Maurizio Sarri’s “erratic” approach at Chelsea will be testing the patience of the club’s board as they mull over another managerial change, says Chris Sutton.
The Italian is seeing serious questions asked of his future in what is his first season at Stamford Bridge.
An impressive opening to the campaign earned ‘Sarri-ball’ plenty of plaudits but struggles since then, particularly away from home, have seen opinions shift.
Selection calls, such as moving N’Golo Kante out of his favoured holding midfield role, have bemused many.
Sarri also took to benching star man Eden Hazard for his side's trip to Cardiff on Sunday, before introducing the Belgium international in the second half to help grind out a dramatic, and controversial, 2-1 win.
Former Blues striker Sutton believes decisions such as that are giving the Chelsea board food for thought, telling the Daily Mail: “Maurizio Sarri got lucky in Cardiff. If it were not for the assistant referee, Chelsea would have been fortunate to escape with a point.
“Sarri may get lucky again and win the Europa League. Even if he does — securing Champions League football in the process — this abject performance only highlights why he cannot be the man to lead Chelsea next season.
“His decisions are becoming increasingly erratic.
“There are no easy games at this stage of a Premier League season, especially against a Cardiff side battling against relegation, so why leave out your best player?
“If Sarri wanted to rest Eden Hazard, would it not have been better to start him, win the game early on and then take him off with half an hour to go?
“The reaction of the Chelsea supporters who made the trip to South Wales shows they have lost faith in their manager.
“If they haven’t already, the board must be rapidly running out of patience, too.”
For now, though, his Chelsea side are chasing down a top-four finish and Europa League glory, with a return to action set to be made on Wednesday when playing host to Brighton.