Billion-pound breakthrough should come as no surprise – Mauricio Pochettino

By Sports Desk September 01, 2023

Mauricio Pochettino said football’s stakeholders should not be hypocritical in their judgement of Chelsea after the club’s spending surpassed £1billion under the ownership of Todd Boehly.

The £40million signing of Cole Palmer from Manchester City on Friday pushed total outlay during the last 16 months into 10 figures, with more than £400m having been spent on 12 players in the summer window alone.

That has in part been offset by player sales for significant fees earlier in the window with 14 first-team departures since the end of the last season, most notably midfielders Kai Havertz and Mason Mount who left for a combined £120m.

It was also confirmed on Friday that 20-year-old striker Mason Burstow has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan while Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed for Nottingham Forest, ending a 16-year association with the club.

Chelsea host Forest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday looking to make it three wins in a row after victories against Luton in the Premier League and AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup.

The manager has previously said that anything less than Champions League qualification in his first season will be deemed a failure following the owners’ mammoth transfer outlay which has seen them break the British transfer record twice in 2023.

And with Boehly still relatively inexperienced in European football, Pochettino was at pains to emphasise his responsibility to help guide and advise his employer.

“You can talk about being very surprised about (the billion-pound landmark), or not,” said Pochettino. “It depends. Today football is… we need to evolve. Today it’s different. Completely different. We manage a different type of numbers.

“If 20 years ago we had thought this was going to happen, maybe no one would believe it. But today, it’s normal in football, this type of money moving around.

“It’s a big business, football. And we cannot stop. I think we all get the benefit here, no? I think we cannot be hypocrites. To be involved in football in different areas, you (the press) there or me here. We are living all (what) that business produces.

“I’m not going to be here to give lessons to anyone, but I think football is about getting a good balance. For me, yes Chelsea is spending money. But also it’s selling players. Money in and money out.

“In that case, people arrive in a club in the Premier League like our owners, it’s normal. They want to settle and develop their project, and we are people that are going to help them to be right in their decisions, because we are professionals of football.

“We are giving our vision and advice, and of course after (that) it’s up to them. That is a very special situation that happened from the beginning.”

Pochettino will have Mykhailo Mudryk available for selection after the winger missed last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Luton.

The Ukraine international, who signed for £88m from Shakhtar Donetsk in January but is yet to score or consistently show the kind of form that persuaded Chelsea to bring him to west London, has played just 54 minutes this season and is yet to start a game under Pochettino.

“He’s a very talented player,” said the manager. “He needs to first of all, before talking about football, he needs to feel comfortable, feel really strong in his body. He suffered (during) the (under-21) Euros, he only played one game (because) he was suffering from some injury.

“When I arrived here was never consistent in training, always something happened. Now we are focused and trying to help me to be really strong, healthy and feel good to start to perform.

“No one can perform if they do not feel strong and really confident in your body. It’s time we need to build his confidence. We are working. I hope in the next few weeks he starts to find his best form to start to help the team.”

Related items

  • Inter Milan claim narrow lead in Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid Inter Milan claim narrow lead in Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid

    A second-half goal from substitute Marko Arnautovic gave Inter Milan a 1-0 lead in their Champions League last-16 first leg contest against Atletico Madrid.

    The former Stoke and West Ham forward delighted the majority of the San Siro crowd with his 79th-minute breakthrough on Tuesday evening.

    And it proved enough for last season’s runners-up to take an advantage to the Spanish capital for next month’s second leg.

    After the visitors had survived penalty appeals for handball by defender Nahuel Molina, Lautaro Martinez had the first chance of a tight first half but fired wide in the 36th minute.

    Argentina international Martinez brought a save out of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak four minutes later, following Nicolo Barella’s cross, then mishit an effort from the edge of the penalty box soon after.

    Marcus Thuram, who appeared to get injured in the closing stages of the first half, was replaced by Arnautovic for the second 45 minutes.

    There was frustration for the home fans when Arnautovic headed over, before shooting high off target soon after.

    Martinez was then denied by Oblak, before Arnautovic got it right at the third attempt with the only goal of the game.

