Mauricio Pochettino refutes the notion that Chelsea’s struggles this season are solely attributed to the youthfulness of his squad. Instead, he argues that the challenges arise from the ongoing process of the team coming together cohesively.
Despite Chelsea’s emphasis on acquiring young talents since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s involvement, criticisms have been directed at the team’s perceived lack of experience to secure victories in the Premier League.
Pochettino dismisses the idea that he selects players based on their age, emphasizing that the crucial factor lies in building a team with players still in the learning process of understanding each other’s playing styles.
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“I am not choosing the team based on their youth,” he emphasizes. “I don’t aspire to be the coach who fields the youngest team in England. We are a young team, but we maintain a good balance. Players like Thiago Silva, aged 39, Raheem Sterling, Christopher Nkunku, 26, or Axel Disasi are part of the squad.”
Pochettino highlights that the issue is not the youthfulness of individual players but rather the collective youthfulness of the team, with many newcomers joining at the start of the season, requiring time to develop as a cohesive unit.
Addressing the veteran Thiago Silva, Pochettino assures that the Brazilian defender does not receive special treatment due to his experience. Every player, including Silva, is evaluated based on their performance, and decisions are made accordingly.
“All players are treated equally,” he asserts. “We assess the performance after each game and make decisions accordingly. There’s no difference with him. I always make decisions to ensure a good balance for the team, considering quality rather than the player’s passport or age.”
Pochettino further emphasizes the challenges faced with injuries to key players like Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi, Trevoh Chalobah, and Wesley Fofana. The focus is on finding the right formation and players who can perform effectively and secure victories for the team.