Fowler: Sarri has based his system on Guardiola’s

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler thinks Sarri-ball is just an adapted tactic similar to one used by Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Maurizio Sarri came to the Premier League with a reputation of playing possession-based attacking football labelled ‘Sarri-ball’ but it hasn’t quite worked out at Stamford Bridge.

After a good start to life at Chelsea, Sarri has now overseen a period of poor form that has seen them slip to sixth in the Premier League with heavy losses against Bournemouth and Manchester City in recent weeks.

The Blues face City in the EFL Cup final at Wembley today and Fowler has questioned what Sarri-ball is.

“Seriously, what is it? A manager’s system and tactics. Like no other manager has ever had any tactics,” Fowler told the Daily Mirror, speaking about Sarri-ball.

“With Chelsea facing City today in a cup final, do you think Pep Guardiola doesn’t have a system? Do you think he’s not defined a tactical plan over his years as a top-class manager?

“In fact, Guardiola’s system – let’s call it Guardio-balla – seems suspiciously like Sarri’s, in terms of keeping possession and moving the ball quickly when a space appears.

“Except he’s been doing it longer, at a much higher level.

“So Sarri has based his system on Guardiola. Who based his on Johan Cruyff. Who took it from Rinus Michels. Who adapted various systems going all the way back to Hungary in the 1950s.

“So Sarri-ball is just ‘total football’ for the modern high-tempo game. Which is what Guardiola’s system is. And Jurgen Klopp’s.”


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