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Monday, September 24, 2018
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Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea? Italian offers prospect of exciting football

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Could Maurizio Sarri be the next manager of Chelsea? It would be exciting
The appointment of Maurizio Sarri could see Chelsea play the football that many at Stamford Bridge are desperate to see, writes Adam Bate.

It is difficult to be certain whether social media has exacerbated the appetite for change or merely given it a voice. What is clear is that there is rampant excitement at the prospect of Maurizio Sarri replacing Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager. Avatars and Twitter handles have already been altered in his honour. Announce Sarri, they demand in their droves.

Yes, it can be a strange old place and a 59-year-old former banker with a long history of unsavoury behaviour makes for an even stranger youth icon, but Sarri has something they want. He has a knack for producing the flowing football that Chelsea fans feel they are being denied. There is a craving for change and Sarri offers it in spades, triangles and transitions.

When Sarri replaced Conte

The story of Arezzo’s 2006/07 season when they sacked Antonio Conte for Maurizio Sarri only to rehire Conte soon after.

Jose Mourinho’s comments after the FA Cup final could easily be dismissed as the musings of a man who would say just about anything to deflect attention away from his own team’s inadequacies. Even so, his words after watching Chelsea stifle Manchester United on the way to a 1-0 win at Wembley will still have struck a chord with those who once adored him.

“I am quite curious to know what you say or what people write,” said Mourinho. “Because if my team plays like Chelsea did, I can imagine what people would say.” It was the sort of half-truth that most managers dabble in and the Portuguese has turned into an art form but these are the barbs that often sting the most. Chelsea were anything but thrilling.

It would be rather trickier for Mourinho to direct such criticism at his former club if Sarri were to take over at Stamford Bridge. In European football, only his old foe Pep Guardiola is quite so lauded for his style of play. It is no coincidence that the Manchester City head coach has been effusive in his praise of the football being played by Sarri’s Napoli side.

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