Frank Lampard believes Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has been treated unfairly over his perceived “Sarriball” philosophy.
The Italian enjoyed a strong start to life at Stamford Bridge, masterminding a 12-match unbeaten Premier League run that appeared to put Chelsea on course for a title challenge.
But seven defeats in the subsequent 18 matches, including a 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, has seen Chelsea slip down to sixth and Sarri come under intense scrutiny.
Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to relegation-threatened Cardiff on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, Lampard has revealed his admiration for Sarri and defended him as a “very good manager”.
“I respect managers who have a belief in a philosophy or system,” the Derby boss told Goal. “I have never worked with Sarri, but I did see his Napoli team play fantastic football.
“I think it has been unfortunate for Sarri himself, everyone has come up with this ‘Sarriball’ term, but I am not sure I have ever heard him actually milk that one or make it his own. I think he is just trying to win football games and he has brought in players who want to play the way he wants to play. Everyone has become a little bit focused on that fact. I think he is a very good manager.