Mauricio Pochettino: Chelsea players must show the world we are not Cole Palmer Football Club

Mauricio Pochettino hugs Cole Palmer

Mauricio Pochettino has told his players they need to remind the world they are “Chelsea Football Club, not “Cole Palmer Football Club”.

Palmer missed training due to illness and is a major doubt to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

And, claimed the Chelsea manager, that gives the rest of his team-mates the chance to remind the football world that his side are more than a one-man team, despite Palmer’s prodigious efforts.

In the meantime, although he is not revealing precisely who will step into Palmer’s position, Pochettino wants his squad to accept the challenge of playing without one of English football’s men of the moment.

“We will see. We will see,” said Pochettino. “It is a good challenge if Palmer is not available tomorrow. It’s a good challenge for his team-mates or those in a similar position.

“If I were them, I would be motivated to go there tomorrow and show that this is Chelsea Football Club, not Cole Palmer Football Club.”

The 21-year-old will be assessed on Tuesday but Chelsea could very well be without their 20-goal forward, who is competing for the Premier League Golden Boot in a three-way battle with Erling Haaland and Ollie Watkins.

Palmer has scored back-to-back hat-tricks at Stamford Bridge, including a four-goal haul against Everton, which was capped with a ninth penalty of the season.

But that fourth was scored after an unsightly row between Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke, although the Chelsea manager insisted the incident was not evidence of any jealousy towards the youngster star.

“No, it is a good example for them of why he is doing so well and why they are not capable of doing the same… I think it is a good challenge,” he said.

“I think they are not jealous. They only want the same pill we provide Palmer! I am joking! They ask whatever you do for Palmer; we want the same.”

Manchester City stifled Palmer in their 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final, with most of Chelsea’s chances instead falling to striker Jackson, who fluffed his lines at Wembley Stadium.

The 22-year-old has since been subjected to thousands of abusive comments, including racism, on his social media accounts from angry supporters.

Pochettino has urged fans to be more forgiving of Jackson’s faults. “The circumstance was a young striker who came from Spain and then different offensive players like [Christopher] Nkunku or [Armando] Broja never were available in the way to help him sometimes to rest. I think he is doing a fantastic job for the team,” said Pochettino.

“Maybe he is not scoring the goals that you want or expect from a Chelsea striker, but he needs time, and of course, we are going to give all the support for him to be calmer in front of the goal in the future and to score more or to increase the percentage of scoring goals.

“He is young. He needs to handle the pressure to deal with Chelsea and all the new things that happen because I think he increased his social media following.

“We cannot judge like an end product. [He] is a potentially amazing striker that is doing well. Step by step, he is getting better and better.”