REVEALED: When And Why Sarri Decided To Change His Tactics, Dump 'Sarriball' – Rudiger
Yemi|March. 05, 2019
Antonio Rudiger has revealed Maurizio Sarri realised he had to change his tactics after Chelsea were humiliated 6 - 0 by Man City last month.
The defeat at Etihad Stadium was Chelsea’s heaviest for 28 years but they have bounced back in recent weeks to get their campaign back on track.
They beat Malmo home and away in the Europa League and were then unfortunate to lose to Manchester City on penalties in the EFL Cup Final.
More importantly, Chelsea have secured successive League wins, against Tottenham and Fulham, in the space of five days to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Chelsea have conceded just one goal in their last four matches and Rudiger claims the former Napoli coach’s decision to change his game-plan has been a major factor.
Sarri switched from his attacking philosophy to a more conservative approach against Manchester City and Tottenham.
Chelsea contained City for 120 minutes and then against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge they had less possession than their opponents, which is unusual for a Sarri team. But against Fulham yesterday Chelsea were back to a more expansive style.
Rudiger said: “I think everyone has adapted to new things - also the coach. You saw the way we played against Tottenham and Manchester City [in the past week]? It was different to the way we played in the first three months.
“Everyone needs to adapt. Have we found a good balance of how to play? Definitely. In life, you need to adapt to things. This League is different to Italy, you have to adjust a bit.”
When asked if it has been a learning curve for Sarri, Rudiger said: “Of course. He learned from that game against City. There we went high, we went to press, we wanted to win the ball and everyone knows what happened.
“We can play both [styles]. But it is always good to find the golden middle. It depends on the coach. He gives the tactics and the players follow.”
Chelsea’s 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday means they are two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United. They have a game in hand on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as well as Arsenal, who are one point and one place above them.
United and Arsenal meet each other on Sunday, when Chelsea face Wolves at Stamford Bridge, and Rudiger knows a top-four finish is a real possibility once again.
“It is good to know we have things in our own hands,” said the German. “We started with the win against Tottenham and now we have beaten Fulham. We want to continue like this.
“It’s not important to speak about other clubs. We need to look at own house and get our own things solved.”