A change in the master seat at a football club usually brings a high sense of absolute optimism and in a particular case of Chelsea FC, this module, although highly criticized, has been bringing laurels high time. Chelsea fan base has seen as many as nine managerial changes – including the interim gaffers – in the last decade and you simply cannot question their hierarchy’s decision given that most of them have won at least one title; be it the Premier League, domestic league or the Champions/Europa League.
And every other manager has brought his style of play at the Stamford Bridge. Jumping right into the current scenario, Antonio Conte is currently the latest victim of Chelsea’s module. The first season in English football saw him winning the Premier League; Chelsea’s second in three years, and this was followed by an FA Cup triumph in his final season in charge.
His glories, though, were majorly overshadowed by his man management at Chelsea, especially in his second year, and the treatment of Diego Costa is the perfect specimen of it. We as spectators tend to judge a gaffer just by what kind of game he deploys and in the midst, we miss the bigger picture. A manager at a football club is much more than that.
Take Arsene Wenger for instance, his fresh arrival in England saw a glittering change in Arsenal player’s lifestyle. For the starter, he banned booze, and players were only allowed to eat an hour after the game. Attention to details. Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, not just stood firm over his players’ diet but also went on to ban Wifi from the campus so that his players would prefer talking to each other in person.
Antonio Conte is no different; he is strict in his modules and while some players appreciated it, some had discontent over it. The arrival of Maurizio Sarri though has brought a fresh air of hope at least for the players who like to eat more. There is a tremendous difference between the diet Conte and Sarri employs. Conte is like your strict teacher who only and only prioritizes classroom lessons. BBC quotes that back in July 2016, the Chelsea players were given a diet of seeds, nuts and dried fruit in Austria. The same source further quotes that under Conte, players used to meet at Stamford Bridge a night before the game and used to spend their night in the team hotel.
Sarri’s arrival, on the other hand, has eased the pressure. The team not only seems relaxed during the games but are also given somewhat of a sweeten lifestyle. For example, the diet for his players has been eased as the players are given the freedom to consume ketchup, butter and etc. Furthermore, even cakes are prepared at Cobham these days and while on away trips, players are served with ice cream placed in a bowl. For Sarri, players need to have their freedom and to take care of it, the players are allowed to spend their night before the home game with their families.
There’s simply a difference in mentality. The result will follow when the players are happy, and a certain Maurizio Sarri works with this motto. Baring their contrast style of play, where Antonio Conte was branded as a counter-attacking manager while Sarri builds his game right from the back line, there is a glaring contrast in their off the field management structure. And without a slightest of doubt, players are seemingly enjoying their little freedom.