Chelsea: Mauricio Pochettino is in total limbo!


By: Manu Tournoux

The match already seemed to be over before the first whistle from the referee. Sunday afternoon, at 3 p.m., Chelsea traveled to Goodison Park to face an Everton in meltdown, as if animated by the sanction pronounced by the Premier League recently (10 penalty points). The ultimate trap encounter. And it didn’t fail. The Blues lost, almost without surprise (2-0). Abdoulaye Doucouré (54th) and the young Lewis Dobbin (90th) as executioners. If the London club did not fail either and created several situations, thanks to an explosive Mykhaïlo Mudryk and an inspired Cole Palmer, it was not enough to stop the enthusiasm of the Toffees, who were sharper.

On arrival, a new defeat – the third in the last four days – and a 12th place in the Premier League. With 19 points on the clock, Chelsea are closer to the red zone than to the Big 5, completed by Tottenham. The Blues are in free fall. However, the latter had shown a pretty face in recent weeks, against Spurs (1-4), Manchester City (4-4) and Brighton (3-2). But the Londoners are too irregular, lacking experience, leaders, and a troop leader worthy of his name.

The wounds or the tree that hides the forest…

Few teams have been as affected by injuries as Chelsea in recent seasons. At the moment and despite the upcoming returns of Christopher Nkunku and Roméo Lavia, the Blues must tighten their belts without Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Malo Gusto, Trevoh Chalobah, Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke and therefore obviously the two recruits mentioned in upstream. Without forgetting the regular absence of Reece James, who was again injured against Everton in the first half (391 minutes of play in the Premier League so far). A full infirmary, but it would be a lie to say that Mauricio Pochettino lacks the ingredients to cook a quality eleven, especially after having spent so much in the last transfer windows.

In the winter of 2023, Enzo Fernandez joined south London for €120 million. This summer, same song for Moisés Caicedo, €116 million. The two nuggets were supposed to form a formidable duo in midfield, in a double pivot that all observers had imagined. Not Mauricio Pochettino, who obviously is not far from discovering these two players. Sparkling in the doldrums of the Blues in the second half of last season, the former Benfica player is today lost on the pitch, even if he still manages to show himself through his talent alone.

Enzo Fernandez plays high and is certainly too free on the pitch. He navigates all the way to the opponent’s area, even though he was the club’s custodian from his debut against Fulham when he arrived. Against Everton, he only touched 47 balls and made 35 passes. Lunar numbers for such a player, who excels when he… has the ball between his feet. Moisés Caicedo, for his part, was the best element of his team at Goodison Park – with Mudryk – but must work miracles to get out of the pressing, he is so isolated from his teammates. The two South Americans look for each other, but do not collaborate together, the fault of a tactical disorganization which could cost Mauricio Pochettino dearly.

Mauricio Pochettino goes crazy

“They deserved the victory. They had more energy than us, maybe we were affected because we played on Sunday with a day less. I’m not disappointed because I think they gave everything”said Mauricio Pochettino, after Chelsea’s disastrous defeat against Manchester United last Wednesday (2-1). “It was a game to play and win. This is a problem we need to look at. We must analyze reality. We need to talk and try to improve in the next transfer market.”, declared the Argentinian this time, coming off a defeat against the Toffees (2-0). Words that do not go through with the supporters, who wonder how, after having spent almost a billion euros since the buyout of Todd Boehly, the squad can seem insufficient for its coach.

As we approach mid-December, Mauricio Pochettino has not yet found the recipe. In defense, no stability. Thiago Silva, starter every weekend, has tasted the bench at Goodison Park. Benoît Badiashile and Axel Disasi were preferred, both of whom were inattentive to the first goal conceded. On the sides, Levi Colwill, central defender since birth, plays as a left back. On the right, Marc Cucurella, who has never played in this position in his career, is helping out more and more. Blame it on injuries (Reece James, Malo Gusto), but also on sometimes incomprehensible decisions. How to explain that Connor Gallagher plays lower than Enzo Fernandez? Why is Noni Madueke in the closet? Why was Raheem Sterling, Chelsea’s best attacker, on the bench against Everton? So many questions that bother the former coach fired by Paris Saint-Germain. It remains to be seen whether the answer to all these problems is Victor Osimhen…

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