Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville insists he has “great faith in Mauricio Pochettino” but blasts the Chelsea owners for causing “chaos” at the Premier League club.
The Blues have had a poor start to the new season with Chelsea once again struggling to score goals despite bringing in a number of new signings in the summer.
Chelsea have recorded their only win of the campaign against newly-promoted Luton Town with Pochettino’s men currently sat in 14th position on five points.
The west Londoners were booed off the pitch at full-time in their 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Neville is predicting “changes in how they go about their business”.
Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast: “What are Chelsea doing?! What is happening? I’ve got great faith in Mauricio Pochettino, but he’s got a huge pack of cards and he’s struggling to know which hand to play.
“It’s a mystery as to what’s happening at Chelsea. Sometimes chaos just flows throughout a club. I think there will be some changes in how they go about their business. I can’t see this lasting in terms of how it’s being run. It’s madness.”
It is not the first time Neville has had a go at the Chelsea ownership, who have spent over £1billion since taking over at the end of May last year in a complete overhaul of the playing staff, with the former Manchester United defender criticising Todd Boehly for wanting “to play Football Manager”.
“The American guy [Todd] Boehly, looks like he wants to play Football Manager,” Neville said on The Overlap before the new season. “He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he has to do something.
“You’re wondering, ‘oh they’re coming in for [Frenkie] de Jong this morning’, because he feels like he has to do something, that pressure is on him. He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.”
Malo Gusto was sent off on 58 minutes against Aston Villa after the VAR advised the referee to upgrade his decision to award a yellow card to the Chelsea defender to a red for a challenge on Lucas Digne.
But Chelsea boss Pochettino wasn’t in the mood to blame officials for their defeat to Unai Emery’s men and urged his side to “grow up like a team”.
“It’s our responsibility and the players’ responsibility,” Pochettino said. “We can’t blame the VAR or the referee. The situation, we need to act different, in a different way. I’m not going to blame or say anything against Malo Gusto. Situations happen in football and they affect the game and the team in a negative way.
“We need to grow up like a team, not only in an individual way. A player like Nico (Jackson) that is so young, feeling the Premier League and he’s learning, he needs time. In this type of game, we’re competing and we want to win. But players, when they are young, need to learn with experience.
“That’s why we feel disappointed because we are playing too many situations like this. Another small detail and in the end we are losing the game. We are in a situation we need to change as soon as possible.”