Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has laid into his side after their abject 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.
Sarri’s side are now just three points clear of both Arsenal and Manchester United in fourth place, and the Italian let his players know their performance was well below the level he deems acceptable.
Maurizio Sarri has let rip at his Chelsea players following their defeat at the hands of Arsenal
‘I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed,’ he said after full-time, speaking in Italian and using his interpreter to ensure his message got across.
‘This defeat was due to our mentality. I can’t accept it. We had a similar issue against Tottenham in the league. It appears this group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.’
‘From a technical point of view both teams were on the same sort of level, but they had a higher level of determination in both penalty areas, so tactics don’t come into it. I can’t possibly say I am not partly responsible for the defeat. We have to share it.
‘This is not a team that is going to be well known for its battling qualities, but we need to become a team that is capable of adapting, possibly suffering for 10 or 15 minutes, and then playing our own football. Today we didn’t play our own football.’
Chelsea never looked like getting back into it as their rivals made ground in the race for fourth
MAURIZIO SARRI’S RANT IN FULL
On Chelsea’s defeat
I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed. This defeat was due to our mentality more than anything else, our mental approach. I can’t accept that. We had a similar issue in the league game at Tottenham. I thought we’d overcome this issue. The fact is it appears this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate.
On his team’s mentality
It seems to me that, as a group of players, they’re not aggressive from a mental point of view. They don’t have a ferocity in their mentality. That’s down to their characteristics. It’s difficult to change. It could take some time, or it could change with a new player coming in or an older head assuming more responsibility and driving the team on.
On what MUST change
I’m aware this is never going to be a team well known for its battling and fighting qualities. Those aren’t the characteristics that we have.
Today we didn’t play our own football. Our defending ended up with us running backwards rather than pressing further up the pitch. We should be playing one or two touches, not seven or eight. We don’t want that to happen. We are going to have to try and change that.
On his players’ places
It is important my players have the attitude I’m asking them to have. A player at this level can’t be afraid to face up to their responsibilities, or coming to speak to the coach about mistakes they’ve made. If they were afraid of that, they shouldn’t be playing at this level in the first place.