Former Chelsea player-manager Ruud Gullit has admitted that he is surprised by how quickly Maurizio Sarri has turned things around at Stamford Bridge in such short space of time, following his arrival in the summer.
The Blues extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games following their 3-1 defeat of Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as they climbed up to second in the table.
Sarri equalled Frank Clark’s record from 1994 for the longest unbeaten start by a new Premier League manager with the result against Crystal Palace and continue to remain within touching distance of Manchester City.
Many feel Chelsea are still far from being firm candidates for the league title this year, but Sarri has made the Blues look more efficient and capable of rattling a few cages so far this season.
Gullit, who was an influential figure at Stamford Bridge during the late 1990s, admitted that he is surprised by how quickly Sarri has adapted to life in England and improved Chelsea so quickly.
“As well as improving in attack, I think Chelsea need to do a little bit more when they don’t have the ball”, Gullit said in his BBC Sport column.
“They sometimes back off a little bit and it gives the opposition the possibility to get out – they need to get better at penning teams in.
“But you have to remember this is Sarri’s first season and I am surprised he has done so well, so quickly.
“The most important thing I have noticed is that the players are enjoying themselves playing under him, and I am looking forward to seeing what this team does next.”
Chelsea’s only defeat across all competitions under Sarri came during the Community Shield clash against Manchester City back in August.