By James Simpson
Last Updated: 15/02/19 12:54pm
Mark Schwarzer says motivation is not a problem for Chelsea players and managing big personalities is part of Maurizio Sarri’s job.
The ex-Blues goalkeeper, who spent two seasons with the club between 2013 and 2015, was in the Sky Sports studio on Friday after Chelsea secured a 2-1 away win over Malmo in the Europa League.
After the game, head coach Sarri praised his side, saying they “played their football” and “played with a good level of confidence.” However, he has come under fire for criticising his players this season.
Chelsea’s players looked particularly lost in their 6-0 trashing at Manchester City last Sunday, a game that left Sarri “worried and bemused” and one Cesar Azpilicueta called “one of the worst nights in my career”.
Schwarzer told Sky Sports Sarri must adapt to get the best out of them.
“If you look at Chelsea, the history, particularly in the last couple of years, we’ve had managers who have come out and been quite vocal towards the players, criticised the players at times,” he said.
“And I think it’s had varying results, most of the time negative results.
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“Sarri has tried it multiple times this season. I don’t think he’s going to get the results or response that he wants.
“I’m sure he has realised: I’ve got to take a different approach, put more of an arm around them and maybe not be so vocal publicly.”
Concern over the motivation of the players has risen in recent weeks. Before the 6-0 loss to City, Chelsea’s last away trip resulted in a 4-0 drubbing by Bournemouth, but Schwarzer argued – based on his experience in the Stamford Bridge changing room – the motivation it is not a player issue.
He said: “I still know a lot of the players and motivation was one thing I didn’t ever think that these players lacked. They are always very motivated.
“They are winners, guys that are used to vying for titles, winning trophies. Nothing hurts them more than when things don’t go right on the football pitch so I think motivation isn’t the problem.”
Schwarzer emphasised the player criticisms just go to show their driven nature.
He said: “I was there when players like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole were at the club of a generation where that allegation was also aimed towards those guys and I never saw it for a moment.
“Of course you’ve got big personalities in that changing room but that’s what you want. You want guys that are experienced, they are natural-born winners, they demand from the players around them
“At times, yeah, it’s a challenge for a manager but a manager’s job is to manage.
“Not only is he out there to put players on the pitch, define the tactics, sort out the training sessions but there to manage the individuals and also manage the collective and at times, that’s the biggest challenge for managers.
“I think that far too often, it’s too easy then to turn around and just put blame on the players for the performances.”