23rd May, 2019
While many Chelsea fans are busy criticising the team’s manager Sarri, there are players who have taken a cursory look at the performances and achievements of the club this season and think that it has really done well and will even go one further as they face Arsenal in the final match of the European League Competition. One of such players is Pedro.
The player insists it will have been a “great season” under Maurizio Sarri if the Blues beat Arsenal in the Europa League final.
He noted the fact that Sarri’s first term in charge at Stamford Bridge has yielded a third-place finish in the Premier League, as well as finals in Europe and the EFL Cup, the latter of which they lost to Manchester City on penalties – a fact which seems lost on the manager’s critics.
Despite the fact that Chelsea has succeeded in reaching two finals and securing a return to the Champions League, the former Napoli boss has been criticised for his tactics by some Chelsea fans and there are insinuations that he could return to Italy to take over at Juventus after Massimiliano Allegri leaves.
However Pedro believes that the 2018-19 season should be considered a success especially if they win in Baku next Wednesday.
He told reporters: “We were in the Champions League, the final of the [EFL] Cup and also in another final now.
“If we win this European title, then it is a great season for us.”
However, Pedro is expecting a very difficult match against an Arsenal side for whom victory would secure both a trophy and a Champions League spot, after they missed out on a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, the Chelsea winger also thinks the all-English finals in the Europa League and Champions League highlight the strength of the British Premier League Competition.
“I think there is the same motivation for both [teams],” he said. “For them, it is a good opportunity to get to the Champions League, but we want to win the title.
“It is good for English teams. It is very good because every week you see how hard, difficult and competitive the league is.
“The message is clear that the Premier League is the strongest and most competitive league at the moment, that’s for sure.
”The most important thing is to prepare the game during the week so when we go to Baku we will be ready, focus on the game and win the title.
“Maybe it will be open because Arsenal press really high, play good football and also for us it is the same ideas and style. I think it will be an open game.”
Meanwhile, the UEFA has been strongly criticised for staging the final in Azerbaijan’s capital, with only 6,000 tickets allocated to fans of each team and the costs of flights from the UK pricing many supporters out of the trip.
“It is a pity for us because you don’t feel the supporters,” said Pedro. “It is better to give a lot of tickets to the supporters. It is a problem for UEFA because I think it will be a very good final on the pitch.”
On the other hand, it has been suggested this will be Eden Hazard’s final game for the club, with the Belgium star said to be eager to move to Real Madrid, but Pedro is not concerned by transfer talk.
“The most important thing for us is that he is focused on the final and for us that is good,” he opined.