By Tim Harrison
If love means never having to say you’re Sarri, Chelsea’s new manager Maurizio – appointed late, but keen as mustard – will have to show plenty to striker Alvaro Morata.
The Spaniard was subbed in Nice in the friendly win, on pens, against Inter; his hesitancy in front of goal all too evident.
But he is still expected to start up front against Man City at the weekend in the Community Shield, despite signs that the nagging self-doubt which afflicted the final third of last season hasn’t gone.
Encouragingly, the Blues’ crop of young hopefuls have been told by the new gaffer that the right attitude will ensure first-team breaks.
Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi played against Inter, as did 18-year-old Polish keeper Marcin Bulka, sending a strong signal to all the successful U18 FA Cup holders that they have a genuine chance of advancement.
While it’s been a fractured summer for everyone, it’s been particularly tough for the Blues after they needlessly spun out the Tony Conte departure saga.
Sarri has to put that messiness behind him as he works to galvanise a side which now boasts two World Cup winners, several want-away superstars and a host of undecideds still waiting to assess the new man in charge.
A good showing against City would steady the nerves ahead of the first league fixture away to Huddersfield.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
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