Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final could’ve been the final nail in the coffin for Maurizio Sarri’s managerial reign at Chelsea.
Kepa Arrabalizaga’s defiant actions at refusing to be substituted before a penalty-shootout indicated a mutiny among players, potentially signalling the beginning of the end for the Italian manager.
Even before the game, Chelsea had started shortlisting replacement options According to reports (via the Telegraph), the Blues are aiming to bring back England’s assistant manager Steve Holland for the rest of the season. Holland, who had worked at Chelsea for more than six years before joining Gareth Southgate, knows the club in and out.
While it’ll take some doing to convince the FA to allow him out on loan – akin to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United – Chelsea are probably owed a favour after allowing him to work with Southgate while being contracted to Chelsea years ago. Indeed, Holland could have a similar impact like Solskjaer if he frees up Chelsea to play their natural game.
He knows exactly what it takes to make this bunch prosper and can elevate the standards of the players he knows as well. However, being out of touch with weekly, league football could also have a toll on his side.
If Chelsea takes each game like a knockout fixture and play accordingly, they could struggle as they are under Sarri’s rigid system.
Things can’t (probably) get any worse for the Blues long-term, but an experiment with Holland could be a make or break decision for their immediate future.