Sarri’s possession-based football dubbed ‘Sarriball’ got off to a flying start when he was appointed Chelsea manager last season, with Zola serving as his assistant.
It was not long before things started to unravel in the middle of the season as Sarri’s playing style came under scrutiny from some sections of the Chelsea fans, who did not hesitate in making their feelings known.
Nevertheless, by the end of his tenure Sarri managed to secure third place in the Premier League for Chelsea, and took them to two cup finals; losing to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on penalties and triumphing over Arsenal in the Europa League.
Zola told beIN Sports: ‘There were talented players, like Hazard and Willian, players who know how to win games on their own, but they were suffering from the type of exercises and type of training we were doing – but it was necessary for the others.
‘I’ll be honest, they were brilliant because they got bored, but they kept doing it throughout and that was the reason why when everyone was dropping, we were going up towards the end.’
‘At the beginning, the players were very much behind everything that we were saying, they were brilliant.
‘They were following everything but then as the weeks passed due to repetition and the amount of games they were playing, the players got tired and they also got bored in a way.
‘But boring is part of our job. Sometimes you need to get bored but when you get bored you persist in what you’re doing and you get better.
Sarri departed Chelsea for Italian champions Juventus after just one season in England.