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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino’s remarkable speech on what’s driving Chelsea improvement

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Chelsea’s young team has had an up-and-down month — and year, really — but first-year boss Mauricio Pochettino is riding a positive stretch that now includes a 5-0 beatdown of London rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.Pochettino’s last eight matches have featured the good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s the West Ham win, a 4-3 roller coaster win over Manchester United, and a 2-0 blanking of Tottenham. Pretty good. A 2-2 draw with Sheffield United and 1-0 FA Cup exit to Man City were bad. And a 5-0 hammering at Arsenal can only be described as ugly.[ MORE: Chelsea 5-0 West Ham recap, analysis, player ratings ]It’s been seven of nine points since then, though, and Sunday’s demolition of the Irons shows a team still capable of sealing a return to Europe. The Blues have 54 points and sit in the seventh place. They are two points back of Newcastle and level with Manchester United, the latter of which has a match-in-hand.What is Pochettino seeing from his men in this purple patch? Understanding of the task at hand and comprehension of this season’s education, according to the Chelsea manager.Pochettino pointed, without provocation and at great length, to last month’s strange penalty scrap involving Noni Madueke, Nicolas Jackson, and Cole Palmer.Madueke set up Jackson’s goal on Sunday, and the vibe change was a sea change according to the boss (via football.london).”The assist for Noni to Jackson, that showed we learn, that we are smart. The situation with the penalty against Everton, we received so much criticism, but a young team always needs to make mistakes. Always you need to feel this situation to improve.”Today was a great action from Noni to see how the group has started to believe, how they have started to feel between them. It is always a process that takes time. It can take one month, six months or one year but the most important thing is they have started to set the principles, start to live like a group of players to create all the links to compete.”I am so pleased with that. We are part of this process, to help them to grow, to be more mature and keep improving in every aspect. It is a massive step but it is the step we wanted to reach. Now it is to evolve in other aspects and the possibility to go with tactical evolutions and we can improve from there but without principles, it is impossible to evolve in other aspects.””[Anyone] who knows about football, they know the process to build a team is the most difficult thing because you need to have the knowledge and the capacity to emphasize with every single player. They need to feel the confidence, they need to trust in us, the coaching staff and we need to create this bond together.”Then you need to start to identify the players in different aspects, what they need in order to perform and show their quality. This process will always take time but more so with this circumstances we have had since the beginning of the season.“It was never perfect to have all of the players at the same time, at the same level, competing and trying to improve quicker than the reality was. Then to work with the expectation. The expectation from the beginning, you need to compete in the Premier League with a team that are preparing to come here and kill you. The expectation is impossible to fight. Then you need to defend yourself, afterwards you need to explain. But who knows a little bit about football, when the team is young, you need to find the confidence and that is the most difficult thing.”782.jpgMauricio Pochettino”I am so happy because we are so close to being in that position. After Tottenham I told you that the way we competed is fantastic and then to keep this momentum. I think this team is growing so much, very fast now because that is the minimum standard we need if we want to compete in this league.”The maturity of Noni, not to be selfish and give the assist. This type of thing, when they start to appear, it is a very positive thing. It was tough to arrive here but now it is like everything is going fast and it is going to be fun because we have quality.”That’s awesome stuff and it doesn’t require much of an explanation. It’s a curtain lifter on the patience and process from Pochettino this season, and it shows why the Blues would be crazy to make a change despite the uneven play of their team in the boss’ first year.

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