Chelsea fans are already very split on Maurizio Sarri. That much has been clear almost from the day he arrived.
The divisions in the fanbase, mainly between the online fans who tend pro-Sarri, and the match-going punters who, by and large, have never taken to him, have reached really poisonous levels at times this season.
"I've never seen an 18 year old player at the top"
I have Maurizio, His name? Ray Wilkins – he captained Chelsea when he was 18 years old. If you're good enough, you're old enough.
RIP Ray #Chelsea pic.twitter.com/DQds35WN3d
— Mark Worrall (@gate17marco) March 6, 2019
The disputes so far have largely been about tactics and player selections. Those who defend him are more willing to put up with his stubbornness and intransigence in the belief that it will lead to something greater.
Those with less faith think that it’s already clear that it will never be possible to implement what he wants here, and therefore the club should cut their losses rather than pouring time and money into a doomed project.
I ask Sarri about Hudson-Odoi. He says Hudson-Odoi is always on his mind in every game but we should put less pressure on young English players. Thinks he'll reach the top at 22 or 23 #cfc
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) March 6, 2019
That argument could rage forever, but the side issue of his use of young players could united both sides of the fanbase against him very quickly. His comments in the press conference yesterday about Callum Hudson-Odoi revealed that the Italian coach has a very different view about young players to both groups of supporters.
It might be that they never agree on whether “Sarri-ball” will work, but the idea that none of our youngsters are good enough for more minutes, and even more bizarrely his feelings that there are no 18-year-olds ready for first team action in football, is so patently false that it could unite these two disparate camps.
Another key reason why so many fans find Sarri so frustrating. It’s a home Europa League game he must start! No brainier! Sarri says this the day after a 19 year old captain’s Ajax to a 4-1 win at Real Madrid! Is it any wonder Callum Hudson-Odoi wants to leave. He’s good enough! https://t.co/AHtDS8qzG7
— Chris Wright 🏴 (@chriswrightzz) March 6, 2019
If internet 15-year-olds and match-going yer da’s are united in disagreement with his fundamental understanding of how young players should be introduced to the team, you really have to question whether his vision will ever be able to capture the minds – but more importantly the hearts – of Chelsea fans.