Sarriball Unbeaten Run
Chelsea has undergone a massive metamorphosis, have had a phenomenal season under their new manager, Maurizio Sarri, much to everyone’s surprise. He put an end to the unimpressive slump they had with Conte, and so far, the Blues have enjoyed an unbeaten run so far in the Premier League, and have been in the top 4 since the start of the tournament.
The chain-smoking head coach must be doing something right because Chelsea is flourishing. With this appointment as their manager, he brought his unique point of view and style of play, that his team has adapted to beautifully.
One term that you may have come across before is “Sarriball,” so what exactly does this technique entail, and how effective is it on the field?
Also known as Sarrismo, it is a style of play different from most others, that Maurizio Sarri perfected over the years, which his teams owe a lot of their success to.
One feature of this approach is that is fast-paced, and involves tiki-takaesque technique of vertical, short and quick passes and interchanges in the attacking third.
This allows the players to quickly progress or move up the field. He makes good use of defenders, who he uses to instigate the attack.
This style of play high pressing and possession based, particularly in the defensive third. This is done to disperse the other team and to create openings for Chelsea to make those sharp passes. It relies on the movement, awareness, understanding, and connection of the players.
Maurizio Sarri employs a 4-3-3 formation. The defense and midfield must work together, and push up against their opponents. Jorginho plays a crucial role in this system, as he handles the transition from defense – the goalkeeper and the center backs, to the midfield with neat, triangular passes.
Maurizio Sarri also prefers that the fullback or Marcus Alonso, on the left flank is more in charge of possession and attacking.
The idea is to get the ball to Ross Barkley or an attacker on the same side, in this case, Eden Hazard.
On the right flank, Kante maintains the relationship between the midfielders and the defense, by assisting Jorghiono.
Sarri’s technique renders the opponent’s defense broken and scattered while denying them of any passing opportunities., which is then capitalized upon by the attackers. This hard-pressing style of play denies them of any space, often trapping them in their third defensive area, where they might have possession.
This results in the opposition making mistakes. Now, Kante also has the opportunity to and even move into the attacking area along with forwards Pedro and Willian, to create opportunities for Hazard to score. The drawback to this is that it creates room for counter attacks.
Sarriball, unfortunately, tends to tire players out quickly. Napoli for example, Sarri’s former team always started very strong, but then dwindled out towards the end. Hopefully, it isn't the same case with Chelsea.
Despite never winning a league, Sarri is a name that evokes respect from all over the footballing world. He has a reputation for bringing out the best in his players, and transforming teams who aren’t having the best season into serious title contenders