There’s a perfectly innocent explanation for Sarri’s handshake snub after Chelsea’s thrashing against Man City, in fact there are five of them.
You may spend 90 minutes yelling insults at your opposing manager, his players and his extended family, but there’s never an excuse to not offer a completely grudging and awkward handshake after the final whistle.
While Maurizio Sarri could be forgiven for wanting to get the hell out of there after the footballing equivalent of forgetting to do your fly up and spending the entire afternoon with your little fella on show to the world, his decision to coldly walk past Pep’s game attempt not to look smug was unacceptable.
Even more unacceptable was the excuse offered that Sarri hadn’t seen Pep despite walking within metres of him and having a fair idea that he’d be there.
We took the liberty of digging a little deeper and coming up with some much more plausible excuses that Sarri could have used and which are more befitting of a Premier League level manager.
We all know that Sarri loves a cigarette or 20 at the best of times, so can you imagine what the stress of a match like that must have done to his nicotine shakes?
Sarri could have quite understandably suggested that he was lighting up as he left the field and didn’t want to run the risk of subjecting clean-living Pep to second-hand smoke, or worse still setting him on fire.
We can only imagine Pep is doused in liberal quantities of fine-smelling cologne and would go up a treat.
Alternatively, Sarri could claim that his hands were shaking so much that his attempt at a handshake would’ve been more like an E Honda hundred hand slap on Street Fighter II.
Leave before Abramovich sees him
There are a lot of Russians out there who have learned that Roman Abramovich is not a man to anger.
Sarri may have spent the last couple of months intercepting every newspaper that gets to the big man’s desk and taking a pair of scissors to the top of the league table, but there was no hiding that thumping.
So, the Italian did what any self-respecting employee would do when they’ve just botched a major project and got the hell out of there as quickly as possible.
We can only imagine that he switched his phone onto airplane mode as he went down the tunnel and then retreated to an underground bunker. If Abramovich can’t find him, he can’t sack him.
With time against him, Pep is lucky he even caught sight of Sarri before he made his sprint down the tunnel.
Didn’t recognise him
While claiming not have seen Pep is a weak excuse, claiming not to have recognised him as the Man City boss is much more understandable.
Maybe when Pep stops dressing like a philosophy student rather than a football manager and actually brings himself to wear something with the City logo on it this may not be such a problem.
Got his game plan wrong
After the game we’d just witnessed, Sarri could reasonably claim that he had made every attempt to shake Pep’s hand, but his game plan had come unstuck.
In fact, he may have spent the entire week watching videos of Pep, calculating where he would be after the final whistle and practising his best firm handshake only to see his preparations fall apart at the Etihad.
After the day he’d had, it was hard to imagine that Sarri didn’t get home to find he was locked out and his wife was cheating on him. Probably with Pep.
Italians love to gesture. Like eskimos with their words for snow, Italians have 1,000 different gestures all for wanting to commit violence upon a defensive line that suddenly forgets how to defend.
By injury time, even the most wizened of Italian managers would be starting to feel the muscle cramps from berating his men, leaving Sarri so enfeebled that he wouldn’t have been able to offer anything more strenuous than the Italian gesture for ‘you’ve ruined my career you hipster tw**’ and that wouldn’t have been very gracious.