Sarri: I’ll gamble on using more of my players to last pace at top
Maurizio Sarri had warned Chelsea supporters to be prepared for a bumpy ride during his first three months as head coach.
With Sarri’s team heading into today’s game against Crystal Palace still unbeaten in all competitions, those Blues fans may well be getting excited about just how good things could get if this is meant to be the rocky patch.
But, with a long winter ahead, Sarri has acknowledged that he will have to change his approach in the Premier League if Chelsea are going to last the course.
Ahead of this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, only Wolverhampton Wanderers had used fewer players than Chelsea.
The 19 players Sarri has used in the Premier League is the same as Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Unai Emery at Arsenal. Manchester City have used 20, Manchester United 22 and Tottenham Hotspur 23. But there are key differences in the way Sarri has shared out the minutes between his players.
Eight Chelsea players are on 1,000 minutes or more. The figure is seven for Liverpool. But Emery was yet to give any of the 19 Arsenal players he has used 1,000 minutes or more, and only three Tottenham players have reached that threshold. Six City players hit 1,000 over the first 10 games in comparison to United’s four.
Sarri recognises that he will soon be forced to trust more of his players.
“Of course, if you look at December and January, you need to change also in the Premier League because we will play every three days in the Premier League,” he said.
Sarri was criticised for a lack of rotation in Italy, as Napoli twice made lightning-fast starts only to stumble in the second half of the season.
Sarri says: “When I arrived here the gap was 30 points, so the first step is to try and cover the gap.
“Then we can try to think something different.”
Calling the changes: Maurizio Sarri will use more players