By Sam Reilly – @ManLikeCHO
There is no better word than this to describe the fan base at Chelsea at this moment. You are either in support or against Sarri, with there being no middle ground supposedly. Those who are on the fence are pushed aside for the people who are with Sarri and those who don’t want him at the helm of the team. If someone disagrees with another, you are given the slapped on term of having an agenda and being against the club or Sarri. This is simply not right.
Fans of Chelsea have been through many moments of hardship and many moments of joy as well. Supporters have had to dig deep on a multitude of occasions spanning various managers over the years. But no hardship has been handled with as much visible discontent than this season under Sarri. Away fans were clear in their chants against Sarri and his football at Cardiff last Sunday. These chants were heard on all TV networks, online commentary feeds and radio stations alike. Fans are sick of the football they are seeing on the pitch as well as a lack of rotation and tactical change from the manager.
When Sarri was announced supporters were overwhelmingly positive regarding his
appointment. He was an attacking minded coach who pushed Napoli to an amazing, all be it trophy less, season. He brought Jorginho alongside him who was one of Europe’s most wanted midfielders last summer, with Pep Guardiola practically begging City to get a deal done. The season started positively to back up the fans hopes. A record unbeaten start for a new manager in the Premier League and wins over the likes of Arsenal gave fans a sense of optimism. So when you contrast that to the situation now, it has devolved and decayed into a season where Chelsea are having to put all their eggs into the Europa League basket, seemingly due to disappointing results under Sarri in the league. There are reports amongst senior sources to the club that even a Europa League trophy will not be enough to keep Maurizio Sarri in the job past the summer.
So Chelsea fans are in two minds. They want to see the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi,
Ruben Loftus Cheek and Ethan Ampadu start more games than the measly amount given by Sarri. And there are also multiple Chelsea loanees who have put senior players to shame this year (Reece James, Abraham and Mount). However, there are still a group of fans who want to see Sarri given a full preseason and time to implement his system and succeed. Whatever side of this divide you stand upon, it is clear that we can only support the team that Sarri selects. He is known for his stubbornness so I don’t expect him to change his stance on young players unless the board forces change. But I believe the summer will decide on where Chelsea goes as a club for the future. If they back Sarri nothing would have changed and if Sarri still prefers more experienced heads, we will most likely see likes of Hudson-Odoi depart the club.
Alternatively, the club could sack Sarri and go in a more youth driven direction which fans can agree has the tools at hand to succeed. With a busy end to the season, every game is in a sense a final, so regardless of your opinions on Sarri and the team, back them and chant their names and give them every boost possible so we can finish this season on as much of a high as possible. This may be a brutal hardship to some fans, but there is the sense that a golden age for Chelsea is not too far away from blossoming, we just have to all be patient and await the next move from the board and all involved parties.