Sarri lifts lid on 'conflicted' Chelsea reign

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The Italian spent the 2018-2019 season with the Blues but left for Juventus after only a single campaign, which ended with a UEFA Europa League final victory for the Blues over London rival Arsenal.

Sarri's departure for Juventus was met with indifference by many Chelsea supporters and there was a sense that the ex-Napoli coach failed to truly win over both fans and players.

In one incident that hinted at Sarri's fight to earn respect, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and was dropped for a game after his act of defiance.

Recalling his time at Chelsea in an interview for Juve's YouTube channel, Sarri said: "The higher the level, the more difficult it is to build a relationship with the players.

"It's not the players who change, but the surroundings. You need more time, but you still manage.

"I had a conflicted relationship with the Chelsea locker room during the first five to six months, but then when I left after the Europa League final I cried and also a lot of the guys did."

Sarri admitted he loved his time in England's top flight, even if living in the country was not for him.

"You get the feeling young people get lots more opportunities in England, not just in football," he added.

“Having said that, I would never live there. I don't understand how Italians who live there do it!

“As for the football, it's a different story. I miss the Premier League. It has an extraordinary technical level and an incredible atmosphere.

“I've never heard a chant going against someone inside a stadium and the fans all come together outside.

“The opposing fans ask you for a picture and the stadiums are always full, whatever the competition. It's fantastic."


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