Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to use the empty weeks that highlight the demise of Chelsea to get them back up and running again. Hopefully, he jokes, he might even be able to make the club’s owners happy again!
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been extremely vocal at voicing his discontent at the fixture schedule. While the so-called “big clubs” of various countries are involved in European competition, Pochettino has some uninterrupted training ground time having failed to qualify.
Despite the frustration of conceding two goals in the last 13 minutes against Arsenal, Saturday’s performance against Arsenal was undoubtedly the best of Pochettino’s reign at Chelsea.
Moreover, coming as it did after a period where his international band of Todd Boehly-sponsored mercenaries were cast to the four corners of the globe, the Blues manager knows he can get even more out of his players, given time. Although “time” is not a luxury in too much abundance at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s crazy for players to come back from America on Wednesday and play on Saturday,” Pochettino said. “But if I say, ‘Okay, I’m going to give them a rest,’ you will kill me, for sure, if they don’t play. And the owner also! Today Moises Caceido and Enzo Fernandez arrived after two games in America and they were not fresh.
“But they are important players for us. So now we are going to have a week to work and for sure they are going to be better and improve.”
That goes for the whole squad as a number of pieces are snapping into place. The impressive Cole Palmer literally wrestled the hit-and-miss penalty-taking duties of Raheem Sterling to give Chelsea the lead and a fluke cross-cum-shot from Mykhailo Mudryk doubled the lead immediately after the break.
Club captain Reece James made a late cameo as he continues to build fitness as the fact it coincided with Arsenal’s salvage operation was nothing more than coincidence.
That damage was self-inflicted elsewhere. First goalkeeper Robert Sanchez gave the ball straight to Declan Rice whose perfectly executed first-time shot from 25 yards unerringly found the corner of the net.
Then Malo Gusto turned off for just a second, gave Leandro Trossard a run on him, and the former Brighton player volleyed neatly past the Chelsea goalkeeper with the outside of his foot.
- Advert-free experience without interruptions.
- Rocket-fast speedy loading pages.
- Exclusive & Unlimited access to all our content.
“Well done to the boys – they never let their heads go down and kept believing,” Trossard said afterwards. “You can see you only need one moment to change a game. Declan scored a great goal and that got us into the game and believing again and, as you can see, we were still able to take points away.
“At the end if you are 2-0 down then you are happy to take a point away. But we also know that we can do better and need to take that with us to the next game.”
Unlike Chelsea, that comes very quickly – the players heading to Sevilla today for their Champions League clash tomorrow night. A disappointing defeat against Lens in their first Champions League trip for nearly seven years means Arsenal really need to get something from a team that have won just two games all season.
“We always want a result,” Trossard said. “We want to win every game. That is how we approach every game as well. That is how we will do it for Seville and make sure we are ready for that.”
Source: Read Full Article