Ex-Chelsea star Graeme Le Saux believes change is inevitable for Maurizio Sarri if he is to become a success story in the Premier League.
Upon arriving from Napoli last summer, Sarri enjoyed a dream start as Chelsea coach by winning his opening five Premier League fixtures and remaining unbeaten for up to 12 games.
But things have quickly changed at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea dropping out of the title battle and even the top-four in the standings on the back of five defeats in 12 league games.
Things hit a new low for the Italian coach on Wednesday night when Chelsea were thrashed 4-0 by Bournemouth, which left a “frustrated” Sarri unable to explain what had happened.
Speaking of Sarri’s current struggles at Chelsea, Le Saux suggested that he’s playing system has now been sussed out and added that the former Napoli boss must learn to “adapt” in a similar way to what Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have done.
“The problem with Chelsea is that as soon as they lose a few games, people start talking and a manager goes,” Le Saux told the Daily Express.
“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: “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 as 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.
“This was not just a one-off – there is a pattern now. This has happened to Chelsea several times this season – at Tottenham, Arsenal and now Bournemouth. And it has not been simply an unlucky 10 minutes in these matches.
“This is a defining period for Sarri. He has huge league games coming up against City and Spurs. If they put up a performance like the other night they are going to be in trouble.”
Chelsea will host bottom-placed side Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge for their next Premier League match on Saturday.
😳 He kicked his coaches out of the dressing room including Gianfranco Zola.
⏰ He was in there with his players for almost an hour.
— SPORF (@Sporf) January 30, 2019