Despite the success of last season, there were problems for former manager Maurizio Sarri. The Chelsea manager was accused of being very stubborn during his tenure at Stamford Bridge, and with all the problems surrounding Chelsea last season, those claims look to be true.
However, there is one thing Sarri did which new manager Frank Lampard would do well to steer clear of next season, alienating certain players simply because they don’t suit his style of play. This was something very much synonymous with Sarri, who kept Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta far away from the Chelsea team, despite obvious struggles in defence and midfield.
Gary Cahill made just eight appearances for a Chelsea defence who leaked four goals away to Bournemouth and six goals away to Manchester City. The treatment of Cahill was so bad, the former England international gave an interview blasting the Chelsea manager.
At right-back, the situation wasn’t much better with Zappacosta only making four Premier League appearances, despite the struggles of Azpilicueta throughout the season. Last season, Azpilicueta was dribbled past 0.9 times per game, whereas Zappacosta was only dribbled past 0.35 times a game in all competitions. The difference is stark and only shines a brighter light on Sarri’s misuse of the Italian international.
Sarri’s misuse of the Chelsea squad is very apparent, and with a transfer ban for the next two windows, Lampard can’t afford to be so stubborn. Disharmony was caused by Sarri’s treatment of players last season, and Lampard will do well to learn from his predecessors mistake to ensure he doesn’t do the same.