Column: Why Sarri SHOULD still be Chelsea's manager next season
Chelsea's 2-0 win over West Ham on Monday night has pumped even more fuel into one of the most controversial debates in the Premier League this season - whether Maurizio Sarri is the correct man for the Stamford Bridge hotseat.
Eden Hazard's sublime two goals helped Chelsea go third in the table ahead of tonight's Europa League quarter-final first leg away to Slavia Prague, but despite their team being on the verge of potential silverware, many Chelsea fans are desperate to see the back of the boss.
Sarri succeeded fellow Italian Antonio Conte back in July 2018 and to begin with, it looked as if the job was tailor-made for him, winning his first five Premier League matches and turning Chelsea into possible title-challengers.
However, things were to go seriously downhill and a poor run of form throughout the middle of the season, which included an embarrassing 4-0 annihilation at the hands of Bournemouth and a humiliating 6-0 loss at Manchester City, meant they equalled their heaviest defeat in Premier League history then 'beaten' it in the space of two weeks.
This sparked major uproar within the Chelsea fanbase, with supporters slamming their manager's 'Sarriball' tactics, claiming his side simply maintained possession without any sort of end product and inevitably got punished as a result.
Why Chris Hughton admires Maurizio SarriThat said, Chelsea's recent form has seen them grind out good results without necessarily playing well, including a narrow 2-1 win away to Cardiff after they came from a goal down amid chants of 'We want Sarri out' by some of the Blues' travelling support.
Although a few fans seem to be demanding Sarri's head on a spike, there are more than a few Chelsea fans who would prefer to see the Italian remain in charge for at least the rest of his contract until 2021. Some are bored by the club's managerial merry-go-round, which has seen 11 different bosses in 19 years.
Sarri also went close to helping Chelsea retain the League Cup, unluckily losing to Manchester City on penalties in the final in February, which proved that Sarriball has displayed the ability to at least go close to winning trophies.
Being present at Stamford Bridge on Monday, it wasn't hard to notice groans and cries for Sarri to be sacked even with Chelsea dominating the game at times, which included boos following his decision to replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek with 20 minutes remaining despite a good performance;
These were subsequently matched by responses of 'pro-Sarri' Chelsea fans who claimed the boss' decision was down to him having one eye on their trip to Prague in midweek.
The divide in the fanbase slightly resembles Arsenal's old 'Wenger in or out' saga, with some fans wanting Sarri out the door as soon as possible, while others claiming he should be given the chance to win the Europa League and achieve a top-four finish.
Personally, I think a manager's tactics and ideologies require time to be fully implemented into a squad, and although Sarriball has proved a disaster at times this season, this should be a transitional period for the club - and Sarri should keep the job until at least next season to iron out the issues we have seen.