Revealed: Roman Abramovich’s demands for Maurizio Sarri

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich stealthily runs a tight ship. He Expects certain behaviour of his Stamford Bridge staff.

New manager Maurizio Sarri is not immune from commands by his new boss Roman Abramovich. Italian Sarri left his post at Napoli, signing on at Chelsea recently.

The 59-year-old is preparing for a first Premier League season. There are two stipulations in particular which have emerged from South-West London.

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In Naples, the former chief was known to puff on a cigarette during, and at intervals, of matches. Consequently the Italian Football Federation banned this practice – why they took so long to do so is beyond me. Napoli also designated an area for the smoker inside the dressing rooms.

While on managing duty, Sarri prefers a relaxed outfit. Yep, he is a ‘tracksuit manager’. Not any more. Abramovich, as owner, demands a suit be worn to matches and press conferences. Yet as Daily Mirror correctly spotted: “…given that [Antonio] Conte rarely did that, it remains to be seen whether or not that happens.”

According to the media outlet, Abramovich favours a ‘British’ approach for Chelsea. Although accusations of racism and homophobia won’t go down well here. To his supposed credit, Sarri addressed those issues in his first Blues presser:

"“These mistakes were made, yes, but when someone makes a mistake they must apologise and accept some allegations can be made by the press. More than apologies, I hope you will have the chance to get to know better and forget about this very quickly.” – Maurizio Sarri (Via Daily Mirror)"

Putting aside personal preferences and issues: the Italian finds himself a wanted commodity. Working with and for the new boss excites World Cup winner with Spain, Cesc Fabregas. Sky Sports quotes the midfielder: “His way of football, I believe in. I really like it, I grew up in this system, in this quality of football, that he wants to bring to the football club.”

The approach by Sarri which Fabregas describes, is frustrating the opponents. Ultimately using fatigue: heavy possession, as well as relentless attacking play.

Will this system suit the Spaniard’s countryman and colleague Alvaro Morata? Maybe not. I expect Olivier Giroud to remain a Blue though, he is too valuable a link-up man to sell.

However Sky Sports Italy claim a deal for Gonzalo Higuain is imminent. Juventus have to offload players in order to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Higuain and Sarri had a decent footballing relationship together in Naples. Juve defender Daniele Rugani is also a target for Chelsea, as per Sky Italy. He also has a connection with the Pensioners’ principal.

Next: Courtois politely extorting Chelsea

Signing Jorginho is a signal of intent for the Blues, who are preparing for an improved campaign. On Monday they clash with Perth Glory in a preseason friendly, during a tour of Australia.