10 Premier League players who have suffered badly after a change of manager
The late-career Cahill seems to have spent his time proving managers wrong. Dropped by Antonio Conte, he fought his way back into the Chelsea team to captain them to FA Cup glory in May. Omitted by Gareth Southgate, he won his place back in the England squad that finished fourth in the World Cup, even if he did rank fifth among their centre-backs.
Now Maurizio Sarri has arrived at Stamford Bridge, bringing a fondness for a high defensive line that may not suit a man who turns 33 in December, as well as a controversial faith in David Luiz. It hasn't been good news for Cahill – or, indeed, Andreas Christensen, who had been tipped to be a future Chelsea captain. However, it’s the Englishman who’s yet to even appear in the matchday 18 this season.
Phil Jagielka is the anomaly in this imperfect 10, in that he at least started this season in the Everton team. Yet there were indications his days as a first choice were numbered even before his uncharacteristic red card at Wolves in the Toffees' season opener. The transfer window ended with manager Marco Silva signing two centre-backs – the borrowed Kurt Zouma and the hugely expensive Yerry Mina – to join the younger pair of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate in a quartet for the future.
Silva has spoken of his side playing much further up the field than Sam Allardyce’s Everton; scarcely ideal for Jagielka who, while quick for much of his career, turned 36 in August. There was a sense he was merely filling Mina’s position even before his lunge at Molineux prompted an expulsion which seemed to herald the end for one of Everton’s finest servants of the 21st century.
There was an easy assumption that Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment at West Ham would benefit his former Manchester City stalwart Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine would have the best understanding of the Chilean manager’s style of play. Instead, however, Zabaleta can testify that Pellegrini is not afraid to demote a firm favourite.
The right-back finished third in the Hammer of the Year vote last year. Yet when Pellegrini took over at the Etihad Stadium in 2013, Zabaleta was City’s reigning player of the year and vice-captain. Instead, Yaya Toure became Vincent Kompany’s deputy. There has been a sequel of sorts in the capital this season, as the 33-year-old Zabaleta has lost his place to Ryan Fredericks for three of West Ham’s first four games.
A victim of systemic change. Moses was reinvented as a wing-back by Conte and then cast into a world without wing-backs. With Sarri a devotee of 4-3-3 and Cesar Azpilicueta perhaps the best right-back in the league, it leaves Moses needing to revisit his past as a winger.
Yet with Eden Hazard a shoo-in for the spot on one of the flanks, plus Pedro and Willian beginning Sarri’s reign with goals and fine performances respectively, Moses seems to be competing with the precocious Callum Hudson-Odoi for the place as the fourth-choice winger. Moses got 11 minutes against Manchester City and nine at Huddersfield, but he wasn't even a substitute against Newcastle and Bournemouth. The Nigerian has retired from international football, seemingly to spend more time trying to get a berth on the Chelsea bench.
In Unai Emery’s defence, Arsenal’s new manager has encountered the same problem as his predecessor and begun by making the same decision. Arsene Wenger seemed to conclude that four into three would not go, after the January arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (plus Mesut Ozil’s new contract) gave Arsenal a quartet of premier attackers. Alexandre Lacazette was initially the odd man out when all four were available.
This season, the French forward started Emery’s first three games on the bench, with Aubameyang preferred as the lone striker, before Lacazette was belatedly unleashed at Cardiff and responded with an unstoppable winner. Wenger, too, ended up with the uneasy compromise of using Aubameyang on the left because Lacazette was so potent.