Mauricio Pochettino questions Chelsea player’s mentality before Manchester United

Chelsea are set to face off with Manchester United in a Premier League clash on Thursday evening.

The Blues are currently 12th in the Premier League table but have two games in hand on most of the sides around them. Should they win them both, Chelsea could move up into a Europa Conference League place. Back the west Londoners to beat Manchester United at 17/20 with bet365.

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Mauricio Pochettino questions Chelsea player’s mentality

Though Chelsea could still end 2023/24 with some form of European football and are unbeaten in their last five matches, their season as a whole has not been great.

The Blues probably should have beaten a weakened Liverpool team in the League Cup final earlier this year and their overall Premier League form has been subpar.

But why is this Chelsea squad, which cost over £1b, struggling to compete with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City?

Well, when Mauricio Pochettino was asked whether he fears his players may be too much in their comfort zone to compete, the Argentine said pre-Manchester United: “Yes. I agree. It was one of the subjects we were talking about.

“I am going to explain what I explained to them. When I was at Espanyol, my first experience as a coach, I was at the training ground at 7 o’clock every morning. Then when I moved to Southampton: 6.30. Then to Tottenham: 7, sometimes 7.30. Then PSG: the same, 6 in the morning. Now, again: 6.45, 6.40. You can ask the guy at security, go on, ask.

“After 15 years of working your salary increases but that cannot put me in a very comfortable zone to say: ‘Now I arrive at 9 o’clock and leave at 2 o’clock’. I need to keep pushing myself, to keep pushing my team and my coaching staff, because we want to win and want to be competitive.

“That question is true. If now because I move from another club – in another club I was playing for less money, for less expectation, no one is expecting anything from me – but now I arrive here and people really believe that I’m so good but now I feel the pressure, what do I need to do?

“It is to arrive early, it is too work more. It is to run more, it is to be more focused, concentrate. It is not now arrive to Chelsea – [slaps hands] – and I am so good because people believe that I am so good but I do the minimum effort. No, it is more responsibility now. For us [the staff], we feel the responsibility. That is why we try to deliver in this job.

“What you say is important. Never be in a comfort zone. If you in a comfort zone, you drop your level, you drop your standards. I don’t say that happened here because too many other things happened. But that is one of the things that we are aware of. Maybe it is a mix [of different issues].”

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.