Maurizio Sarri hits back at Napoli chairman's criticism: 'He is missing me'

Tanya Cunningham
August 26, 2018

Sarri inherited a side at Stamford Bridge which under-achieved last season under Antonio Conte as they attempted to defend the Premier League title at the same time as Newcastle were battling to re-establish themselves in the top flight in the wake of promotion.

Loftus-Cheek was dropped from Chelsea's matchday squad to make room for loan signing Mateo Kovacic against Arsenal last week, while Abraham has not made the substitutes' bench in either of the Blues' opening two Premier League games. I think, if you arrive to think in this way, then it's very easy. You are not depending on the opponent. But when he has a team like Napoli that was doing well, he was playing well and he was close, he was close. "It's usually three months, but my feeling is in [sic] this team there are a lot of intelligent players so I hope only two months".

The Brazil worldwide defender was a key figure in the Blues' 2016-17 Premier League title triumph but found himself out in the cold last season as injuries struck and his relationship with Conte soured.

"It is incredible to play football, of course last season was not the best for me inside the pitch, but also I learned a lot outside the pitch as a person, as a man", he told Sky Sports ahead of Chelsea's Sunday trip to Newcastle United, where they will look to make it three top-flight wins out of three this season. I don't know if I'm a very good coach if I teach another [way of] football.

"I can not say why it did not go through. Because if I want to press in the other half, if I want to look only at the ball with five defenders, I lose immediately the metres". Maybe they have a policy where they want to give the youth a chance.

"If [Chelsea] called me 40 days ago, I think it's because they wanted to see my football here, I think".

Newcastle fans were frustrated by a lack of ambition in the summer transfer market and a defeat on Sunday would be a cause for concern, leaving Benitez's men with a solitary point from their first three Premier League fixtures.

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