Football Digest: Premier League hat-trick just rewards for Nketiah
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly remains pleased with manager Mauricio Pochettino despite the Blues making a poor start to the season under the former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain coach. The west London outfit suffered a disappointing 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Brentford on Saturday that has left them languishing in 11th place in the Premier League with just three wins from their first 10 matches.
The indifferent form has featured only one home win all season – against newly-promoted Luton Town – and hopes of making a return to the Champions League next year are already looking overly ambitious, with an 11-point gap having opened up between Chelsea and the top four.
Argentine Pochettino, who guided Spurs to their first Champions League final in 2019, was brought in to resurrect the Blues’ fortunes after a dismal 2022-23 campaign that resulted in a 12th placed Premier League finish and a failure to qualify for any of the European competitions.
Both Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter were sacked as Chelsea boss during the sorry season with Frank Lampard returning as interim boss until the campaign was over.
But despite having the financial muscle of Boehly, Pochettino is yet to make the type of progress currently being enjoyed by new Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou at the top of the Premier League.
Nevertheless, Boehly appears to be content with the man he now has in the dugout and is not about to make any rash managerial changes.
According to the journalist Simon Phillips, as per his substack Si Phillips Talks Chelsea, he has “spoken to a source” who has confirmed that the American billionaire is pleased with Pochettino despite the current indifferent form of his team.
Although Chelsea have already lost four times in the Premier League this season, they drew at home to both Liverpool and Arsenal, who have already both emerged as title contenders this season.
They have also enjoyed a 4-1 away win at Burnley and a 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage against Fulham in the West London Derby.
A lack of cutting-edge in front of goal appears to be The Blues’ biggest problem currently, along with ongoing injury issues, but Pochettino has identified that there are legacy issues and has pleaded for time to put things right.
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Speaking after the defeat to Brentford, he said: “We have tried to identify [the problem] but it’s not only happened from the beginning of this season, it’s also from last season, with different coaches. Yes, it’s something we need to fix.
“I don’t say I’m worried but, of course, we’re trying hard to find the solution. The key is to create a good atmosphere. You need to have the right feeling with the fans and team.
“The team needs to translate the ideas the fans can trust – and it goes both ways. But that can only be done with time and by playing more because we are still so young as a team. You need time, because although too many things are wrong, it’s about maturity.
“It’s not about the fans, the club, the badge – it’s about this team being young. We have to match the level to always be competitive and at our best. With the squad all fit, and that’s not an excuse, this team will grow, for sure.”
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