Rio Ferdinand says Chelsea players can now get on the back of Maurizio Sarri
BT Sports pundit Rio Ferdinand revealed that Maurizio Sarri criticising his players publicly might come back to haunt him in the days to come.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was absolutely furious with his team’s efforts in their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the London derby.
First-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny meant that Arsenal closed the gap on 4th-placed Chelsea to just three points.
In his post-match conference, Sarri chose to speak in Italian to communicate his displeasure regarding the lacklustre performances of his players, with the Italian aiming a dig at the players’ mentality and attitude.
He said he “to send a message to my players and I want my message to be very clear,” before the 60-year-old attacked their attitude and personalities.
Sarri said: “I have to say I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed. This defeat was due to our mentality, more than anything else.
“This is something I can’t accept. We had a similar issue in the league game at Tottenham (in November).
Sarri had every reason to be concerned with his team’s lacklustre performances and Ferdinand also shared the same opinion but he believed that the Italian voiced his concerns in the wrong manner.
“I thought we’d overcome this issue. But it appears we still have this issue.
“This group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.”
“He [Sarri] looks depressed and I think he has got every right to be,” the pundit told BT Sport.
“That is a huge cause for concern. To say that your team are lacking motivation, especially in these big games. You should be bouncing out of bed and flying onto that pitch, raring to go.”
“The WhatsApp group will be going bananas,” he continued.
“‘Have you seen this? Get on this’ – there will be comments on it. And they will all abort the WhatsApp group after.”
“It seems to me that, as a group of players, they’re not particularly aggressive from a mental point of view,” he added.
“I’m very aware of the fact this is never going to be a team well known for its battling and fighting qualities,” he added.
“But what we need to become is a team capable of adapting, a team that can perhaps suffer for 10, 15 minutes during the game but then play our own football. Today we didn’t play our own football.”
He added: “It’s important my players have the attitude I’m asking them to have. If they don’t have that, then maybe they shouldn’t be playing at this level.”