve. He doesn’t shout from the rooftops or does anything spectacular to the general public, but through almost three decades of experience, he is a man who knows how to maximize a player’s potential and push a collective in the same direction.
Although entering into a precarious environment, which was plunged into a period of instability, Sarri has cultivated a squad to adapt immediately to his methods. Finding a perfect balance in his favoured four-three-three system, the former Napoli Boss has found a way to allow each player to thrive, making his start to life as a Premier League Manager all the more remarkable.
Whilst the likes of City and Liverpool are grabbing the headlines, Chelsea are perfectly satisfied in flying under the radar to prize the Premier League Crown.
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About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

2 Comments

  1. Agreed. I think that will be the acid test. Should Chelsea win, it would be great for the league.