Mauricio Pochettino questions the potential of his players and says they need to win now

Finally, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has delivered some home truths and for me, has sent more hidden messages to his employers.

It’s been clear to see for me that this Chelsea squad build has been naive at best. It’s a decent squad with some very good players in it, and others not so much. But they are all young, raw, and with potential. But it hasn’t been built for the here and now, and Chelsea have to win here and now.

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And Pochettino, rather than making constant tired excuses, has finally said this in public, via some latest embargoed quotes from his pre-match press conference for the game against Manchester United this evening.

He’s questioned the potential of the squad that has been built, and he has reiterated that Chelsea need to win NOW, and the draw against 10 man Burnley on Saturday night simply cannot happen.

In words picked up by The Evening Standard, Pochettino said:

“You cannot draw a game like [Burnley] if you are Chelsea. You cannot draw. That is how I describe the situation and how I understand the game.

“Football is about talent, about players with [a mix of] talent and the right mentality. Mentality means you have the capacity to deal with the pressure and express your talent without limitation.

“It’s about translating the same feelings you had as a child to when you play for Chelsea, with 50,000 people there and the cameras, for relegation or to win the title.

“That is the capacity you have to identify in a player. You have to have this (head) and this (heart).”

He added: “We have to understand – what does it mean, potential?

“’I have potential’ – what does it mean? Potential what? We need to assess the players we have today and we can help them evolve but to what level?

“Potential teams, potential players, potential coaches. Potential, potential, potential. But we need to win today, no? Now I am teaching you.”

Chelsea News