Neville explains why Sarri situation at Chelsea is ‘mystifying’

Gary Neville wouldn’t be a “surprise” to see Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri lose his job at the end of the season.

The Blues have only taken seven points from their last five Premier League matches, that run has included a heavy 4-0 loss to Bournemouth – the heaviest defeat of the Roman Abramovich era – and a 0-0 draw at home to lowly Southampton.

The matches don’t get any easier as they travel to leaders Manchester City on Sunday and Sarri has publicly criticised his players recently as he tries to improve results.

“It’s mystifying with Sarri, after his comments about struggling to motivate the players I thought ‘this isn’t going to go well’,” he said on the Gary Neville podcast.

“I said a few weeks ago that I thought it was the beginning of the end after what we had seen at Chelsea, the win [over Huddersfield] doesn’t change my mind.

“Chelsea over the years have proven to dismiss managers once they’ve had enough of hearing their voice. You only need to think about what happened to Antonio Conte and the nonsense with Diego Costa the summer after they had won the league and done so well. We’ve seen it with Jose Mourinho, with Andre Villas-Boas.

“I don’t think Chelsea will change Sarri during the season but there are those warning signs that make you think it will be a surprise if it goes beyond the summer. That’s not because I want him to leave, I think he’s doing a good job, but Sarri probably realises the job he is in and looks at the players who are not doing what he wants them to do – they never probably will.

“The maximum a manager has got out of those Chelsea players is one year, they’ll do what you say for a year and then say ‘right, I’ve had enough of you’. That’s been the nature of the club. No manager can maintain that job for a long period of time, no manager has control.

“You think about managers having control, the final word at a football club like Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola do. There are still some clubs that give managers control, but its less and less, and certainly not at Chelsea. The manager should have the control of the changing room, he should be the voice of the club in terms of football.

“Sarri knows there are politics behind the scenes, there always has been, but it’s been a very successful club being like that. We’ve welcomed it over last 10-15 years, they’ve been a great addition to the top of the Premier League. It’s a better Premier League for having this challenge from the new-money teams like Chelsea and City to challenge the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool.

“It’s a better Premier League but it’s a very different model, and I think Sarri is finding that out. He’s a guy that’s been around the block and feels that his players should do as he says, but the players don’t quite do what he says when he wants and that’s a frustration for him.”

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