Former Chelsea manager Geoff Hurst has warned his successor Maurizio Sarri that he should start packing his bags if he cannot spark an immediate revival in the club’s fortunes.
Sarri is facing mounting speculation over his Chelsea future following his side’s 2-0 defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round, a loss that came off the back of three defeats in four Premier League games.
The 60-year-old’s style of play proved to be hugely successful at Napoli and in his first few weeks as Chelsea manager at the start of the season but fans have grown disillusioned with what they view as the conservative, uninspiring and dogmatic approach of their manager. Indeed chants of “f*** Sarri-ball” were heard in Monday’s defeat.
Perhaps the nadir of Chelsea’s recent form was a 6-0 shellacking away to Manchester City, the worst loss the Blues had suffered since April 1991 and a result that saw them slip below Arsenal and into sixth in the table.
“Make no mistake, Chelsea’s 6-0 loss to Manchester City was embarrassing,” Hurst, who managed the Blues between 1979 and 1981, told Grosvenorsport.com. “A club of Chelsea’s size shouldn’t be going there and losing like that.
“Maurizio Sarri made a relatively good start to the season but results recently have been nowhere near good enough.
“We know Chelsea’s owner doesn’t hesitate to let managers go and after the losses against City, Arsenal, Bournemouth and now Man United, you’d say Abramovich is more than likely considering his options at the moment.
“Last night’s match was a huge game, but in the context of Chelsea’s season another bad result means that Sarri can start packing his bags as he could be out the door at Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve heard the term Sarri-ball being used in reference to the football Chelsea play this season. Call the style whatever you want, but it hasn’t been good enough.”
To add to the pressure growing on Sarri, his beleaguered Chelsea side face another clash with Manchester City on Sunday in the EFL Cup Final.
Fail to win that and Chelsea’s final realistic prospect of a trophy this season will be the Europa League, where they beat Malmo 2-1 in uninspiring fashion in the round of 32 first leg last week.
Their hopes of a top four finish could also be decided in the coming weeks, with London derbies against Tottenham and Fulham to come.
“You don’t get much time at big clubs like Chelsea, and after those losses he’ll get even less time to show he can turn things around,” Hurst added. “He’ll need some terrific results in the next few games to rescue his position, and it’s a tough ask.”