    After Atletico substitute Reinildo and Rodrigo de Paul had dallied on the halfway line, Martinez advanced and saw his shot blocked by Oblak. However, it broke for Arnautovic and the Austria international tucked the ball away left-footed from the angle of the six-yard box, squeezing his shot past the goalkeeper and a backtracking Samuel Lino.

    Atletico’s best chance of a goal came in the closing stages when Alvaro Morata glanced a header wide of Yann Sommer’s goal.

    It proved a fitting outcome for Inter on an emotional night for the home fans, who paid tribute to Andreas Brehme before kick-off.

    The former Germany international defender, whose death had been announced earlier in the day, played for the Nerazzurri between 1988 and 1992.

  • Reggae Boy Omari Hutchinson raises the roof at Portman Road as Ipswich beat Rotherham Reggae Boy Omari Hutchinson raises the roof at Portman Road as Ipswich beat Rotherham

    Substitute Omari Hutchinson struck the winner at the death as Ipswich boosted their Championship automatic-promotion hopes with a 4-3 win over bottom-placed Rotherham.

    Hutchinson’s effort in the sixth minute of added time after Cafu’s levelling penalty moments earlier left the Tractor Boys behind second-placed Leeds only on goal difference, with Southampton losing to Hull.

    Town initially fell behind after just two minutes through Tom Eaves, but responded thanks to a Keiffer Moore strike and Wes Burns’ first-half brace.

    Hakeem Odoffin pulled one back for the Millers in the second half before the nail-biting additional time.

    The visitors got off to the perfect start through Eaves.

    Ipswich defender Harry Clarke had a chance to clear from Town’s penalty box but Sam Clucas stuck out a foot and toed the ball into the path of the Millers striker who guided his shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.

    But Town struck back eight minutes later through Burns.

    Sam Morsy swept forward into the Rotherham penalty area and his cross was firmly headed home by the winger.

    Ipswich’s dominance after conceding an early goal paid off in the 14th minute when Moore put them in front, notching his fourth goal in five games following his arrival on loan from Bournemouth.

    It came from a wonderful run down the right by Burns who swept past Lee Peltier. His pinpoint cross found the unmarked Wales international striker who side-footed home on the run and into the far left corner of the net.

    Burns got his second goal to put Town further ahead in the 29th minute.

    Conor Chaplin played him in down the right and his initial shot was parried out by Viktor Johansson but fell to raiding full-back Leif Davis whose shot found Burns and he stabbed home from close range.

    There was a lengthy delay when Rotherham midfielder Ollie Rathbone crashed into the advertising boards following a challenge with Jeremy Sarmiento and was stretchered off on the medical cart to be replaced by Femi Seriki.

    Burns almost completed a hat-trick when he headed narrowly wide of the Rotherham left-hand post but the visitors pulled a goal back through Odoffin.

    Hladky failed to punch the ball clear when challenged in the six-yard box and it fell to the Rotherham central defender who coolly slotted the ball into the empty net.

    United pressed for an equaliser and Sam Nombe struck the post but they equalised in added on time with a penalty by substitute Cafu, only for Hutchinson to secure the three points with a stunning strike past Johansson to raise the roof of Portman Road.

  • Marko Arnautovic is Inter Milan’s matchwinner in Champions League Marko Arnautovic is Inter Milan’s matchwinner in Champions League

    Marko Arnautovic came off the bench to score the winning goal as Inter Milan defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

    The substitute fired home on the rebound with 11 minutes to play after Lautaro Martinez had been denied when racing through on goal by goalkeeper Jan Oblak, squeezing it inside the near post as Samuel Lino tried gallantly to clear from the goal line.

    Earlier, Arnautovic and Martinez had wasted the two best chances of the game for the hosts, failing to find the target from good positions, as Diego Simeone’s side threatened to make it a frustrating night for the Serie A leaders.

    For the visitors, Alvaro Morata headed wide from six yards out in the final minutes after getting on the end of Angel Correa’s deep cross.

    Elsewhere, PSV Eindhoven came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund.

    Former PSV forward Donyell Malen scored after 24 minutes with a shot that deflected in at the near post beyond goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

    But the Bundesliga side were denied the chance to take a one-goal advantage back to Germany when Luuk de Jong levelled from the penalty spot 11 minutes after the break.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.