Chelsea hierarchy backing Mauricio Pochettino project despite tough start to new era

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea’s co-owner Todd Boehly and co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart have offered him and the team their full support despite a torrid start to the season.

Chelsea, who finished 12th last term, currently sit 14th in the Premier League table after winning just one of their opening five games of the new campaign.

Boehly and Clearlake Capital have spent more than £1billion on new players since replacing Roman Abramovich as Chelsea’s owners in May of last year, but the results are yet to show on the pitch.

Pochettino said of Boehly: “We talk. We talk with the sporting directors — they are supporting the project. They are not disappointed because we have similar feelings about the project.

“We are playing well but we need to be more clinical in front of goal. That is the most important thing in football. It’s difficult to find data that says Chelsea is not on the top [of chance creation].

“I am not frustrated because I think the team is performing well and missing many key players. I am disappointed because I think many teams with less score more. That is why we feel bad. The players deserve more.

“The only way to find what we want is to keep pushing, keep playing. I am so happy with how the team felt after Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest. They really care and they really want to win games and I think this week was good to work hard.”

Torrid start: Mauricio Pochettino has won just one of his first five Chelsea league matches (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Torrid start: Mauricio Pochettino has won just one of his first five Chelsea league matches (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea host Aston Villa on Sunday, with Unai Emery’s side having lost 3-2 to Legia Warsaw in their Europa Conference League opener on Thursday.

Chelsea are not in Europe this season, and Pochettino believes that can be a good thing.

“We are not, because we didn’t deserve to be involved in Europe this season,” he said. “They [Villa] have a very good squad, very good players, and are prepared to compete in Europe. It’s a really important game for us.”

New Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson has picked up a concerning four yellow cards from his first five matches with his new club, while January record-buy Enzo Fernandez has collected two. Most of Jackson’s have come from protesting with referees.

“We were in a meeting today with him and with Enzo”, Pochettino revealed. “We were saying: ‘Come on, a striker with four yellow cards?’ You can get yellow cards for different actions, but not for that. It’s very cheap. He understands.

“Jackson is 21, is young, needs to run and improve and settle. He is going to be a fantastic player, but he needs time.

“He needs to be clever but not to protest to the referees. He came from Spain — it is different, the relationship with the referees. We are in England where the refs are more sensitive.”

The Argentine then joked: “I hope his first action at the weekend is not a yellow card!”