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Chelsea urged to stick with Sarri: People get carried away... he's not doing so bad!

8:49 PM SGT 2/3/19
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2019
Blues loan coach Eddie Newton isn't surprised to see his name linked with stepping in for the Italian but thinks he deserves more time

Eddie Newton has urged Chelsea to show stability and keep faith with Maurizio Sarri, insisting that he isn't doing a bad job and that "people get carried away" with their criticisms of the Italian.

The Blues' form spiralled over the winter period and high-profile away league defeats to the likes of Arsenal, Bournemouth and Manchester City left Sarri's long-term future in west London in doubt.

As revealed by Goal, the former Napoli boss was given three games to save his job, with a 2-0 win over Spurs, coupled with their qualification for the Europa League last 16, helping to keep Sarri at Stamford Bridge.

The pressure is still on the Italian, however, and with the show of defiance from Kepa Arrizabalaga in refusing to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final, Sarri's position still seems uncertain.

With the Blues preparing for an away trip to Fulham on Sunday, Newton joked that his name should be in the mix for the caretaker role, should it become available, but he believes that the current boss deserves more time.

"It should be," Newton told Goal with a laugh, as he spoke of his name being included among those who could take over. "I have a lot of experience at first-team level. I have been there before and seen it before, so my name always gets thrown in the mix when managers are a little bit under pressure, so it is normal.

"I cannot comment on that because I am not sitting on the board and making those decisions. But it will help him with the fans [to beat Tottenham]. Spurs are a big rival and beating them is a big thing. Not just winning but the connotations of halting their drive to the title and maybe propelling us forward.

“I know it is well-documented our club turn over managers quite regularly. But the simple fact is I think Sarri will get more time. I think the last two performances especially show he is adaptable because we were a lot more structured and compact and harder to beat.

“It shows we are going in a different direction and I think that helps a lot and will secure the fans. Hopefully, the fans saw the last two performances and got a little bit of confidence even though we lost one.

"You are at a top club, and you expect criticism when things are not going so well. When you are within the club, you know you are doing a good job. Most people won’t see that unless they are in the club on a day-to-day basis.

"As long as you know your systems are correct, you are trying to do the right things, and you are moving in the right direction then you have to believe in yourself. Sarri has come out and said, at this point in his first season 'I got more points than Pep Guardiola, but he is not getting criticism like I am'.

"It is true. Sometimes people get carried away with circumstances and so on. People have got to pull back and realise that he is not doing so bad."

Newton's work can go unnoticed, but he is highly respected at Cobham Training Ground, as he provides feedback and analysis to Chelsea's loan group.

This comes after spells with the first team where he worked alongside both Guus Hiddink and Roberto Di Matteo, as well as taking a few first-team training sessions this summer, between Antonio Conte and Sarri's roles as head coach.

With the Blues facing a ban over two transfer windows, a decision that they have confirmed they will appeal, Newton now expects the loan system to be altered, but has defended the club's model in shipping out numerous players on temporary deals.

"It will get tweaked," he added. "At the end of the day, FIFA are looking at it and saying that 'maybe some clubs are using the loan system in not the right way', but with FFP and the way clubs are trying to manage the resources at their club, being in the business model of what they are being asked to do, the loan system has to be there.

"It is a way of looking after the players if they are not in our first team or too good for our Under-23s, not just to get rid of them. We would get hammered if we just got rid of all these players [after they graduate from the academy].

"We are still trying to look after them, find solutions for them and make sure that they play at a high level. Most of our players are at a high level all around the world. We have players in Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Championship and Premier League.

"So, they are all over the world but playing at a very high level. That’s because of the exhaustive work that goes on behind the scenes to help them with their career. So, whether they go elsewhere or come back to us, they are better for it.

"FIFA has to understand that, because of the resources in football, players are staying at clubs for longer because we can afford to. We have got to try and find solutions to that, and I think it is a good way, not just to get rid of players like in the old days.

"Not because it was against the club’s [interest] but because we didn’t have the financial resources to keep them and wait for them to get better. You had to act now; you either had to stay and be good enough or get told to leave.

"Football is different nowadays. We can sustain and keep them on contracts for longer, so we need to find solutions."

Newton picked out some success stories that he has been keeping tabs on as the club's loan coach, with many of them still hoping to be deemed good enough for Sarri's first team.

"I think it has been one of our most successful seasons. We have got the boys in the Championship," Newton added. "They are all playing really well. Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, notably at Derby County. We have many boys in the Championship doing really well.

"Ola Aina at Torino is doing really well this season, and I am really pleased for him. Kenneth Omeruo at Leganes in La Liga, a lot of people had doubted him but he has gone into one of the strongest leagues and he is standing strong. We are ecstatic with it.

"I think one of the most stand-outs for us is Kurt Zouma at Everton. To be a loanee in the Premier League and compete with someone that they bought in the same position and keep him out of the team stands testament to how well he has done this season. He is having a really strong season."