Gullit warns Sarri against publicly criticising his players the next time
Ruud Gullit has warned Maurizio Sarri about publicly criticising his players, saying that the manager’s criticism in public can turn the players against him and make his job all the more difficult.
Sarri slammed his players in his post-match conference following Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal last week, with the Italian claiming that his players lack the mental aggressiveness to compete at the highest level and they are very difficult to motivate.
However, the players responded to the criticism in a fine manner, beating Spurs 2-1 in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals to set up a clash with Man City next month.
Although Sarri’s criticism paid the dividends this time, Gullit feels that the manager should think twice before slamming his players publicly next time.
“It is very, very risky to criticise your players in public like Sarri did this week – even if you know you are right,” Gullit wrote in a BBC Match of the Day column.
“Sometimes as a manager, you really want to be open about what you are thinking, good or bad, and for the right reasons. You are hoping your players respond in the right way.
“But if that openness is misinterpreted by them, then you have more problems.
“What you really don’t want is a situation that plays out in the media like the one we have just seen at Chelsea. The only people who benefit when that happens are the newspapers.”
“Sarri spoke about Hazard, calling him an individual and not a leader, and then Hazard responded by basically saying he does not care what his manager thinks, he is still going to do his thing – so shut up,” he said.
“That is already a sign of what can go wrong when you call your players out.
“I have never really felt like Sarri’s job was at risk through all this but, if they keep talking about each other then, as a manager, he is in trouble.
“That has nothing to do with the power of the player involved, either.
“Yes, Hazard is Chelsea’s best player, and they rely on him too much, but it is the whole dressing room that Sarri has to handle here and keep happy, not just an individual.”