Maurizio Sarri must copy Antonio Conte and make big change – Paul Merson

CHELSEA boss Maurizio Sarri must switch to playing three at the back or his side will not make the Premier League top four this season.

That is the opinion of Sky Sports pundit, Arsenal hero and Chelsea fan Paul Merson.

Merson says Sarri must copy the approach of former Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Conte switched to playing three at the back after a 3-0 loss at Arsenal in his first season in charge.

Chelsea went on to win the Premier League and Merson says that is the way Sarri must now go.

Asked if Sarri should be worried about the defence after the 3-2 win over Arsenal, Merson said: “Majorly, you’d hope he is (worried).

“Sometimes you can win a big football match like that against one of the top teams, Arsenal are a top-six team, and he can cover over the cracks.

“You look at all the positives and you get away from the negatives – you have to look at the negatives there.

“The defending there, they will struggle this season badly. These were clear-cut chances, they could have got ripped seven, they could have got ripped seven.

“The first worrying thing is they’re 2-0 up at home against a team who were on the floor, and before you know it it’s 2-2.

“Really Arsenal should have probably gone into half time winning, that was worrying.

“This manager is an experienced manager so you hope he looks at the negatives and don’t look at it and go ‘we just beat one of the top-six teams at home and we’re flying along’.

“I would be worried, for me I’d fly straight back to a three at the back. They aren’t good enough to play two at the back.

“You saw it with Conte when they won the league. They went to the Emirates, they got absolutely ripped with four at the back.

“He went ‘we won’t get anywhere doing this’ and he went bang, three at the back and they went on to win the league.

“He has to change it. If they don’t, I don’t see top-four for them.”

Chelsea have won their opening two games of the season and face a trip to Newcastle next on Sunday (4pm).

The Toon Army have picked up one points from their opening two matches.

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