Chelsea star hits out at Mauricio Pochettino after poor season by issuing damning tactics verdict

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo is given instructions from Mauricio Pochettino.
Moises Caicedo is given instructions from Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo has hit out at former manager Mauricio Pochettino after he struggled during his debut season at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League giants invested around £115m to beat Liverpool in the race to sign Caicedo from Brighton during last summer’s transfer window.

The Ecuador international was expected to be a sure-fire hit at Stamford Bridge, but he endured a difficult debut season as he struggled to live up to his price tag.

Pochettino was under pressure for much of the season but he oversaw a brilliant end to the season as Chelsea finished sixth in the Premier League.

Despite this, Chelsea’s hierarchy opted to part ways with Pochettino earlier this summer and he’s been replaced by former Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca.

Several Chelsea players have praised Pochettino since his exit, but Caicedo has fired a dig at his former boss, claiming his tactics made it “very difficult” to adjust to life at his new club.

“At Brighton, it was all tactical, just with the ball; tactical, tactical, tactical. And at Chelsea, it was run, run, run and it was very difficult for me,” Caicedo said.

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“With Chelsea, I always ran a bit more and with Brighton we almost always had the ball, with Chelsea it was a different football and we had to run more.”

When asked how he attempted to improve his form during his debut season at Chelsea, he answered: “Since February my agent hired a person who reviews my matches and what I have to improve, how to position myself and mentally.

“It’s helped take pressure off me because I was thinking more about ‘they paid a lot of money for me I have to perform well’.

“I wasn’t focused, not showing my level, after my agent hired that person, I started to improve and gain more confidence.”

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This is not the first time Pochettino’s tactics have been questioned. Former Liverpool and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert previously revealed he was left “broken” by the manager during their time together at St Mary’s.

“I just couldn’t cope,” Lambert said. “We would come in on Monday after 90 minutes on the Saturday and do 12 horseshoe runs.

“I had the bottle to go into his room, pull him to one side very respectfully and I said, ‘Mauricio, listen, we understand what you’re trying to do, but you’re pushing us too much on a Monday, you just need to calm it down, we’re not used to it’.

“Mauricio was dead polite, said ‘yes, that’s fine, I understand’, we shook hands and went back to the lads, made up, thinking, just sorted it for you boys.

“Next Monday, we came in and not only did we do 12, we did 24 runs. I was running around laughing, almost crying. I knew what he was doing, he was trying to break me and he did, he broke me.”