CHELSEA sacking Maurizio Sarri today would not be at all surprising.
That’s according to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville after Chelsea suffered their heaviest defeat in 28 years.
The Blues were battered 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium by Premier League champions Manchester City with Sergio Aguero scoring a hat-trick.
Sarri’s side found themselves 4-0 down inside less than half an hour as they went on to suffer their biggest reverse since April 1991, when they were beaten 7-0 by Nottingham Forest in the top flight.
The defeat meant Chelsea have conceded 10 goals in their last two Premier League outings having also been routed 4-0 by Bournemouth at the end of January.
The west London outfit are down to sixth and a point off Manchester United in fourth and while they face the same opponents in the FA Cup fifth round and have a Carabao Cup final against City later this month, speculation has increased over Sarri’s future.
The Italian was only appointed in the summer after leaving Napoli at the end of last season but there have been signs of discontent within the Stamford Bridge dressing room with Sarri heavily critical of his players in public.
After the City loss, Sarri admitted: “It is right. I am in charge of the team so it is right, my job is always at risk.
“At the moment I am not able to explain. We were in trouble. I am not able to understand. I am worried about my team and the performance. At the moment we have a big problem away.”
In addition to their two domestic cup clashes, Chelsea will also hope to restore some confidence and belief with a Europa League last 32 tie against Swedish outfit Malmo.
And Neville told the Gary Neville Podcast: “He’s got four huge matches. If this wasn’t Chelsea, I don’t think we’d be even discussing it – we’d be saying anyone can come here [to City] and lose by six.
“We’d be comfortable in the knowledge that a manager that has got to a cup final and has a big game against Manchester United in the FA Cup and is still in Europe wouldn’t be in doubt in terms of his job.
“The noises haven’t been good now for four to six weeks. The interviews have told a story. There’s something going on behind the scenes.
“If it’s coming out in public you can imagine that behind the scenes it’s a lot worse.
“For a manager to speak in the way he has I think would demonstrate that things behind the scenes are not good.
“I think Chelsea are the type of club that are more than capable of ending this tomorrow [Monday] and saying, ‘Actually, it could cause us a bigger problem if he beats Manchester United, if he wins the Carabao Cup final because we’re in a situation where the players have raised their game…’
“And these players are capable of turning this around, capable of beating United, they’ve got the quality but it is desperate.
“It wouldn’t surprise you if tomorrow [Sarri was sacked] – and I hope it doesn’t happen, the idea of Sarri losing his job after six months is ridiculous with the fact he’s done what he’s done.
“If you said at the start of the season, Chelsea challenging for top-four and in the other competitions and in the League Cup final, you’d have snapped your hand off.
“But you just know when things start to turn a little bit at Chelsea it doesn’t normally end well. It actually sometimes happens quite quickly.”