Things have not been going Sarri’s way recently. His Chelsea side lost 2-0 at Arsenal, followed by an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth. Today’s 6-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City was the heaviest defeat Chelsea have suffered in their Premier League history.
Sergio Aguero and co. dominated Sarri’s men and spectacularly banished them to 6th place in the Premier League. Knowing the Chelsea management team, plans are probably already being made for the Italian’s manager successor as I write this. Who can they pick for the top job this time? A couple of other footballing giants might already have shown the way for Chelsea.
A major issue Sarri mentioned, in what was most likely the rant of the year, is the trouble he has motivating Chelsea’s stars every week. Mourinho and Conte had the same problem before him at Stamford Bridge, although they did manage to win the league before experiencing these issues.
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Manchester United have endured the exact same problem recently. Jose Mourinho, though gifted an expensively assembled top quality squad, failed to motivate his players to perform at a high level consistently. The solution Ed Woodward found to this problem was to bring in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former United legend, who was already familiar with the ins and outs of the club, having been part of it’s history when they were at the top of the World.
Real Madrid have also shown how putting ex-legends in the hot seat can deliver results quickly. Zinedine Zidane took over from Benitez in 2016 and won three consecutive Champions Leagues. Santiago Solari was tapped in after Lopetegui failed to deliver results last year and has since steadied the ship, with Madrid still in contention in Europe and La Liga.
Need more examples? How about Pep Guardiola’s trophy-laden years from 2008 to 2012 with Barcelona?
Who do Chelsea currently have who fits that description? Well, Frank Lampard of course.
The Englishman has been coaching Derby County in the Championship. His side is still in contention for promotion to the Premier League. In the EFL Cup, Lampard’s side eliminated his former mentor Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. Southampton was another Premier League team to bite the dust against The Rams, this time in the FA Cup. Overall, Lampard has not been doing too bad in his first season as manager.
You might be wondering if this is enough experience to manage Chelsea? History says yes it is.
Zidane had only coached Madrid’s youth team and had one year as Ancelotti’s assistant before taking over at Madrid. Solari has even less experience. Solskjaer has only had success in the Norwegian league with Molde. He was relegated with Cardiff City and then fired when he failed to deliver in the Championship. Pep Guardiola only coached the Barcelona B team before getting the top job.
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The advantage these ex-players have is that they already know what is required to succeed at their respective clubs. The players will also respond better to a manager who has been there and done it at the same club they are playing for. The cherry on the cake is such appointments are very popular with fans.
All this being said, I do hope Sarri manages to change the situation at Chelsea. If not, Frank Lampard might be the perfect choice for the position.
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