Don’t judge me on winning titles, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino has urged Chelsea supporters not to judge him on whether or not his team lifts the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool stand in the way of a first trophy since co-owner Todd Boehly bought the club in May 2022 and began a radical overhaul.

The Argentinian is also aiming to win silverware for the first time in England, having been runner-up in this competition to his current club in 2015 while in charge of Tottenham.

And he pointed to the example of his opposite number on Sunday as a coach who enjoyed a strong reputation even before his first trophy win.

Klopp defeated Pochettino’s Spurs in the 2019 Champions League final almost four years into his Anfield reign, having missed out on the previous year’s Premier League title by a single point to Manchester City.

“I think it’s not going to increase my popularity or the way the fans are going to see us,” said Pochettino on his team’s prospects on Sunday.

“Klopp was good before he arrived at Liverpool. He had three or four years that he didn’t win. Now he’s won the Champions League and the Premier League.

“I don’t judge a coach or coaching staff for winning titles. It’s about being competitive and winning, but there are too many factors that influence.

“If you have good player, you should be close to winning. Maybe everyone will say you’re the best coach in the world. But everyone knows it’s not like this.

“The thing is to be in the right moment, in the right club that trusts in you with the tools and the possibility to win.

“Some fans will say you’re not good because you didn’t win. For me, it’s not the way to judge a coaching staff.”

Chelsea’s indifferent season has taken on a new complexion after three impressive away performances.

Consecutive 3-1 wins at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the league were followed by a fine 1-1 draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

Prior to that, the team were booed off by supporters at the end of their most recent home fixture, a 4-2 loss to Wolves at Stamford Bridge, days after they were thrashed 4-1 at Anfield.

Pochettino believes that, regardless of Sunday’s result, he is already held in high esteem in England.

“I feel the respect from the football people in this country,” he said. “I really appreciate it, because after five years in Spain and then in France, I feel the competition here – the Premier League, the fans, how people live football.

“It’s a perfect organisation to enjoy my job. It’s my passion to be involved in the game that we love.

“But we want to win because we are very competitive. We want to win because of the people that trust in us, like the owners, the sporting directors, the fans.

“After 11 years here, we feel the respect. That is the most important thing.”

Related items

  • Jarrod Bowen likely to be fit for West Ham’s Europa League clash with Leverkusen Jarrod Bowen likely to be fit for West Ham’s Europa League clash with Leverkusen

    Jarrod Bowen looks set to be fit for West Ham’s bid for an unlikely Europa League comeback against new Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen.

    The Hammers’ 19-goal top scorer missed the 2-0 quarter-final first-leg defeat in Germany, and Sunday’s Premier League loss at home to Fulham, with a hip injury.

    But Bowen took part in training at West Ham’s Rush Green HQ on Wednesday morning and hopes are high that he will be available against Leverkusen.

    Manager David Moyes said: “It was great to see Jarrod out there.

    “We’re not sure yet. I would never risk a player if I thought they were injured but you always want your best players back in, your goalscorers as well, and Jarrod has been that this season.”

    The news is a major boost to the Hammers as they attempt to inflict a first defeat of the season on Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen.

    But they will be without key Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta through suspension after he was booked in Germany.

    “Most people know exactly what Jarrod has done for us over the season and others. It would give us and the crowd a real lift,” Moyes said.

    “We’ve lost Lucas through suspension, and had Jarrod out through injury. We have to find ways of making magic happen.”

    Left-back Emerson Palmieiri is also suspended while centre-half Konstantinos Mavropanos is a doubt.

    Leverkusen secured a first league title in their history when they beat Werder Bremen 5-0 on Sunday, and Moyes hopes the celebrations went on long into the night – and maybe spilled into the start of the week.

    “Rightly so, why would you not celebrate?” he said. “To be the champions, you should celebrate, you should enjoy it because the moments go very quickly.

    “I hope they’ve been downing those big giant glasses of beer they get in Germany!”

    Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who turns 39 on Thursday, hopes West Ham can lean on their experience of making unlikely comebacks.

    Fabianski was in the Hammers team who were 3-0 down at Tottenham with 10 minutes to go in 2020, and hit back to draw 3-3.

    “I think the confidence that we can take is from the experiences in recent years, games where we have been down and come back,” the former Poland international said.

