Pochettino has said all the right things since joining Chelsea

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Mark OgdenESPN FC Senior WriterJuly 10, 2023, 8:00 PMRead in 5 minutes

Pochettino: ‘I have something to prove at Chelsea after being sacked by Tottenham’

Mauricio Pochettino has spoken about whether he has anything to prove at Chelsea and whether it was a difficult decision to join the club.

Chelsea have once again appointed a manager to lead their football team. Mauricio Pochettino is the fourth manager the team has had to deal with in the last 12 months. But after a turbulent year at Stamford Bridge, the former manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain has already set himself apart.

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Jose Mourinho made a bold statement at the unveiling of Chelsea in 2004, declaring himself ‘the special one’. Jürgen Klopp also promised to win the Premier League within four years and did the same (it took him five years but he won the Champions League in 2004) during his first press conference at Liverpool in 2015. Thing. Both men expressed their strength of character on the first occasion, and it paid off. Pochettino has done the same at Chelsea, but the hard work starts now on the pitch.

Ultimately, actions speak louder than Pochettino’s words, but Friday’s inaugural press conference for the 51-year-old was something of a State of the Union address. Addressing issues and articulating principles, Pochettino projected his own personality to make it clear that running a club as demanding and complex as Chelsea is a motivation rather than a burden.

All of the above should be the building blocks of being a manager at a top club, but three predecessors took the role just before Pochettino last season: Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard. could not check the required items.

Tuchel, who won the Champions League with the club in 2021, was unable to accept a change of ownership at Stamford Bridge last summer. He failed to align with his new boss Todd Boley’s vision and was fired a month into the season.

Potter was given the chance to build Chelsea in line with Boley’s vision, but the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager has the character, experience and confidence to weather the storm of negative results that followed. was missing. He held the job for seven months. Then came Lampard. A Chelsea legend as a player, his track record as a manager did nothing to galvanize a skeptical team in need of direction. Just over two years after being sacked from his full-time job at the club, he took eight defeats and just one win in 11 matches as caretaker manager.

Mauricio Pochettino has said at his first press conference as Chelsea manager that in his new job, ‘I need to deliver from day one’.James Manning/PA Image via Getty Images)

Pochettino’s eventful tenure as PSG manager should be well prepared for Chelsea. In the French capital, he has had to deal with the demands of the club’s Qatari owners and the challenges of managing the personalities of superstars Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. Two years at the Parc des Princes will feel like finishing school in managing the changing rooms and boardrooms. Chelsea will have to overcome two very different challenges.

In his first appearance on camera, he suggested that he was learning not only from his experience at PSG, but also from the mistakes of Tuchel, Potter and Lampard. By stating to co-rulers Boley and Bejadad Egbarri that permission was required to enter Stamford Bridge’s dressing rooms, Pochettino told the owners that he was in charge of football affairs. Not only did I send the message that it was, but I also sent a message to the players. .

Last season it was a gray area, with neither Potter nor Lampard ever conveying a sense of their responsibility. After the home defeat to Brighton in April, when Boley called the results and performances of his players “embarrassing”, he was only doing his job as a manager and thus in the eyes of his players. is disrespecting him. Those players now know Pochettino asserts his authority over his owners and will respect his strength of character in doing so.

Pochettino has told Romelu Lukaku, who signed a club-record deal after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan, that he hopes to return to the club for pre-season training this summer. sent a new message to the team. Makes the final decision on whether a player is part of the future.

And there are still many players at Chelsea who want to know if their future is at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere. A meticulous adjustment this summer has ensured that Pochettino has inherited a fluid squad. Most notably, three players have been added to the squad, including £52m forward Christopher Nukunku, while 11 players have joined the squad, including Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Roger Lorenzo. . N’Golo Kante has left.

The big money spent on a new contract last season has yet to pay off, but Pochettino has seen Mihailo Mudrik’s impressive performances for Ukraine at the U21 European Championships in a difficult situation. The 22-year-old will be cited as evidence of his ability to thrive at a club off to a solid start. . Young players, including England Under-21 Euro winners Levi Colwill and Louis Hall, will also offer opportunities for youngsters, much like Pochettino’s success with Spurs. He believes Chelsea can be competitive again very soon.

But the first phase of Pochettino’s Chelsea rebuild came at a press conference after his appointment as club manager, and it was his first big win.

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