The abysmal display that Chelsea showed versus Arsenal brought back to light the club's greater problem: weak player mentality. After the match, current Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri's direct words were: 'I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed. 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.' Chelsea's performance versus Arsenal is further proof that dismal results are often ALWAYS scapegoated toward the manager rather than the actual players at fault. Just search "Sarri" on Twitter, whether reactionary or not, #SarriOut was trending at one point. The fact is Antonio Conte would, and still should be managing the club. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that Chelsea currently has some of the most weak-minded, fragile players. Antonio Rudiger said it himself after a prior loss to Leicester City. Minus Sarri's transfers, (Jorginho, etc..) and those that left (Costa, etc..) much of the team is comprised of the same roster that resulted in Conte's sacking. Chelsea will only continue to hurt themselves if their board continues to defend players that only perform when results go their way, and punish the manager when circumstances aren't convenient. Both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte were sabotaged by a number of these players that grew tired of hard work, and quite frankly for being called out for their unacceptable attitudes. I have nothing against Maurizio Sarri, but the fact is that he has never won a trophy. Sure, his last season at Napoli was extremely unlucky given the excellence of Allegri's Juventus. However, the point is a club of Chelsea's stature with history of hiring (and sacking) some of the world's most successful managers shouldn't be appointing one with zero trophies to his name.
With that being said, this article is not a demand for Sarri to be sacked by any means. Despite Conte deserving to remain the Chelsea manager, reality is that Maurizio is in charge. For once I plead for Chelsea to fully back the manager by granting him the transfers he desires, and having the courage to sell off their weak-minded players. Like any Chelsea fan, I love Eden Hazard. But players that constantly flirt with other clubs should eventually be sold no matter their immense talent. Unless Eden is willing to sign a new contract in the coming weeks, a smart Chelsea board would make clear to him that they're prepared to accept a transfer fee from the largest bidding club, whether that be Real Madrid or not. When players become bigger than the club issues such as these arise. Why Chelsea wouldn't accept Barcelona's Willian for Malcolm swap offer plus 50m in cash is also indicative of the clubs lack of trust in youth regardless of Maurizio's supportive comments on the 30 year old Brazilian. Speaking of youth, karma may be in store if Chelsea is indeed punished by the F.A. for their mismanagement of youth, facing a potential two year transfer ban. Quite ironic that Chelsea have went through such lengths to (allegedly) illegally sign young talent only to waste it in the end. It hurts me to say it, but if I were Callum Hudson-Odoi's agent at this point, I'd advise him to join Bayern Munich. You would think after Chelsea offers him 70k/week and expresses their intention to keep Odoi that Sarri would give him more than 15 meaningless minutes at the end of the match! Sarri is part to blame, but the issue of not playing youth is a problem that existed long before his arrival. The sad truth is that Bayern's offer of Arjen Robben's #10 jersey and (likely) more playing time is simply > money.
Antonio Rudiger said it himself, the mentality of some Chelsea players is weak. Yet it's these players that have been protected over the years, rather than the manager trying to change the cancerous culture. If results don't improve, don't be surprised if the players quit on Sarri like they did with the club's previous two managers. I sincerely hope for Maurizio Sarri to succeed at Chelsea and remain at the club for as long as he pleases, but the fact of the matter is that the odds are not in his favor given he will be battling the very same problems that his predecessors faced. These issues include an incompetent board with no technical director at the moment, and roster comprised of frail minded players. Luckily for now, Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia fully back Sarri, especially since he is not as vocal with the club's transfer policy like Mourinho and Conte. However, after Sarri's critical comments of the team's mentality, do not be surprised if Abramovich's relationship with the manager once again deteriorates, leading up to his eventual dismissal. Not to mention, if Gonzalo Higuain does not perform as Sarri suggests, it will certainly not aid the situation. Fellow Chelsea fans, let's hope that we can remain in the top four and win the Europa league. Or at the very least prevent Spurs from winning the league cup next Thursday... Keep the blue flag flying high. #COYB