    “The Spurs game is one of the best examples,  being 3-0 down and to score three in 10-15 minutes.

    “We’ve experienced some great moments as a team in recent history and that will help us prepare mentally for (Thursday’s) game.”

  • Alonso capable of winning historic treble with 'exceptional' Bayer Leverkusen – Ramelow Alonso capable of winning historic treble with 'exceptional' Bayer Leverkusen – Ramelow

    Xabi Alonso is capable of guiding 'exceptional' Bayer Leverkusen through the remainder of the season unbeaten en route to winning a historic treble.

    That is according to former Leverkusen defender Carsten Ramelow, who told Stats Perform that Alonso is undoubtedly the key to their success.

    Bayer were crowned champions of Germany at the weekend for the first time in their 120-year history with five Bundesliga games still to play.

    Not only have Alonso's side dodged defeat in the league, they have also not lost any of their 14 DFB-Pokal or Europa League matches.

    With a 2-0 lead heading into their Europa quarter-final second leg against West Ham, and with Kaiserslautern awaiting them in the domestic cup final, the treble is very much on.

    "The season they have played is phenomenal," Ramelow said. "Their streak is sensational and it looks like they will do this until the end. 

    "Every team has a bit of a lapse, but Leverkusen have been exceptional in every competition. They can still win everything. Things are looking really good."

    Former Real Sociedad B coach Alonso took over Leverkusen in October 2022 with the club second from bottom in the Bundesliga.

    The Spaniard guided them to sixth last season and has taken them to the title in his first full campaign at BayArena, ending Bayern's run of 11 successive crowns.

    Ramelow, who spent 13 years as a Leverkusen player, has hailed the part Alonso has played in the greatest season in the club's history.

    "I heard a lot of people talk about him how much of a worker he is, and that he is also very companionable," Ramelow said. "The whole package is in perfect harmony.

    "I think that the coach has big merit in this. When he arrived in Leverkusen, he was facing a few problems, which is normal. 

    "I think you have to give managers some time in this day and age. That's also what they did with him. He explained his philosophy and idea very well to the team. 

    "The boys execute that really well. And I also think he’s a great guy who acts as an example for his players – both on and off the pitch."

  • Respect the process – Cesc Fabregas committed to long-term plan at striving Como Respect the process – Cesc Fabregas committed to long-term plan at striving Como

    Cesc Fabregas says Italian club Como must remain committed to their long-term plan even if their progress is expedited by winning promotion to Serie A this season.

    The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder is assistant manager at the lakeside club and, working under Welshman Osian Roberts, has guided them into the automatic promotion positions in Serie B.

    They currently have a three-point lead over third-placed Venezia and if they do not falter in their final five games they will return to the top flight of Italian football for the first time since 2003.

    The club have been declared bankrupt twice since then, but the 2019 takeover by Indonesian company Djarum Group heralded a new dawn.

    They are owners with big ambitions and they sought out advice from people in the game, with Thierry Henry and Fabregas becoming minority shareholders, while former England international Dennis Wise has also acted in an advisory role.

    Fabregas is currently earning his full coaching badges and his goals are aligned with the club’s.

    Returning to the top tier of Italian football has always been the plan, with further ambitions of titles and European football in the coming years.

    But Fabregas insists that will only happen if they “respect the process”.

    “We are pushing, we have a clear vision of where we want to go, where we want to get, we know who we are,” he told the PA news agency.

    “We know where we are at the moment and we need to respect the process, take the right steps.

    “We are working well, people are very dedicated, the owners are investing well and smartly.

    “We are all on the same page, evolving every single week to try and create this family, this union, let’s see where we are at the season.”

    When Fabregas joined Como as a player in the summer of 2022, it could have been easy to think he was easing into retirement in an idyllic part of the world.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Cesc Fàbregas (@cescf4bregas)

     

    But that would not be fitting with his work ethic and drive, which sees him one day wanting to be a manager in his own right.

    “I agree that Como is beautiful but if I am being honest my life is work, home, work, home,” he said.

    “Then when I am home I try to be with my family. Even if I was at the end of the world or in another place my life would not change that much.

    “Como is beautiful, we appreciate it so much but my job and my life doesn’t change too much.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.