Maurizio Sarri was so angry with the state of the Stadio Olimpico turf during a 0-0 draw with Udinese that he warned Lazio ‘might need a different coach, because I am not suited to it,’ especially after Ciro Immobile’s injury.
The run of four consecutive Serie A victories came to a halt, but not the streak of clean sheets, which now stands at five, something they hadn’t achieved since 2007 when Delio Rossi was the coach.
Both teams had the chances to win it at the Stadio Olimpico, Udinese rattling the woodwork twice with Lazar Samardzic and Gerard Deulofeu, but losing Immobile to injury in the opening half-hour was the most devastating blow for the hosts.
“Unfortunately, these things happen, you need to go beyond them. The team did try, but we were up against the worst possible opponents today, a really physical and fresh side when we played three games in seven days. If you then play on this turf, that becomes a big problem,” Sarri told DAZN.
Immobile went off with a muscular injury on the back of his left thigh just 29 minutes into the match. Was this a preventable injury?
“It’s evident that between club and international duty, Immobile is forced to play too often.”
Some of that is also because Lazio do not have a natural replacement for him, so could use Pedro as the centre-forward instead.
“We had to do without him last season a few times, using a False 9 to give no reference points to the opposition defence. Obviously, when you talk about certain players, they are difficult to replace without any negative effects.
“It is not going to be the same without him, we hope that will be for as little time as possible. We will let 48 hours pass, have the tests and see what the situation is.”
Sarri was particularly furious with the state of the playing surface at the Stadio Olimpico, which has been hosting regular games from Roma and Lazio in both Serie A and the Europa League.
“We had prepared a series of moves out from the back, then abolished everything in the warm-up, because trying to play the ball to feet on that pitch is like unleashing a bomb. I don’t know what the President intends to do, but he might need a different coach, because I cannot play regularly on a turf like that, or we go play elsewhere.
“I am a coach who wants his teams to make 700 passes to feet in every game, I am not suited to this type of pitch, so if this remains the pitch, the club should think of someone else.”