Claudio Ranieri has revealed he has seen “everything” behind the scenes of Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea revolution – but insisted that will not be enough to beat the Blues on Sunday.
New Fulham manager Ranieri recently met up with compatriot and Chelsea boss Sarri, spending a week observing the Blues’ training sessions at their Cobham headquarters.
Sarri was returning the favour after being allowed to watch Ranieri in action coaching Fiorentina back in the mid-1990s.
Former Chelsea boss Ranieri will lead his new club Fulham back to his old Stamford Bridge stamping ground this weekend, but remained adamant no amount of time behind the scenes with Sarri would give the Cottagers any pivotal advantage.
When asked what he learned from spending time at Chelsea as Sarri’s guest, Ranieri replied: “I know everything, but believe me it’s difficult to stop them!
“I asked, and Maurizio invited me. I was there one week and we had lunch after the training session.
“He was very kind. We spoke normally but when I don’t have a job I often go around and watch all the teams.
“I also went to watch (Jurgen) Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
“I don’t want to stay at home. I look and I go around the world; it’s important to look at what’s happening.”
When asked if when he allows other coaches to observe his sessions he thinks he may end up facing them soon, Ranieri added: “Yes, but I am the Tinkerman, I change everything!”
Ranieri is still settling in at Craven Cottage after guiding Fulham to a 3-2 win over Southampton in his first game in charge.
The 67-year-old has hailed Sarri’s Chelsea revolution, heaping praise on the former Napoli boss’ unique style.
Asked about Sarri coming to watch Fiorentina train back in the 90s, Ranieri sheepishly admitted he had completely forgotten – until the current Chelsea chief jogged his memory.
“When we met (recently), he said ‘do you remember I came to visit you?’” said Ranieri.
“I forget everything, even what happened yesterday!
“I think always forward, forward.
“He said ‘Claudio, do you remember, when I came, you were having a meeting with young players and I asked if I could come to watch your training sessions?’ I said ‘yes of course’.
“But I also told him ‘you should remember that in the Serie C, there are so many good managers that’s also where you can and go look but do come with me, too’.
“I am open and it was amazing. He will remember better than me.
“Sarri plays very well with the right philosophy; Sarriball.
“But I think Sarri is not inspired by me, he’s a very good coach, because he arrived so late at the highest level.
“He deserves it. He has a lot of jobs in his career, and he deserves where he is.”