Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri: 'I deserve to stay'

Maurizio Sarri had never won a major trophy before, having spent much of his career in Italy’s lower leagues

Maurizio Sarri says he will speak to Chelsea about his future after leading them to the Europa League and thinks he “deserves” to stay with the club.

The Blues beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku to secure the first major trophy of the Italian’s managerial career.

Sarri led Chelsea to third place in the Premier League.

“I need to talk to the club and make sure I know what I can do for Chelsea and what Chelsea can do for me,” said Sarri, who took charge last July.

“I love the Premier League and I’m lucky I’m at Chelsea but at the end of each season you have to sit down and talk.

“In my opinion, I deserve to stay at Chelsea but my opinion is not enough.”

Sarri’s future has been the subject of debate all season, despite reaching two cup finals – they lost the Carabao Cup on penalties to Manchester City in February – and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The former Napoli boss, who has been linked with the vacant Juventus job recently, added: “I have a contract [for another two years]. At the moment, we are talking about nothing.”

Sarri, 60, has spent most of his career managing in the Italian lower leagues before an impressive – albeit trophy-less – three years at Napoli.

“I’m very, very happy but I think the trophy is very important for the club; it’s less important the name of the players, the name of the coach,” he said.

“The first half was difficult, match number 64 this season and hot – it was physically difficult to play. I thought we were trying to manage the result. I asked my players to play with more courage, even if they risked losing.”

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The Italian says the turning point of the season came in February. Chelsea lost 6-0 to Manchester City to drop down to sixth place with 12 games remaining. Two weeks later they lost the EFL Cup final to City, with Sarri apparently undermined when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off despite appearing to be injured.

But he dealt with the Kepa situation and the Blues only lost two of their final 12 Premier League games to finish third.

“Our feeling was that we deserved to win because we were in trouble in January and February and we acted,” Sarri said.

“In the Premier League, it is not easy to react because the level is very high.

“Something changed at the beginning of February. We lost 6-0 at Manchester City but we started something different.

“At the end, we got the Champions League [place] through the Premier League, we played the final in the League Cup, we qualified [for that final with wins en route] against Liverpool and Tottenham, the finalists of the Champions League, and lost on penalties to Manchester City.”

‘Sarri deserves this’

Maurizio Sarri is the odds-on favourite to be the next Juventus manager

Chelsea defender David Luiz was full of praise for his manager after the Blues’ first European trophy since 2013.

“We had some ups and downs but we have improved a lot and learned a lot this season,” the Brazilian said. “We finished well and won a trophy. It is my third title in Europe with Chelsea, they believe in my game. Sarri is a great guy, a great coach and he deserves this.

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“The manager did amazing for this club. I don’t know about speculation, now is the time to talk about the title.”

‘Sarri weathered the storm’ – BBC Radio 5 Live punditry

Former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend

Maybe the situation goes back into Maurizio Sarri’s hands a bit. Is he going to say to himself ‘if I can’t buy any players to improve this Chelsea team, I’m going to lose my best player [Eden Hazard], my prospects next season aren’t as good’? Perhaps he thinks: ‘Maybe I take the Juventus job, maybe I do go.’

Third place, League Cup runners-up and the Europa League in your back pocket – there have been worse Chelsea seasons, I can tell you.

People should recognise a manager who’s been through the wringer this season. There was a point where Maurizio Sarri was being severely undermined. Managers at Chelsea have a habit of looking like a dead man walking, they seem to get that very quickly, and he had that.

It looked like this guy’s gone and it’s only a matter of time before he’s replaced. For whatever reason, he’s stuck it out, the club have stuck it out. He’s turned it round, he’s got them to a European final and they won it with plenty to spare.

This season has to be a success for Maurizio Sarri. It’s had peaks and troughs. It started well, it then lost its way and there was a lot of confusion around him and the direction he appeared to be taking the team. But they gathered themselves and he weathered that storm.

He hasn’t felt the love. Most Chelsea managers, when they go in there, they got that. He got it to start with but he hasn’t felt that he’s admired by the Chelsea fans. Now I’d like to think that those who have doubted him will pay credit to his resilience because it’s not been easy.

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Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin

Maurizio Sarri’s actually built something which is really nice looking and I’ve enjoyed watching it being built.

We’d been talking about [Chelsea midfielder] Jorginho and Mesut Ozil, and whoever won that battle would make a big difference in the game, and Jorginho was immense.

If Jorginho left right now, Manchester City would batter the door down to take him. That’s how good a player he is.

I’d love to see Sarri get another year; he deserves it, to see if he can develop it further.

I think some of the stuff that was said about Maurizio Sarri was nonsense. I thought the Jorginho thing was a masterstroke from the start, N’Golo Kante’s been brilliant since he moved further forward.

It was just a misunderstanding in the Carabao Cup final [with Kepa] and a massive thing was made of it. Yesterday’s story was an absolute joke. I was here at the training session and he didn’t get in a huff because two players fell out. He was in a huff because he couldn’t get a closed training session [from the media].

Former Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

For managers like myself, what a great story it is that Maurizio Sarri has had to work this long to finally win a trophy. And he won it in style. He’s had some real down times this season. He’s managed to battle through that and you have to do that in the Premier League.



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