He was seen chewing the tip of a cigarette during Chelsea’s match against Huddersfield
Maurizio Sarri is different to other managers. He spent most of his career in the lower leagues in Italy before taking the step up to Serie A at the age of 56. He also smokes 80 cigarettes per day, according to reports. Eighty. Eight zero. That’s five per hour, assuming he is awake for 16 hours per day.
In Italy, he would light up on the touchline and puff away during matches. There are stricter laws in England which forbid smoking on the premisis of a football stadium. To get round this inconvenience at the weekend, Sarri appeared to chew, or suck, the tip of a cigarette during Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield to get his nicotene fix.
Chelsea officials have been tasked with finding their new manager a smoking area at Stamford Bridge so he can satisfy his craving on a matchday, according to The Mirror.
There is no obvious solution to the problem, with options extremely limited due to obvious barriers such as fire regulations, but something will have to change if Sarri is to perform at his best.
The Chelsea boss faces the tough task of transforming the way Chelsea play while competing in the Europa League and trying to break back into the top four.
His predecessor and compatriot, Antonio Conte, had the luxury of a season without European football to implement his style, as he spent hours and hours on the training pitch perfecting Chelsea’s positional play in their 3-4-3 system.
Sarri will not have the luxury of empty weeks, with many trips to unglamourous corners of Europe set to disrupt his weeks. It will be a slow process but one with great rewards if Sarri is afforded patience, and is he is allowed to smoke.