Maurizio Sarri was not taking the bait when speaking with the media today.
Sarri’s Chelsea side play Manchester United, on Saturday, and the Italian manager was asked if he felt that his side play a more attractive style of football than his club did during Mourinho’s reigns at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri proved to be well able to deflect the question, however, and avoid any potential sensationalist headlines in the process. The Chelsea manager instead spoke very highly of Mourinho.
“I don’t know because we are talking about a coach who has won everything,” Sarri told the press.
“He has won everywhere. So I think I have to respect him but I think also that you all have to respect him.
“I think that he is a very good coach, a very good manager, one of the best in the world. I don’t know about his problem with Antonio, sometimes out on the pitch we [managers] are a little bit nervous, a little bit tense, so in that moment you can say everything. I think Conte respects Mourinho and vice-versa.”
Sarri was then asked if he felt that Mourinho gets enough respect from the English press, to which he replied:
“I don’t know,” Sarri he added. “I think no at the moment but I’m not really sure, I don’t want to read anything. I know as a coach we have positive and negative periods. In negative periods I only want to think in my mind, I don’t want to read anything.
“We are talking about only eight matches. They are doing well in the Champions League so they have the opportunity to improve in the Premier League.”