The Blues boss’ future may be up in the air in the media but he has no doubts as to his commitment to the club and remaining in England
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has provided his personal stance on where his future might lie amid rumours that he could be sacked, stating that the Premier League is the “cream of the crop” and that he does not want to return to Italy.
The former Napoli boss enjoyed a fine start to life in England, remaining undefeated in the league until a 3-1 loss against Tottenham in November.
Stuttering form since then has seen his style of play called into question, but a top-four finish and a place booked in the Europa League final has gone some way to appeasing the critics.
The unrest have not abated entirely, however, and the Italian has moved to reassure fans that his head is still very much concentrated on managing in England’s top-flight.
“At the moment, I can say that I won’t go back to Italy,” Sarri told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I don’t think I can return to Italy. [The Premier League] is like being on a different planet. Here you can find the cream of the crop, in every sense.
“I mean the organisation, the facilities, the atmosphere in stadiums, the involvement… people don’t snub competitions here. Every cup holds great value for them.
“I’d have liked more time to train the defensive line though!”
This season marks the first time ever that four English teams will contest the finals of Europe’s top two club competitions, with Liverpool facing Tottenham in the Champions League while Sarri’s Blues face Arsenal in the Europa League.
And it’s been a tough road at times for the Stamford Bridge side this term as their Italian head coach attempts to drum his philosophy into the minds of a new squad.
“Four English teams in the European cups? I feel that there’s someone missing and I mean [Pep Guardiola],” Sarri said of English sides’ dominance on the continent this term. “[Manchester City] play the best football in my opinion.
“Here at Chelsea there are many very good players but they carry the ball [too much for my playing style], so it’s not easy to change their mentality.
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“We went through some rough times but despite losing the Carabao Cup after penalties, we bounced back winning against Liverpool and Tottenham and getting qualification to the Champions League. Now we play the derby against Arsenal.
“We did well getting so far and now we have to face a crucial challenge. I can’t give grades, honestly, I always had a bad relationship with grades since school!
“If someone had told me, before I went to Empoli, that in 2019 I would have been playing a Europa League final I would have gotten a bit mad… because at that time I was hoping I could win the Champions League!”