Mauricio Pochettino tells fans his side are ‘not the Chelsea from 20 years ago’

By Sports Desk February 07, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino came out fighting after Chelsea outclassed Aston Villa to breeze into the FA Cup fifth round.

Enzo Fernandez’s stunning free kick sealed a 3-1 victory and set up last-16 tie against Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from Conor Gallagher and Nicolas Jackson put Chelsea in control of the fourth round replay and they cruised to victory, despite Moussa Diaby’s injury-time consolation.

Chelsea had come to Villa Park in disarray on the back of 4-1 and 4-2 defeats to Liverpool and Wolves – leaving them 11th in the Premier League.

But Pochettino insists they cannot be compared to the dominant side from the Roman Abramovich era which won five Premier League titles – despite spending over £1billion under owner Todd Boehly.

He said: “We need to stop this thing that we are Chelsea from 20 years ago. We are not this type of Chelsea anymore. Now we need to move on and we need to create this project.

“We need to move on, I don’t care if people are happy or not happy with my speech. I care for the club, I care for my players, I want to help the players.

“We are going to fight, I don’t care what the people say. I’m not more sad or happy today after a win because we have experience, this type of project needs time and trust.

“We cannot build a team to challenge because you need to fix too many things, you need to observe, analyse and compete.

“We are building a project which may be one year, two years, three years.

“Today you can see we were ready to fight. We fight for the fans, the badge, the coaching staff. Now the challenge is to be consistent.”

Just as the Chelsea fans sung for former owner Abramovich the visitors took the lead after 11 minutes.

Jackson and Noni Madueke combined to tee up Gallagher to find the top corner for his first goal of the season.

Ten minutes later it was 2-0 as Chelsea tore Villa apart down the right and Malo Gusto’s perfect cross was nodded in by Jackson.

There was barely a response from the hosts – who lost their 11-month unbeaten home league run to Newcastle last week – and Emi Martinez saved Cole Palmer’s effort as Chelsea looked for a third.

They found it nine minutes after the break when Fernandez, having been lucky to earn a foul off Youri Tielemans, curled a brilliant 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Villa were beaten but managed a consolation in stoppage time when Diaby’s strike went in off both posts and they now welcome a resurgent Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Boss Unai Emery said: “We were excited and motivated and we started well, we didn’t score but we were feeling good.

“When they were getting in our box we were not being strong and they were affecting us. They got into our box with some crosses and were clinical.

“I was more or less feeling the difference was the clinical way for them.

“We scored a little bit late and had no time to score the second goal. We have to accept and analyse the match. To beat them is not easy when you’re not being clinical.”

Related items

  • Kieron Edwards to lead new TTFA administration Kieron Edwards to lead new TTFA administration

    Kieron Edwards has been elected new President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

    Edwards, leading Team Progressive, defeated Colin Wharfe and his Transformation team at the Elective Congress 38-19 on Saturday morning at the Home of Football in Couva.

    The new administration will be the first self-governed TTFA in more than four years. This as William Wallace's administration was removed months after he was elected in November 2019, as FIFA intervened and installed its Normalisation Committee in March 2020, citing financial concerns.

    In keeping with the amended TTFA constitution, members were only asked to vote for a president. Edwards’ entire slate will serve alongside him.

    “Our slate [did] the work and left it in the hand of the membership, and they made the decision,” said Edwards.

    Edwards pointed out that his team will meet on Monday to hit the ground running to move football forward in the twin island republic. His administration comprises Colin Murray, Osmond Downer, and Jameson Rigues as the three vice-presidents, while Alicia Austin, Inspector Andrew Boodhoo, Allan Logan, Ryan Nunes, and Shelton Williams are the ordinary members.

    Looking ahead, Edwards revealed that his administration will review the positions of all TTFA staff including that of general secretary Amiel Mohammed, who was hired by the Robert Hadad -chaired Normalisation Committee.

    “He is the general secretary currently and I will work with him until further notice,” said Edwards.

    “Coaches that are under contract, we will honour those contracts and we will work with them. It is not a situation of moving this one (or that one), it is about giving support and enhancing what we do to ensure that we qualify for tournaments, and we do well in tournaments. That is the objective of the next executive going forward," he added.

    He was gracious too to outgoing Normalisation Committee, which included Nigel Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez, as well as members of Wharfe’s slate.

    “It is one TTFA and we will work together with all members and your voice will be heard. It is about inclusion; the Normalisation Committee played a crucial role, and we need to acknowledge the service they did for Trinidad and Tobago," Edwards noted.

