Maurizio Sarri has said that things aren't as bad as they seem at Chelsea despite their dip in domestic form, making comparisons between himself and Arsenal manager Unai Emery to defend his record in charge.
Sarri has taken significant flak recently after resounding league defeats to Bournemouth and Manchester City preceded an FA Cup exit to Manchester United, and comfortable wins over Huddersfield and Malmo in the same time have done little to quell speculation surrounding his potential sacking.
In his defence, however, Sarri pointed out that no-one is calling for the head of his London contemporary Emery, who was also appointed in the summer, and has a comparable record at the helm.
"I have to think of my work as a big picture issue, otherwise I’d do my work badly. So I continue along my path and nothing has changed, as far as I am concerned," Sarri told Sky Italia, via Metro.
"I don’t understand why people act as if our season is so negative and Arsenal’s is impressive.
"It’s true there have been many peaks and troughs, including some very deep troughs, but considering it’s my first season in a new league and environment, I think that’s acceptable."
For balance, it should be pointed out that Sarri did inherit a Chelsea side with title-winning experience, having lifted the Premier League trophy as recently as 2017, while Emery at Arsenal had more of a rebuilding job on his hands as he succeeded the legacy of Arsene Wenger.
That being the case, however, an unlikely win in the League Cup final over Manchester City this weekend would certainly go a long way to shifting the perception.