After just one season, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is leaving the club in favor of a move back to Italy with reigning Serie A champions, Juventus. Having already established a name for himself as a manager with Italian powerhouses Napoli, Sarri is returning to familiar territory as he now looks toward a very successful future with theOld Lady.
This surprising moves comes off the back of a mixed season at Chelsea, having taken over Antonio Conte who had provided 2 major trophies in 2 years, including the 2016-17 Premier League title. Starting the season 5-0-0, many had tipped Chelsea to challenge for the title this year and although they finished 3rd in the league, they were quite a long way from the runaway leaders Liverpool and Manchester City. A dreadful loss of form which included a 0-4 battering at the hands of AFC Bournemouth and the Kepa sub refusal saga led many fans and pundits to believe that his time with the club was going to be cut short.
Fans were particularly bothered by the misuse of N’golo Kante on the right of a 4-3-3 system in the midfield and the statistical ineffectiveness of Sarri’s favorite player, Jorginho. But Sarriball stayed and Sarriball started to work a bit better. Led by the mightily impressive Eden Hazard, Chelsea did enough to please supporters and have them excited for next year in the Champions League, having topped North London rivals Arsenal in this year’s Europa League final.
With a European trophy under his belt, Sarri leaves a team that is currently facing a transfer ban and has lost their superstar in Eden Hazard. With the arrival of Christian Pulisic still confirmed, Chelsea have much to be excited about but also much to worry about. Chelsea are now unable to buy players and are also on the lookout for a new manager who wants to take over for the club under these circumstances.
From Sarri’s standpoint, he may finally taste league title success wit Juventus, the team his Napoli side have always been stumped by in the league. At the helm of the Turin club now, his job expectations have grown even more now, with winning the league title becoming more of a task than a goal. With a player like Cristiano Ronaldo at his disposal, Sarri’s true focus will be on this upcoming Champion’s League campaign, after disappointing losing out to Ajax last season.
In all, his first season in England was a success and Chelsea fans mostly approve despite some major hiccups along the way … good job Sarri and have fun going back to smoking on the Italian pitches.
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer (@DiefDorf)