Mauricio Pochettino has told Chelsea’s squad they need to be more naughty in their approach to elevate their performances and overcome their lackluster start to the season.
The Blues manager has urged his players to exhibit a more assertive, aggressive and adopt a more ruthless approach to their playing style.
The London club have shown dominance in all four Premier League games thus far, but their performance has been marred by defensive errors and a persistent lack of effectiveness in attack.
As a result, they have only managed to accumulate four points and currently occupy the 12th position in the premier league table.
Chelsea’s loss to Nottingham Forest at home before the international break perfectly exemplified the team’s early difficulties under Pochettino.
The Blues manager has expressed his disappointment, anger, and negative emotions as he entered the international break.
He attributed these feelings to a single midfield mistake that led to Chelsea’s defeat against Nottingham Forest.
Mauricio Pochettino said: “If you watched the Forest game, they won and deserved the victory. However, how we allowed the goal is concerning.”
“If we aspire to participate in European competitions or contend for the Premier League title, we cannot afford to concede goals like this.”
The Forest loss was reminiscent of the loss to West Ham in August.
In that match, the Blues dominated the first half at the London Stadium but they allowed the hosts to secure a 3-1 victory, partly due to a missed penalty from Enzo Fernandez and a penalty conceded by record-signing Moises Caicedo on his debut.
Mauricio Pochettino, who was a clever player himself during his career, aims to impart his magical prowess to his talented and renowned Chelsea squad.
The 51-year-old Argentine boss humorously referred to himself as ‘the worst’ player, a characteristic he believes his players are currently lacking.
When asked about his qualities as a player, Pochettino, who won the 2000 Copa del Rey for La Liga club Espanyol, their first trophy in 60 years, candidly admitted: “I was quite mischievous, perhaps even the worst.”
“I was the most competitive individual, but I lacked the quality that our team possesses.”
“They [Chelsea] have a higher level of expertise in terms of quality, but when it comes to this particular aspect (taps head), I excelled over them.”
The manager expressed that although the performances of his players deserved more points, they needed to improve their competitive instincts to achieve his goal of bringing the club back to the Champions League.
The Argentine manager acknowledged that incorporating the dark arts into his team’s strategy is necessary, but only after prioritizing other qualities.
He further stated that developing the qualities or acquiring knowledge requires a certain amount of time and practice.
He stated, “Perfection can only be achieved when there is ample time, the players are familiar with each other, and there is a high level of confidence, trust, and competition.”
The Blues manager recounted that Chelsea need to solidify their midfield and master the art of playing either two or three defenders as that will help revive and refine the team.
He added: “it’s important for us to establish clear principles regarding our playing style from the back and our pressing strategy.”
“We need to consider the dynamics of playing with either two defenders or three, as well as the number of players in the middle and our strategy for attacking in the right areas.”
Pochettino laments on Chelsea’s injury crisis
Due to an increasing number of injuries, Pochettino has cautioned that it will require time to train his team in the intricacies of football’s mysterious tactics.
Although Armando Broja and Benoit Badiashile have returned to full training and participated in internal matches during the international break, neither of them will be available to play against Bournemouth due to their fitness.
Reece James, who sustained an injury during the season opener against Liverpool in August, is currently not fit to make a return.
However, he has resumed training and is now working towards total fitness.
During the break, midfielder Romeo Lavia, who was acquired for £53 million from Southampton also suffered an ankle injury with the exact date of his return currently unknown.
Pochettino has confirmed that Romeo Lavia will be sidelined from the team for some time due to an ankle injury sustained during training.
However, the exact duration of his absence remains uncertain, as the manager was unable to provide a specific timeframe.
The Chelsea boss said: “We are truly disappointed because he had been training exceptionally well last week.”
“He has twisted his ankle, and now we are waiting until Monday to hear from the doctor.”
The Blues chief is hopeful that progress can be made quickly once the squad becomes less injury-ravaged.
Pochettino is optimistic that the full-back will recover in time for the next match in October.
What’s next for The Blue?
Chelsea will be facing Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, September 17, to secure an away victory.
If Chelsea win on Sunday, it would mark the second time they have won a game away from home since March.