Mauricio Pochettino says the progress of his Chelsea team should not be compared to Thomas Tuchel and the German’s impact upon joining the club in 2021.
Pochettino was named as Graham Potter’s permanent successor during the summer and enjoyed a busy transfer window as Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Cole Palmer among others joined in a total outlay close to £300m.
However, the former Spurs boss has only overseen two wins so far – one coming in the Carabao Cup – ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
When Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard, the current Bayern Munich boss fixed their defence and led them to a second Champions League title with victory over Manchester City in the final in Porto.
Pochettino claimed pre-match that no similarities should be drawn between the two coaches or their Blues squads as Tuchel was already working with an established squad filled with experience. The average age of Chelsea’s squad was 23.7 years at the start of the 2023/24 season, the lowest of any Premier League club.
“Thomas arrived in a different project,” Pochettino said. “A project that was already built. As we arrived in a project where the principle guide was changing. That is why it is different. We all think the same, with different ideas, and different philosophies, the spine is important. All of the positions are important.
“Keeper solid, stable, centre-back, midfielder and striker. I remember my father or grandfather always said the same thing. That is not going to change in the future. Like all coaches, you have key positions, solid players with experience, individual experience, also experience in the environment you are going to compete.
“If you are in the Premier League, you need players with experience there. Spain and France are different leagues. Here it was different, two days before the start Kepa left the club.”
Chelsea could only finish 12th in the Premier League last season as Tuchel was given the boot early on by Todd Boehly, who unsuccessfully turned to then Brighton manager Potter before Lampard was given interim control until the end of the campaign.
Better results have been expected due to the summer outlay but Pochettino emphasised the need for time for his young squad to grow and begin to compete. They’re down in 14th so far, having won only one league game.
He added: “First of all the players need to be settled, feel comfortable, know each other. We were talking also when we assessed the injuries. Now, we are going to compete with teams that play three, four or five years. Even six months.
“Nico [Jackson] and [Raheem] Sterling they need time to create the links, with Mischa [Mykhailo Mudryk], with Noni [Madueke], with [Cole] Palmer, he arrived two days before the transfer window finished. It’s not an excuse but we need to analyse all of these things.
“Should we win every game because we are Chelsea? Yes. We are not the Chelsea that won the Champions League or Premier League, we are Chelsea in progress, to improve, to find our way to behave and to perform together. But accept the competition will not wait for us.”
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