Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri, has admitted he has endured a difficult first season in charge of Stamford Bridge and has not managed to install his philosophy to the extent he had hoped.
Sarri has struggled to win over fans, despite reaching the Carabao Cup and Europa League finals, as well as securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Looking back on the season, Sarri conceded that he has struggled to adapt to English football and has found his players incapable of shaking off old habits.
He told Sky Sport Italia after the penalty shootout win over Frankfurt: “On a purely tactical level, I am really disappointed that I haven’t been able to work on the defensive line as much, because tonight’s Eintracht goal was entirely avoidable.
“There are many players in England who are talented, but they like to hold the ball, so it takes a while to get them to move it quicker and pass it more often.
“They also have these forwards who have a very specific way of attacking and it’s difficult to get them to change their ways.
“They want the ball passed right to their feet and often go into one-on-one situations. At that point, it’s counter-productive to force them to go against their nature.
“Clearly, Chelsea have more individualistic players than ones who will follow a system like at Napoli.”
He continued: “You run into some pretty strong cultural differences, in terms of mentality, food and doing things, so to a degree you have to show respect and adapt, which means cutting down on training sessions.
“English players are accustomed to playing continually. It’s a high level, it’s not so different a style of football from ours now, seeing as almost all the Coaches here are Italian, Spanish, French and German, so they are starting to play a more tactically-evolved style, but while maintaining the intensity and tempo of English football.”