Maurizio Sarri is making changes around the Chelsea camp – and the players are absolutely delighted, following Antonio Conte’s reign.
Conte’s plight at Chelsea was unprecedented. The Premier League and FA Cup winning ex-coach was a disciplinarian who upset a number of players including Willian and Diego Costa.
But the Telegraph reveals the mood around Stamford Bridge and their Cobham training base has been lifted by the new man in charge. The 59-year-old former Napoli boss has relaxed a number of regulations enforced by the previous regime that ended on a sour note, despite two major trophies.
Conte banned his millionaire stars from enjoying pizza, ketchup, brown sauce or fizzy drinks and reportedly used spies to ensure they stuck to his orders.
The owner of an Italian restaurant in Chelsea revealed Conte used to ask him to send photos of his players and what they were eating.
Conte had a big say in what the players ate at the canteen, but Sarri has loosened this rule, allowing players less restriction in what they choose to eat.
The out-of-work 49-year-old also demanded his players stayed together at the Chelsea Harbour hotel on nights before evening games at home.
That meant a number of the squad with young families felt they were being kept away from their loved ones unnecessarily.
Indeed, while Conte appears to be the villain in this case, he’s still unproven. It’s all well and good changing stuff around but the follow-up has to be worth it.
Where do you think Chelsea will finish this season?