    Meanwhile, Wharfe promised to continue doing what he can for football in Trinidad and Tobago.

    “We at Team Transformation accept the result and will continue to work for football in any way that we think possible. I will continue to do my job (as TTPFL CEO) and the new executive will make determinations in terms of what tomorrow would look like,” he said.

  • Matt Bloomfield lauds Luke Leahy after helping Wycombe beat Shrewsbury Matt Bloomfield lauds Luke Leahy after helping Wycombe beat Shrewsbury

    Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield was full of praise for Luke Leahy after his side returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Shrewsbury.

    The hosts went down to 10 men with just over 20 minutes remaining when Tom Flanagan made a dangerous challenge on Joe Low.

    The Chairboys found the breakthrough through ex-Salopian captain Leahy in the 83rd minute after he stroked home a superbly-worked free-kick from the edge of the box.

    Wycombe doubled their advantage in stoppage time after Garath McCleary teed up Richard Kone to tap home and leave Shrewsbury six points above the bottom four.

    Bloomfield said: “It was a fairly scrappy game, the pitch was playing quite slow and it has been a long and emotional week for us.

    “The sending-off happened and sparked the game into life a little bit.

    “I thought we took the two goals extremely well and it’s very fitting for Luke – it was always going to happen.

    “We made him captain today because he puts so much into our football club in terms of his performances and his personality and character.

    “It was his 500th appearance on Wednesday evening and today it just felt right he led us out and he scored a goal as well. I know how fondly he remembers his time at Shrewsbury.

    “Kone has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He hasn’t done that recently as much as I would of liked.

    “It was a huge step up in terms of level and his performances have been very good.”

    Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst was left annoyed by his side’s performance.

    He said: “I can see and hear the fans’ anger a little bit in the game but at the end of the game I can’t stand here and say I don’t agree with them.

    “It is hard to put into words in truth what we have witnessed. As the game goes on, it was a nothing performance and I am not going to stand here and defend it or lie about it.

    “People that were here have certainly seen what they witnessed and it was a performance far from good enough.

    “It is a silly and ridiculous challenge and it’s a sending-off.

    “The only bit I can say, and it still doesn’t defend it in the slightest and I am really not tempting to, is these sort of situations can occur when free-kicks are not given.

    “That one (Leahy goal) which I thought was the important one again, we don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green with any referring decisions.”

  • Paul Warne will not get carried away despite ‘a good day’ for Derby Paul Warne will not get carried away despite ‘a good day’ for Derby

    Derby head coach Paul Warne is taking nothing for granted despite another shift in his team’s favour in the race for automatic promotion.

    A 3-0 home win over Leyton Orient coupled with Bolton’s draw with Portsmouth means the Rams have a four-point lead in second place, although the Lancashire club have a game in hand.

    It was vital Derby took maximum points and in front of another 30,000-plus crowd they went ahead in the 10th minute when Kane Wilson pounced at the back post from a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing corner.

    Another set-piece led to the second in the 18th minute, with Sonny Bradley volleying in a Louie Sibley corner from close range.

    Orient were more of a threat in the second half but the best chances fell to Derby, with Mendez-Laing failing to convert in the 61st minute after racing clear.

    Sibley also went close on two occasions before Bradley sealed a convincing victory with a back-post header from another corner.

    Warne said: “The lads have done well, scored from three set-pieces and we probably could have scored from open play but it’s just about winning, so I’m happy.

    “It’s been a good day but all it does is give us another opportunity. With two games left it’s in our hands again but we’ve got to try and back it up with two more wins to give us a real chance to go up.

    “Obviously now it gives us a much better chance, but that’s all it is so we haven’t achieved anything, but it did feel like a good day. The lads performed well. I don’t think Joe (Wildsmith) had a shot (to save).

    “Some days it’s difficult to score goals. Today I watched Leeds play, they couldn’t score, last night I watched Leicester and they couldn’t score. When you are at the top of the table it’s difficult to get over the line.”

    Leyton Orient head coach Richie Wellens said: “They ran all over us. They are a good team with loads of experience and they just overpowered us.

    “The players have been unbelievable this year but they are probably on their last legs and we are asking too much of them with what we’ve got available. We just ran out of steam a little bit.

    “The big one was the set plays. We started the game okay but after the set plays in a quick space of time it becomes very difficult.

    “I think it’s something we need to improve on next year. We’ve done well but I think with set plays in this division if you can score a lot more than you concede you can get an extra 12 points.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.