Chelsea: Pochettino insists he ‘likes when the owners come’ to dressing room after Villa loss revelation

News Desk
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino during a match against Aston Villa.
Mauricio Pochettino during a match against Aston Villa.

Mauricio Pochettino is fine with Chelsea’s owners visiting the dressing room after matches but points out it is not their job to come in to give a speech.

Co-owner Behdad Eghbali went into the changing room following Sunday’s defeat to Aston Villa, with other members of the club’s senior hierarchy, including Todd Boehly and co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, having done similarly after home Premier League games this season.

The Argentinian insists it is “good” that the quartet spend time around the players on matchdays, provided his authority is respected.

“I like when the owners come,” he said. “In all my career as a coach, at Espanyol then Southampton, Tottenham and Paris St Germain also, before and after.

“I think it’s good that the owners came to the dressing room. It’s in the way that they approach the players that is the most important. If they are in a good way, I think they’re very welcome.

“After my press conference on Sunday against Aston Villa they came and shared with us like normal.

“Against Liverpool, first game, then Luton and Nottingham Forest, they came with Paul and Laurence and Behdad, and sometimes with Todd also. They share some comment and we talk about the game, always after my (press) duties.

“I don’t see it in a bad way. For me it’s good always if they share with us, then they can say hello to the players. The difference is if they come for some speech. That is different.

“But in the way they came they are very welcome. They own the club, they can do whatever they want.

“I think they are in a very good way and we are glad that they came and shared with us – even like happened on Sunday when we didn’t win and we are suffering.”

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Boehly entered the dressing room and spoke to the team on a number of occasions last season, most notably after the 2-1 defeat to Brighton in April when he told the squad their season had been “embarrassing”.

Chelsea face the same opposition at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday in arguably a worse position than the last time Roberto De Zerbi’s team visited.

Defeat to the Seagulls came in a run that saw the team win just one of their final 12 league games of the season en route to finishing 12th under caretaker boss Frank Lampard.

This season has begun in similarly poor form with one win and three defeats from Pochettino’s first six Premier League games.

Pochettino said he waited until Monday to address his players following the loss to Villa, which came after the visitors took advantage of defender Malo Gusto’s second-half red card to win it with a breakaway Ollie Watkins goal.

“Not really (I didn’t give a speech after the game),” he said. “We talked on Monday and Tuesday with the players. But it’s my duty, if I need to do it, it’s my decision (to make) some speech. Only me, or the captain.

“It’s not a job of the owner to come to the dressing room and give some speech after the game, whether you win or you lose. But they know very well how they need to behave.”

Defeat on Sunday made this Chelsea’s worst start to a league season for 45 years, with the team still struggling to convert possession and chances into goals – a feature that has carried over from last term.

The team’s performances have arguably been better than results, with Pochettino’s side having looked far the likelier to take three points up until Gusto was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Villa’s Lucas Digne on 58 minutes.

The situation has been made worse by an injury crisis that left the boss without 12 first-team players for the recent goalless draw against Bournemouth.

“If you go back to the Liverpool game (on the opening weekend), I think no-one expected this situation,” Pochettino said.

“The circumstances are (something) that sometimes you cannot manage, a little bit of bad luck. We can’t talk about excuses, but that is the circumstances and the reality.”

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