Mauricio Pochettino hails Chelsea maturity as Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson learn from mistakes

Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Chelsea for growing up and starting to turn into a team rather than a bunch of expensively assembled individuals.

Noni Madueke admitted Chelsea have been “unselfish” for the first time this week, in their two derby wins over Tottenham and West Ham.

The Blues battered the Hammers 5-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Madueke laying the first of Jackson’s two goals on a plate for the Senegal forward.

Madueke and Jackson were all but wrestling on the pitch just three weeks ago, in the penalty spat that escalated out of control in the 6-0 thumping of Everton.

Cole Palmer eventually shook off the petulant pair to convert the spot-kick as the Blues’ designated penalty man, with boss Pochettino furious with the childish antics.

Jackson struck twice, with Madueke, Conor Gallagher and Cole Palmer all on target too as Chelsea trampled all over a wretched West Ham.

And afterward Pochettino was left to praise his players for finally starting to show some much-needed maturity.

“I think this is for Noni and Jackson to show that we learn, that we are smart,” said Pochettino.

“The situation with the penalty, if you remember against Everton, we received too many criticisms but a young team always needs to make the mistake.

“Always you need to feel this situation to be able to improve.

“And we are able to improve, because we are smart and intelligent people.

“I think today was a great, great action for Noni to see how the group starts to live and how it starts to feel.

“Always it’s a process that takes time. You never know whether it’s going to take one month, six months, one year.

“But the most important thing is they start to settle the principles, to feel and live like a group of players that are creating all the links to compete. Because that is the reality.

“I’m so pleased for that, because we are part of this process, helping them to grow and to mature and improve all aspects.

“That is only the first step, a massive step, but a step that we wanted to reach.

“From there now it’s only to evolve in every aspect, for the facility to go in a tactical evolution and we can improve from there.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson are showing a new-found maturity at Chelsea (Action Images via Reuters)
Mauricio Pochettino believes Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson are showing a new-found maturity at Chelsea (Action Images via Reuters)

“But without principles or without things that we’re starting to show to be competitive in this way it’s impossible to evolve in other aspects.”

Pochettino looks finally to have settled on a system that draws the best out of his Chelsea players.

Marc Cucurella has impressed as an inverted full-back in recent weeks, alongside a double pivot that has generated genuine stability.

Pochettino insisted it has been tough to provide this Chelsea squad with solid enough foundations to start layering on any tactical sophistication.

Now the ex-Spurs boss believes he can start adding detail to his Chelsea framework, hinting at the hope he can continue his job into next season.

“This role we can implement, in the future, but before that it was because we needed to have the belief, the confidence, the trust, the team needs to compete,” said Pochettino.

“In all the tactical evolution we have in our head, the coaching staff, we need to apply in the future.

“You cannot sit if you don’t have a chair, you have to build the chair first.

“In football, even if you don’t have a team, but you still expect to behave like a team.

“It’s like an engineer who is going to build a building, who says ‘I want to see so quickly the nice furniture and the flat’.

“But, first of all, we need to build the structure and everything.

“That is why sometimes we made a mistake when we changed the job of the people, the coaching staff, and also with young players we always say be careful with the way we change.

“Because the most important is to see in which moment we are, which type of team, all the things you need to establish clearly.”