Sarri: I’ll gam­ble on us­ing more of my play­ers to last pace at top

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Matt Law

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

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