Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has admitted that Blues coach Maurizio Sarri realised he needed to adjust his tactics after the humiliating 6-0 defeat to Man City at the Etihad.
Sarri’s tactics have been heavily criticised in recent months and during the 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, sections of the Chelsea faithful seemed to be in full out revolt against their coach, serenading the 60-year-old Italian with chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing,’ and ‘F*ck Sarri-ball.’
However, the Blues improved massively during their Carabao Cup final defeat to Man City, narrowly losing out in a penalty shoot-out, and have since beat London rivals Spurs and Fulham in the Premier League, reducing the pressure on their under-fire boss and increasing their chances of finishing in the top four.
Rudiger has revealed that his sides improved recent showings have been down to Sarri accepting he had to adapt his tactical approach.
“I think everyone has adapted to new things — also the coach. You saw the way we played against Tottenham and Manchester City [in the past week]? It was different to the way we played in the first three months,” Rudiger told the London Evening Standard.
“Everyone needs to adapt. Have we found a good balance of how to play? Definitely. In life, you need to adapt to things. This League is different to Italy, you have to adjust a bit.”
When it was put to Rudiger that Sarri has been forced to learn quickly about English football, the Germany international replied:
“Of course. He learned from that game against City. There we went high, we went to press, we wanted to win the ball and everyone knows what happened.
“We can play both [styles]. But it is always good to find the golden middle. It depends on the coach. He gives the tactics and the players follow.”