That’s the verdict of ESPN analyst Matteo Bonetti, who says the Italian’s refusal to rotate was one of the negative aspects of his time at Napoli.
Chelsea boss Sarri has endured a rollercoaster of a week in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.
The Blues were first slapped with their heaviest Premier League defeat in 23 years when Bournemouth thrashed them 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Thankfully for Sarri, though, they responded by putting five past Huddersfield in a comprehensive victory on Saturday afternoon.
The 60-year-old has received plenty of criticism for his insistence on playing Jorginho in the midfield anchor role as opposed to N’Golo Kante. But Bonetti doesn’t think he knows who his best 11 are at Chelsea yet.
“He’s always been considered stubborn,” he told ESPN FC. I think that was one of the negative aspects of his tenure at Napoli, he wouldn’t ever rotate his Napoli side down the stretch when they thought that they could catch Juventus.
“All the players were tired, he never rotated apart from in European competitions that he didn’t even focus on. So Napoli just put on the subs in the Europa League, he only wanted to focus on the Scudetto and he never rotated.
“He always picked the same formation, 4-3-3, and always the same 11 players.
“I don’t think he’s settled on his best 11, I don’t think he knows who his best 11 are at Chelsea.”
Chelsea avoided defeat in their opening 12 Premier League games under Sarri, but after slipping up for the first time away at Tottenham on November 24, they have been beaten by Wolves, Leicester, Arsenal and Bournemouth.
And Bonetti thinks the Blues become too ‘individualistic’ when they’re struggling.
“What I’ve seen when Chelsea play against a big team, it seems like when they’re struggling and they’re under pressure the players become individualistic,” he said.
“And I think that’s where the coach Sarri was getting frustrated, saying: ‘I never want my players to be individualistic. I want Eden Hazard, instead of taking on the second defender, to play a simple ball.’
“So he has to kind of change the DNA of some of his players, like Willian, like Pedro, like Hazard, who want to take players on, who might be a bit more individualistic, to play the kind of football that he requires.”