Friday, September 29, 2023

Chelsea are a united squad with an identity and lots of energy – Inside life under Mauricio Pochettino

Ben Chilwell has revealed to talkSPORT that he and his fellow Chelsea teammates are all buying into Mauricio Pochettino’s vision.

The Argentine has arrived as the Blues’ new boss off the back of their dismal and trophyless season in which they finished 12th in the Premier League.

Pochettino has been in the job at Chelsea for a little over a monthGetty

But Chilwell can already see a difference being madeGetty

Pochettino is no stranger to the Premier League following successful stints at Southampton and Chelsea’s rivals Tottenham.

He was last at French giants Paris-Saint-Germain where he won the Ligue 1 title, the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions.

Chelsea presents him with a completely new challenge, but Chilwell is already impressed with what he has seen during pre-season.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I think he’s brought in a lot of energy in the fitness side of things I would say.

“We’ve been worked very hard and I think going into what’s going to be a physically demanding Premier League campaign, it’s obviously very important that you get that robustness in terms of the fitness side of things completed in pre-season.”

Throughout much of last season, Chelsea appeared to be all over the place when it came to installing a game plan. However, it seems as though Pochettino has been quick to change this.

Chilwell added: “I think he’s come in and there is definitely an identity.

“Everyone in the squad is on completely the same page in terms of when we have the ball and when we don’t have the ball. I think the biggest one is the energy. I think when we lose the ball, especially the forward players, he wants us to win it back as soon as possible.

Pochettino oversaw a successful pre-season at the BluesGetty

“Try and press other teams high up the pitch and win the ball back in those sort of situations where we can hopefully get a goalscoring opportunity from winning the ball back high.

“I think just the energy really, all 11 players that play on the pitch are expected to give everything not just on the ball but off the ball and work hard. Just that pressing, exciting and energetic game and we’re all completely on board with that.”

Chelsea went unbeaten in all five of their pre-season fixtures, with wins coming against Wrexham, Brighton and Fulham.

They also won the inaugural Premier League Summer Series, with Pochettino looking to implement a winning mentality before their new campaign kicks-off against Liverpool on Sunday.

“I think the fact that we’re unbeaten in pre-season, I think the manager mentioned it after the Wrexham game, there’s no friendlies,” Chilwell said.

He will soon make his first competitive appearance on the Chelsea touchline on SundayGetty

“You take that winning mentality that we’ve had in pre-season or unbeaten mentality we’ve had in pre-season and take that into the season.

“It can only be a positive and it just builds that mental resilience to go and get results and if you’re not going to win a game, you don’t lose a game.

“Silverware in pre-season, of course you want bigger silverware than that this season but it’s still a nice little start that gives you that confidence going into the season.”

Chelsea have enjoyed huge success on the pitch with Chilwell and Reece James, their new captain, playing as the full or wing-backs.

Chilwell is eyeing further silverware at Chelsea, this time under PochettinoGetty

Pochettino is clearly aware of this and has spoken to both about how to best utilise their qualities.

On his differing roles, Chilwell said; “To be fair that’s dependant on the opposition we’re playing against.

“I think it was the Brighton game he wanted me a lot higher when Levi [Colwill] had the ball, and then the Borussia Dortmund game he wanted me to kind of drop more next to Levi where I was more in the build-up.

“So like I mentioned earlier, it kind of depends on the opposition and where he thinks me and Reece… maybe Reece is higher one game and I’m deeper or I’m higher one game and Reece is deeper. I think it just completely depends on the opposition.”

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