Not long ago – in fact less than two weeks ago – Maurizio Sarri looked a dead man walking at Chelsea.
Cardiff were winning 1-0, and his team were playing terribly, just as they had the preceding week against Everton as they lost 2-0. The fans had totally turned on their manager, and it looked as though the board would put him out of his misery before too long, perhaps before the end of the season. But an offside Azpilicueta goal and a late winner from Ruben Loftus-Cheek won us 3 points, and we’ve since improved massively.
We beat Brighton and then West Ham in the following two games, forcing our way back into the top 4 in the process. Tonight we take on Slavia Prague in the Europa League, and a good first leg win will all but see us into the semi finals.
That means both avenues for a Champions League slot will remain open, and Sarri clings on to his job. If he takes us back to the promised land, it’s hard to see him being sacked, regardless of fan sentiment. So, against all odds, it seems that the Italian is just a few results away from being the man to take us into the 2019/2020 season.
That’s quite the turnaround.