Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have been found out, says Graeme Le Saux, with the man at the helm set to become the subject of exit talk unless he moves away from the “madness” of a system that is not working.
The Blues have become synonymous with regular changes in the dugout, with few coaches lasting long at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri has been warned that he faces heading the same way as his predecessors, which include a number of Champions League winners, unless he learns to “adapt”.
The Italian enjoyed a bright start to his reign in west London, but his favoured approach is no longer delivering the required results and pressure is building after slipping out of the Premier League’s top four on the back of a humbling 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
Former Blues defender Le Saux told the Daily Express: “The problem with Chelsea is that as soon as they lose a few games, people start talking and a manager goes. That is their legacy. I hope that does not happen again.
“I am not saying that Sarri should change his principles. I love to see teams playing it out from the back and passing the ball. He did a fantastic job at Napoli.
“Is Sarri prepared to have a bumpy ride like the one he is going through, because he believes that the end result is worth it? It is a risky path, for me.”
Le Saux added on what needs to be done at Chelsea: “Sarri has to adapt. He has to be willing to change his system – otherwise his problems are just going to get worse.
“They say that one definition of madness is that if something is not working, you keep doing the same thing over and over again. Right now, that seems to be the problem with Chelsea.
“I look at the successful teams, and they are all ready to change their games, their tactics when things are going wrong.
“Bournemouth caused problems for Chelsea that they just did not know how to cope with. To be a top team, you have to be able to adapt. Jurgen Klopp tweaks his system at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola does it at Manchester City. But I have not seen Sarri do it.
“He sticks to a 4-3-3 system, and when he does make a change he just changes a player within the system – so it is easy for opponents.
“Everyone had worked Chelsea out by November. They knew that Jorginho was the fulcrum. So now teams drop a player onto him, like Bournemouth did with David Brooks, and they stop him. Then you have N’Golo Kante not comfortable in his role on the right, and the team are unbalanced.
“If you don’t adapt then you are stuttering, or even going backwards.