Had Ruben Loftus-Cheek not popped up in stoppage time with the winner for Chelsea in their controversial win over Cardiff City, Maurizio Sarri would have probably been given the chop.
It was yet another performance under the Italian where Chelsea were poor, and ex-Blues striker Chris Sutton has since come out to question the team that was put out on the day.
“There are no easy games at this stage of a Premier League season, especially against a Cardiff side battling against relegation, so why leave out your best player?” the BT Sport pundit wrote in his Daily Mail column in reference to the exclusion of Eden Hazard from the starting XI.
“If Sarri wanted to rest Eden Hazard, would it not have been better to start him, win the game early on and then take him off with half an hour to go?”
“His decisions are becoming increasingly erratic.”
“If they haven’t already, the board must be rapidly running out of patience, too”
Given the predicament Sarri finds himself in, Sutton is absolutely spot on. The former Napoli boss cannot afford to have his talisman on the bench with the team struggling for goals.
Even when considering in the amount of games the west London club have coming, resting Hazard is not a luxury he has when there are no real other goalscorers in the team presently.
Had the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Willian and Pedro been firing, then it would have been a different story.
But they are not. And with Sarri refusing to hand starts to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, two players who do currently look capable of scoring, the whole situation seems even more baffling.
Sarri is digging is own grave at Stamford Bridge, and the decision to rest Hazard is further evidence of that.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!