Chelsea players support Sarri’s philosophy, says Luiz
Maurizio Sarri has the full support of the Chelsea players who have signed up to his philosophy says David Luiz, despite the manager blasting them after Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Arsenal.
Luiz, who has become a pivotal figure in Sarri's team after being sidelined last season by Antonio Conte, said it is remarkable how quickly Sarri has been successful in implementing his playing philosophy at the club.
While that was successful initially, Chelsea's form has slumped of late with just two wins in their last five matches in all competitions, failing to score in three of those.
Arsenal and a resurgent Manchester United are just three points off Chelsea, who occupy the fourth and last Champions League spot, AFP reported.
Sarri is trying to rectify the scoring problem by offloading misfiring Spaniard Alvaro Morata and signing veteran Argentine Gonzalo Higuain who flourished under him at Napoli.
Luiz said the manager "was not happy" after the match "but nobody was happy, so it was normal". However, the Brazil international defender said the players were all behind Sarri.
"Everybody is trusting his job and everybody is with him," said the 31-year-old Luiz.
However, he said pointedly there was nothing wrong with the strategy and that they just need to be sharper in front of goal.
"It is our style, it is our philosophy," said Luiz.
"If you asked at the beginning of the season, 'can Chelsea keep the ball?' - you would have said no. And now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have (to) improve our last 25 metres."
Sarri has changed things around from Conte's time at the club. Italy international Jorginho - whom he signed from Napoli - has been deployed in the central midfield role which has resulted in N'Golo Kante being moved to an unfamiliar wider role.
However, the biggest bone of contention has been the Italian's decision to use Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard as a "false nine" which has apparently not been to the player's liking. Luiz, though, is full of praise for Sarri.
"What Sarri has done until now is unbelievable, amazing, because normally (for) a team to understand this philosophy you need one or two years, like Manchester City and Liverpool, who are playing very well with the ball now," said Luiz.
"What he has done has been amazing, so we have to try to improve the details now."
Meanwhile, Sarri feels that it wasn't a risk to have publicly bashed his players, labelling them mentally weak and difficult to motivate after the defeat by Arsenal.
In fact, he says he will always speak his mind and hopes it brings the right response from his troops, ahead of their League Cup second-leg clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday morning (Singapore time).
"I don't think it's risky because these guys have got a sensible head on their shoulders," Sarri was quoted as saying on the club's website.
"First of all, I said the players are difficult to motivate but, by the same token, there are players who are sensible, who will listen and who won't take it the wrong way... I don't really think there is a risk.
"This is my character. I'm a straight talker and this is how I speak. Sometimes when you speak in this way, it might cause a bit of upset, but it doesn't cause any lingering bitterness or anything like that."