Chelsea's Sarri doesn't plan 'massive upheaval' to tactics after Arsenal loss
LONDON -- Maurizio Sarri insisted there will be "no massive upheaval" to Chelsea's tactical approach despite their 2-0 loss against Arsenal.
Sarri took the remarkable step of publicly accusing his players of being "extremely difficult to motivate" after first-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny had set Arsenal on their way to a comprehensive victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea's first shot on target came in the 82nd minute as Eden Hazard struggled to make any impression on the Gunners defence as a false nine, and Sarri's team have now scored just 13 goals in their last 12 Premier League games.
A similarly humbling experience at the Emirates Stadium three years ago prompted Antonio Conte to shift Chelsea to the 3-4-3 system that won them the Premier League title, but Sarri admitted he does not have another plan.
"I can remember exactly what happened [with Conte]," he said via a translator. "But with my team I think it is different because with Conte at the time was using a four-man defence and changed to a three-man defence. He was used to doing that anyway, so it wasn't quite the same, whereas this is the football I have.
"I am a good teacher of this football. I don't think it would be a good idea if I try to teach my players a different type of football. There will be some changes perhaps, but there will be no massive upheaval."
Sarri is hoping the imminent arrival of Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus will provide the attacking spark that Chelsea are missing, but defender David Luiz insists every player has to take responsibility for the team's deficiencies in the final third in recent weeks.
"That is another problem that we have to improve -- creating more chances and scoring more," the Brazilian said. "When I say that I am not talking about the strikers, I am talking about the whole team. The offensive phase starts with Kepa [Arrizabalaga], and then with us the defenders, with everybody.
"In the last six, seven games we have not scored that much, especially in the Premier League, and we have to improve."
Luiz is also adamant that there is no loss of faith from the Chelsea players in the type of football that Sarri is trying to implement.
"I don't think so, everybody is trusting his job and everybody is with him," he said.
"It is our style, it is our philosophy. I think if you asked at the beginning of the season can Chelsea keep the ball you would have said no. Now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have improve our last 25 metres.
"I believe in it, I trust in it, so I just know we have to improve, like every team in the world. What Sarri has done until now is unbelievable, amazing, because normally a team to understand this philosophy needs one or two years, like Man City and Liverpool, who are playing very well with the ball now.
"What he has done has been amazing, so we have to try to improve the details now."
Despite his anger after the Arsenal loss, Sarri did not cancel a scheduled day off for his players on Sunday and he is optimistic that publicly criticising his squad will not backfire in the way it has for previous Chelsea coaches.
"There might be a slight risk, but I don't think there is," he said. "This is my character -- I am a straight talker. This is how I speak. Yes, sometimes when you speak in that way it might cause some upset or some conflict, but it doesn't cause any lingering bitterness.
"I am pretty consistent in my approach in that I like there to be a good atmosphere. I like it when the players are enjoying themselves because if they are enjoying themselves out on the pitch there is more chance that they are going to be winning and that is an enjoyable experience as well.
"Nevertheless I am demanding in the sense that we need to have the right attitude and approach, and we need to be able to show exactly the same or even better level of determination than our opponents."