Maurizio Sarri met individually with his Chelsea players to find an explanation for a lack of "determination" in the defeat against Tottenham Hotspur. The Italian also criticized the reaction of N'Golo Kanté in the last match of his team.
Chelsea, who can claim their Europa League group with a home point against PAOK Thessaloniki, was invaded early in Wembley and was led by two goals after 16 minutes. Sarri was quick to point out that the 3-1 defeat was the first defeat of his team in competition after a game without defeat, after 18 days without defeat, but after spotting the warning signs in previous matches she was dismayed. in such a key derby.
The head coach spoke individually with his players on Monday at Cobham to understand why their performance had been so flat. "I talked to them player-by-player, a five-to-ten-minute meeting with the individuals," said Sarri, who will rest Eden Hazard against PAOK after the Belgian injured his ankle this weekend. "I had to think of everything because Saturday we played very badly, a game without determination.
"It's not normal. We lost a match after three and a half months, 110 days, but we have to understand why, especially from a mental point of view. It's very difficult for me to understand why we played without determination in such a big game.
"If you have no determination, you have no motivation. If you are not motivated, you may not have clear goals. I wanted to understand that. The problem was also with the approach of the match in the previous three matches [against Crystal Palace, BATE Borisov and Everton]but if you continue on the field with this approach and the opponents are very strong, like Tottenham, and determined, like Tottenham, the problem is more serious. They were able to destroy us in 15 minutes. But I had already seen the same problems in games before. "
When asked if the individual interviews helped explain the bad presentations, Sarri said, "It's very difficult for them, I think, to tell me why. Very difficult. Someone said that the international break was perhaps a problem; that it was a problem to be immediately ready to 100%, but I do not know it.
"Maybe for Tottenham it was easier because the Tottenham players played here in London on Sunday. [for England]. Monday they were all together [back at their club]but the situation was similar. So maybe it can be true. But only for a small percentage, I think.
Sarri's criticism of Kanté, another long-awaited PAOK candidate, arose from calls for the midfielder to be reinstated at the central station he had excelled in winning successive Premier League titles with Leicester. City and Chelsea and the World Cup with France. Kanté, who signed a new contract worth about £ 290,000 a week last Friday, has been given a slightly more offensive mandate. Jorginho, the club's only summer rookie and a player around whom Sarri built his Napoli team, occupying the role.
"As you know, I want to play a central midfielder as a very technical player – a Jorginho or Cesc Fàbregas," said Sarri. "I do not want Kante in this position. Kante, in the last game, wanted to solve the game after the first 15 minutes, but in the wrong way. He lost his position. He attacked the other box too much. And I think this is not one of Kanté's best features, but it was only a reaction to the difficulties.
"Maybe it's only a matter of time before he learns the role. But when the ball is on the other side, left, Kanté must stay very close to Jorginho. "
Oliver Giroud said of Kanté: "We do not need to question his position. He just needs to adapt to what the manager wants.