That’s according to journalist Gabriele Marcotti, who has also pinpointed Marcos Alonso as a problem for the Blues boss.
The pressure is well and truly on Sarri at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea suffered their heaviest ever Premier League defeat last Sunday.
A hat-trick from Sergio Aguero, a brace from Raheem Sterling and an Ilkay Gundogan strike saw Manchester City slap them with a 6-0 defeat at the Etihad.
Marcotti thinks Sarri has inherited a squad of older players in west London, while identifying Azpilicueta as a player who doesn’t work in his system.
“Azpilicueta, for example, he’s simply not the kind of fullback that works in this system”
“The thing about Chelsea that I think some people kind of sometimes forget is that throughout the Abramovich era, Sarri’s only really the second manager who’s actually an attack-first type manager rather than more of a pragmatist, reactor type,” he told The Game podcast.
“The other one being Andre-Villas Boas and that didn’t work out great, as we know.
“But he’s coming on the back of two guys who won league titles, who had a very, very different style.
“He’s inherited a squad of older players and a guy like Azpilicueta, for example, phenomenal in a back three, obviously started out as a fullback – he’s simply not the kind of fullback that works in this system.
“Alonso works as a wingback, I think it’s pretty obvious that he can’t play left-back at this stage. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he’s simply not quick enough. He’s really a central defender who’s one-footed and puts in a great ball.”
It is worrying times for Sarri, whose future at the club is in serious doubt following Sunday’s humiliation at City.
And it could get even worse for Chelsea at the end of the season when Eden Hazard enters the final year of his contract.
Hazard, 28, has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid and it is difficult to envisage the Belgian not securing his ‘dream’ transfer in the summer.
But Marcotti thinks his departure, along with the likes of Willian and Pedro, could signal a new era at Stamford Bridge.
“You’ve got all these guys who’ve got a year left on their contract at the end of the season; Willian, Pedro, Eden Hazard of course,” he said.
“So there is an opportunity there if Chelsea want to to go and reform the squad and maybe give space to people like [Ethan] Ampadu, [Callum] Hudson-Odoi if he extends his contract.
“But the difficulty is: A – Sarri has to earn that chance and he has to earn that chance by finishing top four most likely or at least showing signs of progress.
“And equally I think [Roman] Abramovich matters here in the sense that he’s had issues with the UK government, he’s out of the country, you wonder to what degree this is still a priority for him which in someways could work to Sarri’s advantage.
“But there is a vacuum there. There’s no director of football anymore, it’s basically Marina Granovskaia and nobody else. So it’s difficult leadership wise.”