Too many left wingers not a problem for Sarri as he swats away Englishness question


Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was in as relaxed a mood as you may have seen him after last night’s 3-0 win over Brighton.

What little ambition the Seagulls and was easily contained by his new look and younger Blues starting XI. Referring probably more to Callum Hudson-Odoi than the outstanding Andreas Christensen, he praised the willingness to defend of his youngsters, including both the above as well as goalscorer Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

“It’s very important to have three offensive players able to defend otherwise the balance of the team is a problem.”

On Loftus-Cheef individually, he singled out the goalscorer’s ability to resume daily training after a back issue as the reason why fans saw the best of him on Wednesday.

“In the last twenty days, he was able to train everyday He played very well and scored a wonderful goal. After 75 minutes, he had a little problem with his hamstring. Nothing serious.”

Sarri however showed his real class when swatting away a press question about whether Hudon-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek being English made them extra important to the fans.

In a year when Chelsea have really struggled to shake off the small remaining neanderthal element among their support, Sarri had the perfect answer to a question that could have been a PR disaster in less experienced hands.

Asked if Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi’s Englishness made them more important to the fans, Sarri gave a perfect football answer:

“I think it’s important that Callum, Ruben and Christensen who’s not English, but is the same because he’s a player from our Academy, so it’s really very very important for the club, for the technical staff, and for the fans I think.”

For the Italian manager and for the West London club’s growing worldwide base of fans, it’s clearly only Chelsea that counts. On the field his problem is more with the left wing. He has an embarrassment of riches.

“The best of Callum is on the left. The best of Hazard is on the left. The best of Willian is on the left. But I have only one left. I’m sorry!

“Two of the three can play of course, but one has to adapt his game to the right side as Callum did for 90 minutes.”

More deeply, you could read into this that the emergence of Hudson-Odoi makes the departure of Willian or even Hazard a little more palatable, but Hazard still appears to be the best thing Chelsea have and there may not be another player in the world of any age or nationality, that can do what the Belgian does as well as he does it.


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