Maurizio Sarri was branded ‘stupid’ by Martin Keown after making the bizarre decision to bring on a defender over Callum Hudson-Odoi during their defeat by Manchester United.
The Chelsea boss’ stubbornness to stick with ‘Sarri-ball’ again proved futile and raised more questions about his future as United highlighted the flaws in the system and picked his side apart to knock them out of the FA Cup.
The fans are now turning on him, and seem just at odds with his decision-making as the players do. The biggest disgruntlement of the night came when Sarri opted to use Davide Zappacosta as his last substitute instead of the promising young forward Hudson-Odoi despite his side trailing by two goals.
Responding to the change, BBC commentator and Sportsmail columnist Keown said: ‘He’s [Hudson-Odoi] probably wondering isn’t he. I mean they’re two goals down and he’s put a defender on. Is it a politcal move from the manager because it’s a stupid one if it is.’
The 18-year-old, who desperately wanted to move to Bayern Munich in January, was spotted eyeing up his boss with the look of resentment written all over his face after being kept on the bench.
Sarri is now facing an uncertain future at the club after this latest humbling and if results do not pick up soon, he will be out the door before the season comes to an end.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, is enjoying a totally different experience to life in the hot seat and earned more plaudits after his side bounced back from last week’s disappointment against Paris Saint-Germain to win here at Stamford Bridge.
It was another inspiring performance from Paul Pogba too with the midfielder scoring and making one in United’s comfortable 2-0 win. The Frenchman put his and the team’s turn around in fortunes down to the trust he and his team-mates have built up with interim boss Solskjaer.
And Keown’s BBC colleague, Alan Shearer, believes the Norwegian deserves much more credit for getting United organised and tactically astute again.
He added: ‘We are sat here praising the manager saying he’s got them smiling again and playing again but he also got this team set up tonight and said this is how we are going to play and this is how we are going to stop them.
‘He done a magnificent job tactically as well. It’s too simplistic to say that he’s just got them smiling again because there’s a lot more work that goes into it than that.
‘They are actually really close to being a really good team. I think they are two or three players away from competing right at the top.’