London, Sep 10: Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has suggested that he prefers the offensive football of new manager Maurizio Sarri over predecessor Antonio Conte. The defender says he's relishing new life under the Italian manager.
Rudiger signed Chelsea last season from AS Roma and had been mostly a mainstay under Antonio Conte. He played over 40 matches in the last season but was forced to settle for Europa League football place after finishing fifth and winning an FA Cup trophy with the Blues.
Conte's failure to land a top-four spot saw the Italian getting the sack and the Blues instead signed Napoli manager Sarri.
Since Sarri's arrival at Bridge, Chelsea have seen instant success with the Londoners already grabbing 100% win record at Premier league. The newly formed Chelsea side have already looked different than Conte's lineup with Sarri preferring a back four to Conte's back three systems.
50 Appearances for Antonio Rudiger— . (@Rudiiger) September 1, 2018
£34m for a 25 year old solid CB who will only improve, Underrated. 🔵🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/nPbKwhvT4W
The former Juventus boss also used to prefer counter-attacking football with the system mostly based on defence, which is contrasting to Sarri, who plays 4-3-3 possessional based free-flowing offensive football. Sarri became famous for this system during his time at Napoli.
Sarri's new defensive pair consists of veteran Luiz and Rudiger who have played every game in a reshuffled back-four. Now, the German defender has claimed he is relishing the opportunity to work with Sarri more than his former boss and believes the new manager's tactics suit him better than the previous ones.
"I played for Roma in Italy, so I knew the way the manager liked to play and it was something I favoured. He wants us to press high, compared to last season when everyone knows we sat back," explained Rudiger.
"Now it is different. We create a lot of chances and for me, that's very good. Mostly he likes the defenders to play the ball short and keep possession. I have shown so far I can do it but I want to improve every day. He is a coach who is not happy, he is always saying you can do better, and that keeps you alive.
"To be honest, I'm surprised how well we've done because players like Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante had big World Cups and came back late for training. They are in good shape and that's impressive."
Chelsea currently sit second in the league table, just adrift of goal difference to leaders Liverpool. They will next welcome struggling Cardiff City to Stamford Bridge next Saturday in their next Premier League match and will expect to continue their winning run without any hassles.