Emmanuel Petit admits he fears the worst for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea and sees worrying similarities between the Italian and the troubled last months under Jose Mourinho.
The Italian is under huge pressure at Stamford Bridge after watching the 2017 Premier League champions fold in a 6-0 rout to the current champions Man City at the weekend.
And speaking in his role as Paddy Power ambassador, former Chelsea midfielder Petit has listed a number of failures the Italian has made at Stamford Bridge.
“Over the last few games, I have seen some things on the pitch that makes me wonder why Maurizio Sarri wants to keep going with his current approach,” Petit told Paddy Power. “Sarri said he is a strong man, that he has a vision for the team and will ignore the critics, especially in relation to Jorginho and N’Golo Kante. He said that he would stick to his guns. I understand and I appreciate that – I respect it – but I think he has forgotten something very important: he doesn’t have to convince the press or the fans, he has to convince his players. And for the moment it’s difficult to believe his players are confident about the way they play and the way he wants them to play.”
Petit fears Chelsea may have reached a nadir against City that Sarri may not recover from and continued: “What I saw on Sunday against Manchester City said it all: poor performances individually and collectively; no rage on the pitch; the body language. Sarri said himself he didn’t know whether or not he could motivate his team.
“In terms of communication, the last few weeks have been bad for him. What he did after the City game – not shaking Pep Guardiola’s hand – showed a lack of respect. So, I think he’s in big trouble mentally, and he’s in big trouble when it comes to showing his players he’s still the right man.”
Petit continued: “Should Sarri be sacked right now? When Roman Abramovich feels the pressure like this, he doesn’t dwell on feelings, he just cuts down the tree. He did it with Jose Mourinho and he did it with Antonio Conte after winning the Premier League, so he will have no emotion about doing the same with Sarri.
“If the next result is a bad result, that could be the last game for him.”
Petit believes Sarri has a right to feel nervous and Petit, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, sees strong comparisons between Sarri and the last months of Mourinho’s second spell in charge.
“I understand that a manager has to stick with his views and opinions, even sometimes against his own players’ thinking – because maybe he’s right – but I’m sure that Sarri is very nervous. His body language in a recent press conference showed this, as did what he did with Guardiola on Sunday. Things like this shouldn’t happen, and when they do you show everyone – fans, journalists, players – that you’re losing the plot. It reminds me a bit of the dark times under Jose Mourinho.”
Emmanuel Petit is a Paddy Power ambassador. To read more visit https://news.paddypower.com/