As Chelsea prepare for a difficult February, there are still concerns surrounding the long-term future of head coach Maurizio Sarri.
Despite the 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield at the weekend, plenty of fans and pundits have voiced their frustration at ‘Sarri-ball’, which does not appear to have quite taken the Premier League by storm, at least not yet anyway.
Things have not quite gone to plan for Chelsea in recent months, despite a bright start to the campaign, with many wondering if Sarri will even see out the season.
We’ve taken a look at a few of the reasons why the Italian should stay and see out the season.
'Sarri-ball' needs time
Chelsea are still adapting to Sarri’s tactical demands, that much is clear. It is not going to happen overnight, over a couple of weeks or months.
Time and patience is required in this instance, as well as the ability for Sarri to bring in more of players that he would call ‘his own’.
Pep Guardiola suffered a similar problem during his first year at Manchester City, as he bid to install a system that was so alien to the Premier League. He was given time and City reaped the rewards.
That’s not to say Chelsea will go on and win the Premier League, breaking record after record next season, but unless Sarri’s given time, you’re never going to know.
What if the problem isn't Sarri?
Chelsea have become known for their hire and fire policy, but what if the managers and coaches are not always the problem?
Sarri has admitted he may not be able to motivate this group of players. The same group of players who downed tools under both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
Could it be that player power in the Chelsea dressing room has become too strong?
Some could argue that there are a few players that could be moved on to make the head coach’s job easier.
There's a big summer ahead
Chelsea look very likely to lose Eden Hazard at the end of the season.
If you add in the departures of Cesc Fabregas leaving for Monaco and Gary Cahill’s contract expiring, a number of key figures would have left Stamford Bridge over the past 12 months.
Once all of that is combined into one, it results in a turbulent summer for Chelsea. The playing squad could look drastically different by the time the 2019-20 season kicks off.
Christian Pulisic will also be joining the club next season and no doubt more signings will follow. The last thing the club needs is more turbulence by changing their head coach.
Roman has always wanted 'appealing' football
One of Roman Abramovich’s long-standing wishes at Chelsea is to have the Blues play an aesthetically pleasing style of play.
He tried for years to replicate Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona but was unsuccessful. Sarri’s appointment is the closest he has come to that and the club must be patient.
What you want may not always be what you need and that looks to be the case with Chelsea.
Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho have provided the club with some of their most memorable seasons with football that could not be further from the style that Guardiola has implemented throughout his managerial career.
Top four still a serious possibility
Finishing inside the top four would have been the minimum that was expected of Sarri this season. That is still very much on the cards.
After a season in the Europa League, the Blues know the importance of getting back into the Champions League.
Chelsea are two points ahead of an inform Manchester United side, who sit fifth in the Premier League. If it gets to a stage where finishing outside the top four is looking more and more likely, the club are likely to act on that.