Maurizio Sarri expressed his concerns and frustrations after Lazio’s miserable loss to Milan, feeling that the club ‘are the victim of a deadly cocktail’.
The Biancocelesti generated some confidence ahead of their trip to San Siro with a decent win over Torino, but it was only a red herring as Sarri’s side fell flat in a disappointing 2-0 loss to the Rossoneri, falling after goals from Christian Pulisic and Noah Okafor.
Lazio now sit 14th in the Serie A table after seven games, managing to pick up just seven points in that time. The team are far off the European spots and look set to continue struggling in the Champions League as well.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri was first asked if Lazio’s defeats so far suggest a different kind of season for the club.
They make me think that we aren’t a great team. We can’t consider ourselves like that, we weren’t even last year. When we play against these teams, we lose due to engine capacity, Leao gave two bursts and decided it. But today we played with more personality than last year.
We did better in the first half, there were at least 10 situations in which we entered spaces with superiority. We never did better than shoot from the edge, with crap shots that didn’t worry Maignan. We didn’t get anything out of 10 potential chances.
Then against Milan you can suffer for 10-15 minutes. I wasn’t even displeased with the reaction. Before the 2-0, a miracle from Florenzi on Isaksen took away the draw. The result is the same, but the test is different compared to the one here last year.
Lazio are the victim of a deadly cocktail, we lost the first two games against teams that are within reach, but in all the years that I’ve had, three Serie A away games in a row against Napoli, Juve and Milan, I’ve never seen anyone do it.
All this has put us in these conditions. The league table isn’t something to look at now, we have to get ourselves out of it, but that involves months of games. Not just a few games.
He spoke about the difficulties of repeating what was seen last campaign.
It was easily foreseeable that it would be extremely difficult. We made mistakes against teams that were within our reach. After that phase we improved our tone, but today we lost by playing a large portion on equal terms against a top team.
The path seems to be the right one, but it will not be easy to get out of the bad situation in the table. The players must think that it will be like this. In three games you can’t move up, it has to be done slowly.
The Lazio coach explained why he’s been tinkering with his midfield so much in the last five games.
A choice dictated by a crazy schedule, I’m ferociously p*ssed off at UEFA, Lega Serie A, FIFA and all the rest of this gang. On the last day of the season, we had between 40 and 50 muscle injuries.
I didn’t feel a thing communicated by the coaches association in defense of the members, they are sending the kids to the slaughterhouse without anyone intervening. Unfortunately, this is football now. Take the money and run. And now they always get less money.
In the 80s to 90s whoever played in Serie C for 10 years was fine for life, now probably as soon as you stop you have to apply to the post office or some other institution. All this circle of money is injected for 30-50 players, but the system is chopped up.
I’m forced to make changes for these reasons, if you play every 70 hours it’s difficult. We are forced to make them in extreme situations. People arrived 30 days ago. In a normal situation it would be like August, but instead we’re in the seventh of the season.
This creates and has created some difficulties for us. But the path seems to be slowly the right one. Then we hope to get the results too.
Sarri was asked to give his favourites for the Scudetto this season.
Last year Milan were in difficulty when we faced them, they had lost several games. Today they were more energetic than the one there, it’s incomparable. If you find a team in difficulty you can’t compare them with one in a ‘normal’ moment.
The strongest for me are Inter, but Juve without the cups can stay close to them. They can play every seven days and have enormous benefits.
It’s not mathematical, then maybe without the Champions League there’s no incentive to be found. The fight is, however, between 4 teams – Inter’s midfield seems to me to be the strongest of all.
He touched on where the team could go in European competition this season.
I don’t know what we can aim for in Europe. We are certainly not among the strongest in the Champions League, now we can only aim to get through the group, and it won’t be easy either. We came first in the group with Napoli, we had to face a second-placed team and we had Real Madrid.
The Champions League is difficult to predict, then more or less the same ones always arrive at the end. In the direct elimination you can’t make too many plans. We have to do well in the league, for us the Champions League is a luxury, we have life, we play in Serie A.
Sarri was asked if he was acutely involved in the club’s transfer market business.
It’s difficult to answer the question. I start with certain names, then I get to this or that and I can express my preference. I start from A, then I get to X or Y and I choose between those.
But I started from A. The ones I indicated haven’t arrived, so I’ll go ahead with the ones available. In 95% of cases every coach will give the same answer.
He was asked if Lazio were struggling with a source of goals.
Today we had 14 shots, more or less like Milan. Then it’s true that we shot slowly from the edge of the box against Milan. The number of shots means that the team produced, then there will be the match where with seven shots from the edge you manage to score five goals.
In the first half there were conditions for serious chances, but we never accomplished anything. In the second half between the first and second goal we had territorial supremacy, but we were not very dangerous.
Finally, Sarri discussed the Biancocelesti’s lack of decisiveness this season.
It’s difficult to say, perhaps it’s the concomitance of many factors. But at the end of the day, we’re achieving the same results as last year, it’s not that there’s too much of a difference.
From a mental point of view, it’s difficult to think about the lack of decisiveness. I know, honestly. There is one fact, in the percentage ratio between chances created and goals scored last year we were first, this year we are 18th. The difference is big. Same chances created, fewer goals.