Ahead of their much-anticipated clash against Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino has allegedly been told his Chelsea players are not entirely happy playing under him, contrasting sharply with the positive atmosphere Ange Postecoglou has fostered within the Tottenham players.
Postecoglou’s Tottenham side currently leads the Premier League table, boasting an impressive eight victories from ten games and maintaining an unbeaten streak since his appointment in July.
Much of this success has been attributed to the contributions of summer signings Micky van de Ven and James Maddison, with Postecoglou commended for swiftly implementing an effective and entertaining style of play.
In stark contrast, Chelsea finds itself in a challenging situation, struggling to regain their footing after a lackluster 12th-place finish in the previous season.
Under Pochettino’s guidance, the team has managed to secure only three wins out of ten matches in the Premier League this season, a performance that has left both the players and fans yearning for improvement.
As the former Spurs manager prepares for his emotional return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Pochettino faces immense pressure to secure a victory against his old club.
The disparity in happiness between the two squads highlights the urgency for Pochettino to address any underlying concerns within the Chelsea camp, ensuring that the team finds its rhythm and confidence before the crucial showdown against their North London rivals.
But according to ex-Arsenal and Chelsea player Petit, 53, that will be no easy feat as Spurs are playing with confidence, with the Frenchman also questioning if Chelsea’s squad members are happy playing under Pochettino.
“The confidence that Ange Postecoglou has instilled in the players is amazing, especially in midfield,” Petit said, speaking to OLBG. “You can see they play as friends and they’re enjoying their football – and that’s so important.
“The Marseille manager [Gennaro Gattuso] said that the manager should always talk about players in press conferences if they’re not happy. It’s impossible for every player to always be happy, but you must work at it.
“Pochettino has tried to get that with his team, but I’m not sure how many players are arriving with a smile on their face. Compare that to Tottenham! You can see the support from the managers and the players. They’re enjoying it, and that’s so important for me.”
The 51-year-old has faced a much more chaotic rebuild than Postecoglou this summer after watching 17 players leave and 11 new signings arrive, with a £420million spend on transfers offset by raising nearly £300m in sales. And Pochettino believes it is only a matter of time before things start coming together for his side, the second-youngest squad in the top flight this season.
“You can feel we are improving, progressing, it is part of the process, part of the project, it is normal when you have young players who arrive at a club like Chelsea and the demand is high from the beginning,” he said in a press conference on Friday.
“The demand and the competition doesn’t wait for you. You need to put all the details, come from a different league, a young guy and put pressure on you. That is why it is about the process. I am not worried, I am not concerned about that because we know what we are doing and we are going to perform and translate our performances into good results.”
It will be Pochettino’s first return to his former club since he was sacked by Daniel Levy in November 2019.
A victory for Spurs would see them surge ahead, establishing a 15-point lead over their London rivals. Meanwhile, a triumph for Chelsea would propel them into the top half of the table, intensifying the stakes for both teams in this crucial Monday night encounter.
With the mood in Chelsea camp, how do you think the Blues will perform against Spurs on Monday? …. Kindly share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.