Italian journalist claims Maurizio Sarri is copying Pep Guardiola at Chelsea

Marcotti insists Sarri’s decision to insist with his plan A is straight out of Guardiola’s playbook

Journalist Gabriele Marcotti claims that Maurizio Sarri is copying Pep Guardiola’s style at Chelsea, with the Italian insisting that Sarri’s decision to stick with his plan A and not change his tactics is straight out of Pep Guardiola’s playbook.

Sarri came under criticism for his philosophy and team selection when the Blues suffered a 4-0 defeat away at Bournemouth on Wednesday but a 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield on Saturday seems to have eased the pressure on the manager.

And Marcotti believes that Sarri, much like Guardiola, is going to continue to try and implement his philosophy in a better way in the days to come.

“Plan A, Plan B, and he referred to it again in the press conference too, it’s something that Johan Cruyff used to say, it’s something that Pep Guardiola borrowing from Johan Cruyff used to say, and it’s part of Sarri’s idea, if Plan A doesn’t work, execute Plan A better,” he told ESPN FC.

“Don’t switch to Plan B if you think Plan A is the right plan. When you screw up, it’s either because you have a wrong plan or you’re not executing your original plan better – and he thinks his plan is the right one and time will tell if that’s the case.

“But that’s not why he’s gonna go and change everything around and put [N’Golo] Kante in front of the back four or whatever, because that’s not his plan.

“Pep Guardiola explained this too. Because remember, last season in October people went to him and they said: ‘oh look, you changed. Because in your first season you finished fourth and everybody made fun of you when [Gael] Clichy and Bacary Sagna ended up in the middle of the park and whatever else.’

“And he came out and said: ‘no, the concepts are exactly the same. Sometimes we tweak the formation but the ideas are the same, the concept is the same, the philosophy is the same. But the people had to go and understand the philosophy first and then they could go and make the change.’

“Pep also made the point about in his first season why he didn’t rotate very much, he said: ‘because you can only teach this if you work with 12 to 14 players.’ That’s something Sarri alluded to as well.

“You can think that Sarri’s a fool because he thinks he’s Pep Guardiola and he’s trying to copy Pep’s stuff, but this is directly out of Pep’s playbook.

“Maybe Pep just does it better, maybe Pep’s a better manager, maybe he has better players, maybe he’s had more time, maybe it’s all of the above. But it’s not like he’s gone insane, he’s following this playbook.”

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