ENGLAND | POCHETTINO
Pochettino defends Chelsea’s transfer dealings: “Madrid questioned Zidane’s arrival...”
The manager asked fans to be patient with the new arrivals at Stamford Bridge and recalled Zizou’s hesitant start with Real Madrid.
Chelsea had a complete makeover this summer, making numerous signings after a season for forget. Four Premier Leagues games in and the situation isn’t looking much better - the team has won just once, drawn one and lost the other two so understandably, fans are getting nervous at Stamford Bridge. In his press conference ahead of this evening’s game against Bournemouth, Mauricio Pochettino asked fans to be patient and promised that the results will come - in good time.
The Argentine coach compared Chelsea’s new arrivals to Zinedine Zidane’s record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid in 2001. Pochettino, who was playing for Espanyol at the time, remembers Zizou’s first few months well. He recalled there being questions marks as to whether the French midfielder could fit into Vicente del Bosque‘s system as well as the initial feeling of unease and unhappiness by the Bernabéu crowd with the Ballon d’Or winner.
Pochettino pointed out that Zidane went on to win over the Bernabéu and believes that Chelsea’s new recruits will similarly come good.
“I always use the same example. Real Madrid paid 70 or 80 million for a player named Zinedine Zidane. He was an amazing player but after six months, you can ask the fans at the Bernabéu and they were saying, ‘Oh, what have we bought?’ He started to perform after seven or eight months. Zinedine Zidane was 26 or 27. When you buy players who are 20 or 21 you have to be careful,” the Chelsea manager reasoned.
“At Chelsea the expectation is always massive. When you arrive at Chelsea as a player or coaching staff, the people expect to win, lift some trophies, perform and score. We now have a really young squad, players that are good investments for the club. We need to know that they are young and need to adapt and the circumstances and stay calm. It is not fair to assess after one games, two games, three games and say he is not performing,” he continued. “It’s only the beginning. We need to win, I want to win. The players need to feel that the pressure is only from ourselves. It’s too early to give up, or to say that we are not going to achieve the objectives that we have spoken about from the beginning. For me, we have to keep going and believe - even if the results are the ones we wanted, or maybe deserved”.
Pochettino’s Blues have a difficult trip to Bournemouth this weekend. Another poor result will only prolong the crisis...