Sarri Talks Milinkovic-Savic Rumours, Intense Schedule & UEL Challenges

Maurizio Sarri was frustrated with the intense schedule and did not want to talk turnover ahead of Lazio’s Europa League clash with Sturm Graz.

The Biancocelesti are desperate to pick up three points against their Austrian opposition this evening as they fight for a spot in the Round of 16. All four teams in Group F are currently tied on four points, leaving things wide open with three games left to play.

Lazio held firm to pick up a point in Austria and now they’re hungry to pick up a strong win over Sturm Graz tonight.

Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first discussed what the first leg against Sturm Graz taught Lazio.

It taught us that we’re playing against a team that has impressive physical numbers, so far they’re the only one of our opponents that have done better from a physical point of view. 

They have good tactical organisation, then two-three top players. They’re playing the season with Salzburg point to point, we look at the substance and not the name, Sturm are stronger than their name.

He was not content with the idea of constant rotations and turnover.

The word turnover is a bid annoying. This is an Italian fixation, the English always play with the same 11 and they play more than us. Maybe here we have a greater expenditure of energy, they have the innate habit of playing every three days, the mental recovery there is perhaps faster. 

This week is different from the previous one, there will be three games in six days and not in eight. 

I don’t like preparing matches in half an hour at all, it feels like doing another job. We are forced to do it because of the World Cup in winter, we adapt. We’ll see.

The Italian coach highlighted his anger with the packed schedule this season.

Difficult even to make the schedule in this nonsensical shambles, it’s absolute delirium. The calendar is this, I would have liked to play at least Sunday evening, to have a few extra hours. 

When there are only 66 hours between the end of one game and the start of another, even two or three hours more are decisive. Let’s see, we have to have a clear idea about the recoveries. 

There are no major physical problems, but then there is the physical and mental recovery to be found in a short time. In the training session it will be difficult to assess conditions, it won’t be a session of great physical exertion.

Sarri spoke about how he trains his squads to deal with intensity.

The actual times of the European cups are slightly higher. Intensity is learnt in training, then you have to remember one thing. Players have a cylinder capacity, if one is a 4k he is a 4k. 

If one is a 2,000 he remains a 2,000. If we’re talking about a car you can tinker with it. You can also improve with players, but then there are some players who cost €100 million, others who cost significantly less, and there is a reason for that. 

He commented on what midfielder Toma Basic is still missing.

He lacks a bit of personality and that’s all. The responsibility if he played less is mine, he is a complete player. More than the others I have in midfield. 

So maybe if the game is going well one thinks of putting in more of a defensive midfielder, if it’s going badly I put in a more offensive one. The fault is mine, I forgot him on the bench too often. 

Sarri was not impressed with the suggestion that Milinkovic-Savic isn’t talked about enough. 

It seems to me there is too much talk about him instead. We win 4-0 and there is talk of him on the market going to another team, this is to show how distorted the press can be for me. 

Filippo Ganna won by doing a feat, I use specialised channels to get news. There is too much gossip. 

Milinkovic-Savic has extraordinary stats, others in which he needs to improve such as lost balls. An extraordinary midfielder, but he still has margins for growth.

Finally, Sarri spoke about the physical condition of defender Nicolo Casale and if he expected such a solid defence this season.

Casale has recovered medically, then it’s clear, he stopped and we are trying to get him back to a competitive level quickly. I think he is close, in the next games he will be taken into consideration. 

It’s not just the line that has made progress, it’s the whole team that is protecting the defence more. But the period we are evaluating is still short, so not too reliable.

Tags Biancocelesti Europa League Italy Lazio lazio vs Sturm Graz Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A Sturm Graz Sturm Graz vs lazio UEL