Pochettino insists Chelsea 'all together' despite reported squad discord
EPL

Pochettino insists Chelsea 'all together' despite reported squad discord

Feb 7, 2024

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Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino believes the club is united after back-to-back defeats increased scrutiny on his reign, the mood within the squad, and the ambitious yet ailing project at Stamford Bridge.

“I think we are all together in this and that’s important,” Pochettino said Tuesday, according to BBC Sport.

“I received very good texts from (the owners),” he added. “Of course, I am in contact with them and the sporting director every day.”

The era that began when Todd Boehly and Clearlake purchased the club in 2022 plumbed new depths on Sunday. The Blues were comfortably beaten 4-2 at home to Wolves, just four days after they were thumped 4-1 at Liverpool. Supporters voiced their frustration at Stamford Bridge after the latest setback and even chanted the name of former manager Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League table following an outlay of over £1 billion over four transfer windows. The club’s continued underachievement has led to reports of unrest behind the scenes.

Some of the players who’ve joined Chelsea since the Boehly-Clearlake takeover have privately expressed their regret at committing to the project with long-term contracts, according to The Athletic’s Liam Twomey. While poor squad morale bubbles to the surface, there’s further concern within the club that the first team is “high on entitlement and low on hunger in some quarters,” Twomey adds.

There have also been apparent disagreements between Pochettino and Thiago Silva during matches. The veteran defender’s wife, Belle, added fuel to the fire with a cryptic tweet after the Wolves loss.

The effectiveness of Pochettino’s training sessions appears up for debate. Some squad members claim they’re often thinking on their feet on matchdays due to the limited coaching on tactical elements at Chelsea’s Cobham base, according to The Athletic’s Simon Johnson. However, Johnson understands that other players disagree with this perspective.

In addition to the apparent friction in the dressing room, Chelsea have made efforts to deny that Boehly and fellow co-owner Behdad Eghbali’s relationship isn’t as strong as it once was, Johnson reports. It has been widely noted that Boehly is seen and heard less frequently than he was in the months immediately following the takeover.

“We need to create a good connection with the fans,” Pochettino said, per BBC Sport. “The fans need to understand when they go to Stamford Bridge, it’s a different Chelsea, a different project, a different everything. It’s the responsibility of the players and the staff to create a connection.”

Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures

Date Competition Opponent
Feb. 7 FA Cup Aston Villa (a)
Feb. 12 Premier League Crystal Palace (a)
Feb. 17 Premier League Manchester City (a)
Feb. 25 League Cup Liverpool (final held at Wembley)
March 2 Premier League Brentford (a)
March 11 Premier League Newcastle (h)
March 16 Premier League Arsenal (a)

Pochettino has now overseen as many Chelsea games as former manager Graham Potter, who was sacked in April 2023. Their records are similar: Pochettino has won 14, drawn six, and lost 11; Potter won 12, drew eight, and lost 11.


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