Chelsea have had a stunning season so far, much to the surprise of many fans. After their poor campaign last year, Maurizio Sarri wasn’t expected to come in and make such a huge impact in London, but he’s certainly made a hugely encouraging start to life in the Premier League.
The Blues are one of only a handful of teams that still have a 100% record, and whilst that won’t last forever, it’s still worth praising Sarri for the work done so far.
Given how poor Chelsea were last season, Sarri has evidently had a huge effect on how the club have improved, and much of what the club has been able to achieve can be put down to a select few decisions that the Italian has made.
He’s got many things absolutely spot on so far this year, and looking back on the season thus far, it’s easy to see the positive impact that he has been able to have.
With that said, Sarri has got these 2 things absolutely right at Chelsea this season…
N’Golo Kante Positional Shift
N’Golo Kante, despite being one of Europe’s best players in recent years, doesn’t necessarily have a natural role in the new-look Chelsea team under Maurizio Sarri. He’s a defensive midfielder by trade, and with Jorginho sitting deeper than any other player in the Chelsea midfield – Kante’s role was uncertain.
However, Sarri has found a role for the talented Frenchman, and it has allowed him to make use of even more of his qualities. He’s no longer limited to standing still and breaking up play. He’s now able to make the most of his pace, passing and underrated technical ability as more of a box-to-box midfielder.
Chelsea fans hadn’t had a chance to see this side of his game, and it’s no surprise that he’s already matched his goalscoring tally for last season.
Sarri has obviously played a key role in this reinvention.
Faith In Pedro
Last season, Pedro found himself in the backup role at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Conte regularly preferring to either use no right-sided winger or utilise Willian in the role instead. He still had regular minutes, but it’s fair to say that they were slightly less regular than in years past.
Naturally, then, it would have been easy for Maurizio Sarri to continue to utilise him sparingly – but he hasn’t done that.
He afforded Pedro regular minutes during pre-season, and after impressing, he’s been a regular starter for the Blues in the Premier League. That’s worked out fantastically for the club, given that he’s bagged 3 league goals already so far this season.
Pedro has gone from a bit-part player to indispensable for the Blues – and it’s hard to see Sarri as not being directly responsible.