EPL

Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo need to improve – Mauricio Pochettino

By Sports Desk December 09, 2023

Mauricio Pochettino admits midfield duo Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo need to improve after Chelsea’s poor start to the Premier League campaign.

The Blues’ recent 2-1 defeat at Manchester United kept them in 10th place, five points behind West Ham in ninth.

And Pochettino believes big-money signings Fernandez and Caicedo need to up their levels but acknowledged the two 22-year-olds’ development is a “process”.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday, he said: “The relationship between them needs to improve of course, between them and individually also.

“They are young, the expectation is massive when you arrive.

“Caicedo had one season in Brighton and Enzo after three months in Europe, he was in Benfica before arriving to the Premier League. Arriving not in the best place to perform quick because they need to be part of the solution.

“They are not the cherry of the cake. When you arrive in a team that is in a building process and you’re young with not too much experience, even if you have good quality and people can see the club paid big money and only for that you need to perform, it is not like this in football.

“Some people think in this way because they don’t know about football. It’s a process.

“It’s going to be a process for different reasons. Chelsea are in a completely different reality in the last years and we need to attack this. We can’t live only thinking in the past.

“We need to keep the culture and understand we are in Chelsea and always it’s about winning, but the reality is completely different.”

Sunday’s opponents Everton are on a high after Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park.

And Pochettino identified Everton’s physical presence from set-pieces and called for his Chelsea players to play more cleverly.

He added: “It can be a problem, yes. But we need to be more aggressive and try to avoid conceding chances like corners or wide free-kicks.

“We need to be clever in the way we are going to work and try to stop them.

“Yes, it can be a problem but maybe no. In football, it’s the way you approach the game, the attitude and then being clever, trying to avoid giving the possibility to the opponents to use their strengths.”

Pochettino highlighted the challenges of keeping his players motivated after their inconsistent start to the campaign.

He said: “When you win it is easy, you jump to train.

“But when you have ups and downs it is really difficult to keep your balance because to translate the capacity to a player to keep pushing and assimilate and to keep the good mood around the training ground is the most difficult thing.

“Because the frustration, disappointment, sometimes in the way we concede, you become upset, angry. “

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