Chelsea's Pochettino Transition, Accountability
Chelsea's Manager, Mauricio Pochettino, vows to hold his team accountable for their performance in the upcoming Premier League opener against Liverpool, despite undergoing a significant transformation.
Appointed by Chelsea in May, Pochettino stepped in after the club's lackluster 2022/23 season, which culminated in a disappointing 12th-place finish - their worst league result since 1994. To streamline an overstuffed roster, the club has undertaken the departure of over 15 players, including notable names like former captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, and Kalidou Koulibaly, while simultaneously acquiring six new talents.
Addressing reporters, Pochettino acknowledged the transitional nature of the team, comparing it to Liverpool's stability under Jurgen Klopp's seven-year tenure: "We find ourselves in a period of transition, unlike Liverpool, where Klopp has established a long-standing presence. However, our identity as Chelsea demands success. Even amid transition, our objective is victory and readiness to face Liverpool."
Pochettino underscored the players' competitive mindset: "Our players are geared towards competition and triumph. I am resolute in my refusal to accept an alternative mindset. We aspire to elevate the club to its rightful position."
The impending clash against Liverpool carries heightened significance due to an ongoing transfer tussle for Moises Caicedo. Chelsea has engaged in protracted negotiations with Brighton & Hove Albion regarding the acquisition of Caicedo. However, recent British media reports suggest that Liverpool has reached an agreement worth £111 million ($141 million) for the Ecuadorian midfielder.
Pochettino refrained from commenting on this transfer drama, asserting, "We are diligently working to augment our squad with quality players. I am not inclined to discuss individuals who are not part of our team. Our efforts are steadfast, and I am content with our approach."
He further revealed that Chelsea is actively seeking a replacement for Christopher Nkunku, an attacker sidelined due to a knee injury sustained during a preseason friendly. Pochettino expressed sympathy for Nkunku's situation and highlighted the team's positive outlook, stating, "We are focused on his recovery and maintaining an optimistic outlook. Our attention is on identifying solutions, whether short-term, medium-term, or long-term, to introduce the right player profile into our squad."