Maurizio Sarri cannot comprehend why his position at Chelsea is precarious when he considers Pep Guardiola’s first season at Manchester City. The 60-year-old Italian is clinging to his job, seven months since his appointment, after following the 4-0 loss to Bournemouth with a humiliating 6-0 defeat at City which leaves the Blues outside the Champions League qualification places.
Yet Sarri’s Chelsea have more wins – 28 – after 43 games than City did in Guardiola’s first season at the Etihad Stadium, 2015-16.
Guardiola had pedigree at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and was given time – and funds – to overhaul City, who will be bidding to win a second successive Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
History suggests Sarri is not likely to receive the same leeway as he also pointed to the praise presented to Arsenal boss Unai Emery in the Spaniard’s first season.
Sarri, who is seeking the first trophy of his management career, said: “We are in the first final of the season. We are one point from the top four, the same points as Arsenal, and (people say) Arsenal are doing well. “We are doing a little bit better because we are in a final, and yet our season is a disaster. I don’t understand. “I want you to remember that, last season, this team gained 70 points, not 100. Then, in the summer, we changed everything. So there is another problem to solve. So it is not easy.”
Guardiola’s style of play took time to implement and he had an expensively assembled squad.
Sarri clearly feels he should be given the same time, although Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience and the transfer ban imposed by FIFA on Friday could have a major impact. “He (Guardiola) was lucky,” Sarri said. “I think that, if you choose Guardiola, you have to wait because the club knows very well that Guardiola needs time.”