Sarri admits he does not know if Chelsea will sack him as manager
Italian says it correct that there should be scrutiny of his position following 6-0 defeat to Manchester City
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri on the touchline during the match against City at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Maurizio Sarri admitted he does not know if Chelsea will sack him as manager, with the Italian stating it was correct that there should be scrutiny of his position following a 6-0 hiding at Manchester City.
This was Chelsea’s highest defeat since April 1991 – a 7-0 loss to Nottingham Forest. The reverse also followed defeats of 4-0 at Bournemouth and 2-0 at Arsenal in Chelsea’s two previous away games.
Asked if he feared losing his job, Sarri said: “I don’t know. You have to ask the club. I am worried about my team. I am worried about the performance, but my job is always at risk so I am not worried about [what] the club [might do]. You have to ask the club. I think that is right [there is scrutiny of his position]. I am in charge of the team, so it’s right”
Asked if he expected discussions with Chelsea’s hierarchy in the coming days, the 60-year-old added: “I don’t know, not at the moment, but I think that will happen because that is normal. It’s something that we need to do. I don’t know, you have to ask the club. I have no idea at the moment.”
Pep Guardiola, defended Sarri, a close personal friend.
“People don’t understand how difficult the first year can be,” the 47-year-old said. “My first season here was difficult. People think if you buy players, you can immediately come in and win, but you need time. It just depends on the belief of the owners – if the people really believe in that [then you get time].”
Following the defeat to Arsenal last month, Sarri admitted having an issue motivating his players. He denied there was a similar problem at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.
“No, I don’t think so. My feeling in the week was good and yesterday [Saturday] in the [pre-game] meeting it was good and in the warm up. So my feeling was for this match the motivation was the right level.
“I think we started well and then conceded the goal after four minutes in stupid way and at that moment we had to stay in the match. We were not able to do it. We made a lot of mistakes against the wrong opponents. We have to say that they played fantastic football today.”
City’s opening goal came from Raheem Sterling before a hat-trick from Sergio Agüero, who registered on 13, 19 and 56 minutes. That took the Argentina striker to 11 Premier League hat-tricks, equalling Alan Shearer’s record. He also became City’s top-scorer in the league, with 160 in 229 appearances.
Ilkay Gundogan’s goal on 25 minutes and Sterling’s second on 80 minutes completed the rout, and after the final whistle Sarri failed to shake Guardiola’s hand.
“I didn’t see him at that moment, of course it’s usual to shake,” said the Chelsea manager. “I’ll go to see hello to him later, it was by chance. I wanted to go to the dressing room and didn’t see him. I’ve no problem with Pep.”
Guardiola concurred. “I spoke with Gianfranco Zola [assistant] and it’s no problem, I have a good relationship with him.”
Game in hand
The victory takes City clear of Liverpool again on goal difference, though Jurgen Klopp’s team have a game in hand. Guardiola believes his team have the same appetite for success as that of his great Barcelona side .
“It is there. Our staff don’t love them too much because we don’t let them [his players] breathe but it’s the only way. When we are not together any more, they’ll say these guys worked a lot.
“The only way I know is that the more you win games, the more you have to work. If you make a good performance, we have to maintain the level. We are competing with Tottenham [third] and Liverpool – they’ve made their best start in their whole history. The Liverpool trophy room is much bigger than ours so for us to still be there [competing] means a lot.”