Maurizio Sarri held one-on-one meetings with his Chelsea players when he looked for explanations of the lack of “determination” in defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, while the Italian also criticized the reaction of Holo Gante to his team's last bad start. .
Chelsea, who can declare that their group in the Europa League with points in PAOK Salonika on Thursday, took damage on Wembley and scored two goals in 16 minutes. Surry quickly offered a reminder that a possible 3-1 loss was his team’s first competitive defeat in a season after an 18-game unbeatable start, but, noticing warning signs in previous matches, was alarmed by the same issue that again flared up in such a key Derby.
The head coach spoke separately with his players on Monday in Cobham to see why their performance was so flat. “I talked to them as a player player, meeting with five to ten minutes with people,” said Surry, who would leave Eden Hazard vs. PAOK after the Belgians suffered an ankle injury over the weekend. “I had to think about everything, because on Saturday we played very badly, a match without determination.
"This not normal. We lost one match in three and a half months, 110 days, but we have to understand why, especially from the point of view of the mind. It is very difficult for me to understand why we played without determination in such an important match.
“If you have no resolve, you have no motivation. If you have no motivation, you may not have clear goals in your mind. I wanted to understand this. The problem was also in the approach to the match in the previous three matches [against Crystal Palace, BATE Borisov and Everton]but if you enter the field with such an approach, and the opponents are very strong, like Tottenham, and definitely, Tottenham, the problem is greater. Thus, they were able to destroy us in 15 minutes. But I have seen the same problems in matches before. ”
On the question of whether individual meetings gave an explanation to the poor, he said: “It seems to me that it is very difficult for them to explain why. Very difficult. Someone told me that maybe the international break was a problem; that the problem was immediately 100% ready, but I do not know.
"Maybe for Tottenham it was easier because the Tottenham players played here in London, played on Sunday [for England]On monday they were all together [back at their club]but the situation was similar. So maybe this may be true. I think only a small percentage.
The criticism of Surry about Kant, the other one expecting to sit against PAOK, was born out of calls for the midfielder to return to the central place, in which he succeeded in asserting consecutive Premier League titles with Leicester City and Chelsea and the World Cup with France. Kant, who signed a new contract worth about £ 290,000 a week last Friday, received a somewhat shorter, short term: Yorginho, the only field competition at the club and the player around whom Surry built his team in Napoli, taking a central role.
“As you know, I want to play the central midfielder as a very technical player – Jorginho or Cesca Fabregas,” explained Surry. “I do not want Kante to hold this position. Kante, in the last match, decided to allow the match after the first 15 minutes, but in the wrong direction. He lost his position. He attacked the other box too hard. And I think that this is not one of the best characteristics of Kant, but it was only a reaction to the difficulties.
“Maybe it's only a matter of time before he learns about the role. But when the ball is on the other side, on the left, Kant should stay very close to Jorginho. ”
Oliver Giroud said of Kant: “We do not need to question his position. He just needs to adapt to what the manager wants.