FINALLY: Chelsea next manager truth explained as brutal Roberto De Zerbi reality clear before appointment

Chelsea news as Despite a strong start for Brighton, Roberto De Zerbi’s record raises serious concerns and he is still in the running for the Blues job.

 Chelsea next manager truth explained as brutal Roberto De Zerbi reality clear before appointment

Roberto De Zerbi has had a tough 12 months with the Italian considered by Chelsea (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Roberto De Zerbi was mentioned by Chelsea a little more than a year ago as a potential Graham Potter replacement. Following moves for Marc Cucurella and Paul Winstanley, as well as interest in Moises Caicedo and Evan Ferguson, the Brighton story reached unprecedented heights. After a “thorough process” to find and hire him, Mauricio Pochettino went on to land the position, but he was not given any consideration for it.

It happened after De Zerbi managed to win nine out of his first twenty-two league games, draw six more, and only lose seven. It had been a solid start for a team that had seen their plans destroyed, thrown into disarray in the middle of the season with Leandro Trossard’s departure, and Caicedo drawing interest.

His techniques were highly popular at the time. Under Potter, Brighton’s attacking and adaptable style of play had reached new heights as De Zerbi tore through defenses and elevated risky ball play to new heights.

He was interacting with neutrals all over the league and made it to the FA Cup semifinal, where Manchester United defeated him on penalties. De Zerbi accomplished all of this with a smaller budget than those he was up against, flourishing with a group of young players, defeating Chelsea twice, and placing both six spots higher and above Tottenham.

It was only natural that his name would be on the minds of those in charge. In addition to Chelsa’s absurd pursuit of yet another Brighton body, De Zerbi was displaying a lot of quality play from their own side that Stamford Bridge supporters would have appreciated.

Coming full circle to the present, his reputation has suffered greatly. 13 and a half months ago, on April 4, he was eliminated from consideration to replace Potter. Since then, he has a dismal record in the Premier League, losing more games than winning (23-24). development

With just 17 wins in their previous 49 games, Brighton concluded De Zerbi’s first—and ultimately only—full season in management in 11th place. They only won four away from home during the season, conceded 62 goals, and won just one of the previous ten. Outside of the Amex Stadium, there were two victories out of 17 between October and May.

This is not a coaching resume that Chelsea would typically be considering. Given the four-person shortlist from which Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are selecting, the club seems to be acknowledging that the brief is about more than just outcomes.

Chelsea wants to play possession-based football under a youthful manager. After two years of ownership by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, they are looking for excitement and someone to join the structure that has been established. They see De Zerbi as the perfect fit in this.

However, the Italian story conveys a very different message. De Zerbi’s Brighton were frequently careless, despite their apparent focus on ball retention, quick passes to draw attention, breaking through the lines, and creating overloads for the wide players.

The mistakes of the strategy are evident from a cursory look at their loss to Manchester City earlier this month on the south coast. In an attempt to break through a strong press, Brighton played backwards and inside their own box nonstop, frequently giving Pep Guardiola’s team easy chances.

The Seagulls’ recent string of injuries in the same league as Chelsea’s own issues serves as their defense. They haven’t had a first-choice XI for nearly the entire season after losing Caicedo, Levi Colwill, and Alexis Mac Allister.

The problem here is that he didn’t make any concessions or work with the resources at his disposal. Does a manager’s job not include making the most of his tools? If this is the case, De Zerbi either miscalculated what his current players could accomplish or was unable to discover a different strategy that would lead to success.

Potter swiftly discovered that Chelsea has frequently needed crisis management, but this inability to adapt merely creates pressure. Restricting yourself to a single playing style out of stubbornness is not admirable or impressive—rather, it’s concerningly rigid.

According to De Zerbi and similar managers, who favor circuit training and the grooving of predetermined patterns from back to front with little room for inventive player freedom, their methods are frequently only as effective as their strategies. Whenever something goes wrong, the house of cards collapses.

It doesn’t seem to be a method of scaling up to the highest level, but rather a means of protecting a certain level of player from weaknesses. Is Chelsea aiming for this?

Many people believe that he could help Chelsea’s young players, and their 2022–2023 performances—which include those of Caicedo, Pervis Estupinian, Colwill, Ferguson, and others—support this claim. However, his methods frequently prevent people from being able to express themselves and seek solutions. He has mechanical demands, which at times can make teams appear one-dimensional and naive, as Brighton has occasionally done.

Not that Chelsea wouldn’t look good under him, but occasionally removing De Zerbi from his management negates the long-term advantages of the player. Limited player spacing places an unsustainable amount of pressure on attackers, and by heavily allocating men to the build-up phase, the element of surprise is lost in the final third.

This is De Zerbi’s risk-reward ratio. He has the capacity to be exceptionally good. His ability to turn around results and adopt a style fast has demonstrated, but it is unclear how this fits in at Chelsea.

 Chelsea next manager truth explained as brutal Roberto De Zerbi reality clear before appointment

Roberto De Zerbi has had a tough 12 months with the Italian considered by Chelsea (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The co-sporting directors are looking for someone who will share their values, be content to serve as the coach, and not much more. However, De Zerbi left Brighton due to differences in opinion. He frequently voiced his concerns about transfers and unfulfilled demands. Paul Barber and Tony Bloom could not continue working with him.

At this point, it’s important to consider why Chelsea actually needs a new head coach. They had a cordial parting from Pochettino. Even though he is far less volatile than De Zerbi, he is still not the best match for Winstanley and Stewart and is one of the least explosive characters in the game.

De Zerbi will need to soften some of the very qualities that make him so beloved by his fans if it is suggested that he will be the man to align. If things go his way, the fire and spike to his celebration and touchline antics—often traits Chelsea supporters have come to associate with their managers—will win people over, but Chelsea’s previous highly automated manager didn’t end up this way.

Maurizio Sarri was the one. De Zerbi is undoubtedly more animated than Sarri, but there are similarities between their concerns regarding strategies, tactics, playing style, and techniques.

In other words, when De Zerbi was at the top of his game last year, Chelsea should have picked him, but they decided to look elsewhere for a different kind of manager. His performance thus far does not appear to justify Chelsea’s interest.

With his body of work, even the factors working against him at Brighton are insufficient to demonstrate why Chelsea views him as the final piece in the jigsaw. If hired, his goal will be to improve on his work from a year ago at Brighton, but the performance of those who came before him and were asked to perform the same task has not been encouraging.

At this point in the Chelsea project, De Zerbi’s comments reveal more about the team than the manager. Considering their previous performances, neither of these appears especially strong.

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