Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said he has yet to speak with the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, about his future following the side's mauling at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday.
City destroyed Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League, and when asked about his position following the game by Sky in Italy (h/t Sky Sports), the Blues boss said: "If the president calls, I'll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him."
Ahead of the team's match with Malmo in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Sarri said he hasn't heard from Abramovich and clarified what he meant by his comments following Sunday's embarrassing result, per Liam Twomey of ESPN FC:
"Not in this week. It depends on the president. It's not never, not very often. Not never. The interview was in Italian, I am better than you at this.
"I have spoken to him, not this week. I would like to speak to someone of the club, not necessarily the owner. I speak to Marina [Granovskaia, club director] and for me that is enough."
Per Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, there were some high-profile Blues figures at Sarri's press conference on Wednesday:
According to Twomey, the Blues are not considering a change of manager, although speculation has gathered pace regarding his role since the loss to City.
Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph recently reported that the coming fortnight will be vital in determining whether Sarri stays in a job, as the Blues get their Europa League campaign back under way. On Monday, they face Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup, and on February 24, it's City again in the Carabao Cup final.
One of the major criticisms of the Blues boss has been how welded he is to a particular style of play. Regardless of the game situation, it's rare for him to change the 4-3-3 shape he sets out in and the possession-based style of football he prefers.
Football journalist Peter Hall said after the City loss he was sceptical about this level of stubbornness:
You'd think Sarri would think about changing style, right? "My target is to play my football, and not to change to other football." OK, mate.— Peter Hall (@PeteHall86) February 10, 2019
Italian football reporter David Amoyal provided some support for the Italian, praising the work he did at Napoli:
Which doesn’t mean Sarri doesn’t have his faults, but only one team can win the league title, but during his time at the club, Napoli went all in for scudetto. The “Sarri never won anything” brigade seems to omit this part of the debate- these are mutually exclusive concepts— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) February 13, 2019
Regardless of the style he demands, Sarri will be looking for a response from his players in what will be a key couple of weeks, starting with the trip to Swedbank Stadion on Thursday.
Bringing in a coach like Sarri was always going to result in some short-term pain for the Blues, as the brand of football he looks to play is intricate, requires specific types of players and a high level of fitness. Their want to see so-called Sarri-ball in full form is set to be tested in the coming months.