Statistically, Maurizio Sarri has started better at Chelsea than Pep Guardiola did at Manchester City
Football fans have short memories
Myself included. It was only a few months ago I was moaning about Jeffrey Schlupp's ineffectiveness for my beloved Crystal Palace. Now I'm considering getting an A1 print of the Schluppmeister on my bedroom wall after reading that he has a better goals to minutes ratio than any other Palace player this season.
Anyway, we're all fickle, is my point, and recency bias plays a huge part in how we evaluate the football we watch. You'd be forgiven for thinking that Pep Guardiola had no hiccups on his journey to breaking the 100 point barrier last season, but you'd be wrong. His first season, despite starting well, was not without its embarrassing defeats. One defeat that springs to mind came against Ronald Koeman's Everton, when Tom Davies weaved through the City defence to chip Claudio Bravo and John Stones still looked like Bambi on ice. It finished 4-0. To Everton. The Ev.
I mention this because Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is under a hell of a lot of scrutiny right now. His decision to move N'Golo Kanté up the field has not convinced everyone, especially after Man City tore through Chelsea just two weeks ago to beat them 6-0. Is Sarriball working? Is he a FRAUD? Should they sack him? Well, the stats would suggest the answer is no to all three of those questions.
It turns out that in his first 43 matches in all competitions as Chelsea boss, Sarri has won 28 matches, drawing six and losing nine. That is one more win than Pep Guardiola managed in his first 43 games as City manager - Pep drew nine and lost just seven.
28- Maurizio Sarri has won 28 of his first 43 games in charge of Chelsea in all competitions (D6 L9), one more than Pep Guardiola managed in his first 43 with Manchester City (W27 D9 L7). Impressive. pic.twitter.com/bkvg1cKQvA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 21, 2019
Chelsea may well get rid of Sarri before the season is up before the season is up, they are traditionally trigger happy when it comes to managers and have had more success playing a more conservative style of football. But if we can learn anything from this statistic, it's that time is necessary if you want a manager of Sarri's ilk to implement their philosophy. It won't happen overnight, the players have a lot of information to take in.
Chelsea will come up against City again this weekend in the Carabao Cup final. They are not favourites, and will hope to avoid another embarrassment, but don't expect Sarri to diverge from his philosophy. He's a stubborn one.