After five years of building, one of Mauricio Pochettino or Jurgen Klopp will be rewarded with football’s biggest prize, but Maurizio Sarri shouldn’t bank on Chelsea being so generous with their time.
Two dramatic comebacks, two English teams compete for the Champions League trophy for the first time in ten years.
For both Liverpool and Spurs, victory on June 1st will be a vindication of five years worth of building towards this very moment, when their respective clubs could be crowned Champions of Europe.
It seems success for Klopp’s swashbuckling Liverpool was coming. Beaten by Real Madrid in last years final, thanks to the butterfingers of Karius, Klopp was allowed to head out in the summer and spend over £140 million on a new goalkeeper and central defender.
The result of those signings, see Liverpool back in another final, and, if it wasn’t for the absolute machine that is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, they would be Premier League Champions as well.
All this while consistently losing their best players to their European rivals.
For Pochettino and Spurs, the journey has been slightly less influenced by money. Although they’ve spent some, this season saw a total of £0 spent on strengthening the squad.
Yet the belief of his work, and the quality of their team, Spurs have reached the Champions League final, matching the appearances made by their North London rivals.
And while their paths have gone in separate directions, they’ve reached the same peak due to their belief that a brighter future was coming.
That brighter future is here, and Chelsea seem to have been blinded by the light.
For Sarri of course, the situation is of course different. Chelsea have been a beacon of success in the past 15 years.
How can our future be any brighter than the years that have just preceded us?
We’ve experienced success repetitively now, so much so I would say we’re addicted to it.
For us, the journey their has always been irrelevant to us. It’s all about the final destination.
I believe that’s why the fans have struggle to warm to Sarri as he is such a juxtaposition to us.
For him, it’s about arriving in style. To which his critics are keen to point out that he hasn’t actually arrived yet.
To be fair to him, he’s hardly managed a club with the power to be challenging for success. He took Napoli close, but found the dominance of Juventus too much.
With Chelsea, he has the opportunity to finally pull up to the party all guns blazing.
One opportunity has already passed him by, losing on penalties to Manchester City, while another chance awaits in the form of Arsenal in the Europa League final.
While Sarri May come away from a defeat to Arsenal in Baku with his job intact, that lenience won’t last.
Chelsea won’t give him 5 years to see his philosophy to come to fruition. We’re a club that lives on trophies.
Top 4 was only the target this season due to the transition period. Next year so much more will be expected.
From both the board and the supporters.
For Poch and Klopp, they’ve been able to mould and shape their squads in their own image.
Of both their first starting XI only 9 players remain, 3 from Liverpool and 6 from Spurs.
Chelsea’s cosmetic surgery may not be so dramatic, in my opinion we need to fix 4 positions at a minimum.
Sarri claimed he only needs two signings having been impressed with 3 of the loan players he’s seen in training.
Perhaps that’s Reece James at right back, Kurt Zouma at centre back and Trevoh Chalobah in midfield.
That would still leave the centre forward and a new left back to buy.
Yet again, we wait with baited breath for the announcement of the appeal against our transfer ban.
Ban or no ban, Sarri will never get to the stage where after 5 years his philosophy still hasn’t been rewarded with a trophy, because it’s not how this club functions.
It was funny, during Spurs’ two legs with Ajax in the reaction to the Ajax manager, Erik ten Hag.
After their 1-0 win at White Hart Lane, people were calling for him to replace Sarri.
That mood changed once quotes were revealed from him saying Sarri’s Napoli where the benchmark for his team and by the time Lucas Moura scored his hat trick goal, people were claiming managers with philosophies were useless.
I still believe that Sarri could produce something special at Stamford Bridge. The difference I suppose between him and the Champions League finalists, is that it’s much more difficult to show progression.
Liverpool and Spurs have clearly improved since their respective managers took over, but for Sarri, you can’t really improve on a side that won the league just two seasons ago.
Their meeting in the final might be a justification of the building work undertaken by their managers but we’d better start calling Sarri Northern Rock, if he believes Chelsea will invest a similar amount of time in him.