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Chelsea owner would kill me if I didn’t start two players against Arsenal

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 04:07 pm

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino humorously suggested that the club’s owners might not be too pleased if he didn’t field two specific players against Arsenal. Despite some key players being sidelined with injuries, Pochettino assembled a formidable lineup, featuring Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez, both of whom were acquired for a combined £222 million. Notably, both players played the full 90 minutes, even though they returned from international duty just a few days prior.

Pochettino acknowledged the demanding schedule, stating, “It’s quite a challenge for players to return from South America on Wednesday and then play again on Saturday.” However, he also pointed out the delicate balance he must strike, as resting players might not sit well with the media or the club’s owners. He quipped, “If I say ‘OK, I’m going to give them a rest,’ you [the media] will surely criticize me – and the owner might not be too happy either!”

Despite the players’ recent exertions in two games in America, Caicedo and Enzo, in Pochettino’s view, played vital roles in the team. Their presence was crucial, even if they weren’t at their freshest. Pochettino emphasized their significance to the squad.

This light-hearted remark by Pochettino offers a glimpse into the delicate balance that managers often have to strike. Balancing the need for rest and recovery with the pressure to field the best possible lineup can be a complex decision-making process, particularly in high-stakes matches like the one against Arsenal. Pochettino’s witty comment also highlights the scrutiny and expectations that come with managing a top-tier football club like Chelsea.

Ultimately, Pochettino’s decision to field Caicedo and Fernandez paid testament to their importance within the team, even under challenging circumstances. The manager’s ability to navigate such situations is a testament to his tactical acumen and understanding of player management in a demanding league like the Premier League. This humorous comment, delivered in good spirits, offers a glimpse into the dynamics of managing a top-flight football team, where every decision can be subject to intense scrutiny and debate.

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