Maurizio Sarri manager of Chelsea

Motivating the motivator

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Maurizio Sarri, manager of Chelsea checks the time on his watch. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Chelsea’s overpaid superstars needed a good kick up the Arsenal from the manager after last weekend’s flabby, lethargic defeat to the Gunners.

But without training from a contortionist, it’s very difficult for Morrie Sarri to administer the same to himself.

If tactical predictability ever becomes a criminal offence, he’ll find himself in chokey.

Yet the chance of redemption has been presented on a plate with Sheffield Wednesday’s visit to the Bridge in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Whether imported striker Gonzalo Higuain starts or not, it’s a chance for Sarri to by-pass players he says he cannot inspire and give younger, hungrier squad members a turn.

Sarri spent the Arsenal match alternately with head in hands in the technical area, then turning, open-armed, to deputy Gianfranco Zola in despair.

Reverting to Italian after the 2-0 capitulation at the Emirates was, he said, a way of achieving clarity. But at this rate, the next words he’s likely to hear will be loud, angry and in Russian.

Moaning that his players are difficult to motivate makes a compelling case for ditching the motivator.

The Gunners and United are breathing down the Blues’ necks in the league... but a spirited cup win against the Owls would restore some faith. Then it’s Bournemouth and Huddersfield.

If players earning £1m a month can’t be bothered to turn up, fans may be motivated to do the same.

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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