“Just because you’re a big name…” – Mauricio Pochettino fires serious warning to £52m man who needs to “make the effort”

Mauricio Pochettino was in strong form in his press conference yesterday.

Buoyed by the bonus of a big win, yet frustrated by the speculation about his future, his mood shifted from happy to sad and back again. In the embargoed section of the press conference he really got into gear, and made some very strong comments about some of his players, somewhat unprompted.

Asked a pretty innocent question about whether Christopher Nkunku and Levi Colwill and their status for the game on Sunday, Pochettino turned the question around and said that no player should be expecting to step right back into the team, unless they were willing to work like the XI on the pitch last night did:

“The players coming back from injury, they know, and now they’re really going to feel [the competition for places]. They need to make the effort. Just because you’re a big name doesn’t mean you have the right to play, and play the way they want,” Pochettino warned.

“The most important thing is to work for the team, giving your best… if you don’t compete, or your level is 50%, it’s better to have a lesser player competing at 100%.”

This felt very much aimed at Nkunku, given the coach’s comments about his effort earlier in the season:

“He needs also to understand he has to push himself. He needs to make double effort because he must have an impact,” the Argentine warned back at Christmas.

A big warning for a big player

It’s a shame it’s come to this – it all started so brightly in the summer when Nkunku was the creative hub we had been dreaming he would be. Since then it’s been a rapid decline.

Constant injuries didn’t help, but there’s no getting around the fact that even in the period he was fit in February, he flat out lost his place in the team. Let’s hope this boot up the backside is just what he needs.

Tags Christopher Nkunku


  1. That’s what good Managers do. We’ve lost or drawn certain games because some players don’t give percent. It’s what arteta did with arsenal and what pep does regardless of the name. Rem yaya etc? Many times we’ve been let down by the players. Rem the first leg again arsenal or Imagine if Chelsea had proper finisher, it would have been a different conversation after that carabao cup final or the Fa cup semi to mention but a few

  2. Reporters trying to instigate animosity all in the name of writing a story. What he said isn’t out of place, it’s the way it should be.

  3. What matters most is the results,fans expected wonders it’s good to show what was missing during your absence.

  4. I watched jimmy greaves play for Chelsea years ago, he was a striker with a eye for goal, the current side needs to work harder for the team not go through the motions and hope other players will carry them 100pc from everybody to become the team the fans deserve,,osgoods,Hudson,cooks,Hutchinson,Harris,bonetti,and so many others the blues have had in the past,,drogba,lampard,Chec a team ready to fight and play football fans enjoy watching let’s hope we reach those heights again soon as I’m not getting any younger at 72!

  5. That’s great if the player doesn’t perform well, leave them…even if they need to move never sign the contract

  6. It’s been pretty tough on nkunkù with his injuries but he has to realize that the effort excluding arsenal the team has been putting in of late is brilliant and he has to show same effort if he wants to become an important player for us theirs no doubti his quality hopefully he kicks on now injuriey free shows the quality and desire to make us a better team im sure that’s what he wants himself

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