LONDON — Maurizio Sarri has said he still does not understand the character of his Chelsea team following their defeat to Tottenham.
Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min scored in a 3-1 win as Spurs handed Sarri’s men their first defeat in 18 competitive games across all competitions. Mauricio Pochettino’s side also missed several other gilt-edged chances to heap further humiliation on their London rivals.
In September, Sarri had said that he wanted to figure out the cause of their “strange” collapses following Premier League title triumphs under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte — but is no closer to finding the answer.
“I don’t know the character of the team,” he said. “I think it’s very strange. [In 2014-15] 87 points, the season after 50 points. Then 93 again, then 70.
“Of course I hope for a reaction, first of all during training, and then in the next match. But I knew very well that we had problems, I knew very well that we had to work.
“Now everyone knows it. We have to work on all the reactions, I think.”
Sarri has been clear that wants to solve Chelsea’s problems on the training pitch rather than the transfer market, but he knows that a run of 10 matches in 32 days across all competitions between now and the New Year will not help his cause.
“It’s very difficult to have time to try to improve the team, to try to solve problems, particularly because we have time only to prepare the next match,” he said. “We have to play every three days but we have to do something, I think.
“We have to try to improve first of all the team, and then player by player.”