Will Maurizio Sarri Have Staying Power?

With the departure of Antonio Conte and the apparent arrival of Maurizio Sarri to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea is on to its sixth manager since the conclusion of the 2013 season. It’s an almost alarming amount of turnover for one of the top football clubs in the world, and raises the question of whether Sarri might have what it takes to stick around for a lengthy tenure, or whether he’s yet another manager stopping by for a brief stay. There are several factors at play in this question.

The Approach Works For Chelsea

The Blues may not have won a Champions League since 2012, but on the English front, the approach of switching managers every couple of years has undeniably worked for them. As you’re likely well aware if you’re reading here, Chelsea has two Premier League titles since that same point in 2013 mentioned above. Putting it more clearly, Chelsea is winning league titles at what is by far its quickest rate in history. So, while some supporters and even many of the players would likely prefer some measure of stability in the managing position, the club has reason to believe this approach will continue to produce results every few years – which, in a league this strong, is saying something.

New Managers At Big Clubs Are No Guarantee

In a lot of major sports around the world, a major team hiring a new coach is a big deal and signifies a relationship that will be given time. In some cases, these coaches even receive contracts that last for six, seven, or more years! In the Premier League, this is not so much the case. This is signified by the Conte firing, and perhaps even more by how new Arsenal boss Unai Emery is being treated in football media. Following Arsene Wenger’s 22-year tenure at Arsenal, Emery has arrived only to be given decent odds of an early exit by the UK bookmakers. There are even 1/2 odds for Arsenal fans to unfurl an “Emery Out” banner before the end of 2018! That’s not to say Sarri will definitely receive the same treatment, but the Emery situation is a good reminder that managers receive no guarantees and little loyalty in this league.

Sarri Is Economical

This may not matter much to a club like Chelsea that’s generally willing to spend for success. But there was an interesting nugget tucked away in an Independent article that was effectively introducing Sarri (as “the chain-smoking innovator who can coach Chelsea into a new dimension” no less). That nugget was that Sarri turned Napoli around in Serie A not with spending but through coaching. It’s a fairly vague statement but a fair one when you look at the team he was working with at Napoli. And, while Sarri did not reach the pinnacle of a Serie A title, his track record at the Italian club was fairly impressive in a short time. If he can accomplish a similar feat at Stamford Bridge, and help the club get back to the top of the EPL without requiring a massive influx of new, expensive signings, he may be better positioned than most to stick around for a while.

It’s A Three-Year Deal

By all accounts, Sarri is finalizing a two-year deal with an option for an additional 12 months – which, if things are going well, effectively translates to a three-year deal. Completing those three years would make him the longest lasting Chelsea manager since Jose Mourinho from 2004-2007 and Claudio Ranieri from 2000 to 2004. Given recent history you’d still have to expect that he’ll be sacked before he can reach that point, but if things are going well, he may be around longer than the average boss has been.

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