Mauricio Pochettino, with his characteristic charm and composure, waded through his initial Chelsea interactions, displaying the steeliness beneath his amiable exterior. Yes, he has a past etched in Tottenham’s history, but he’s determined to make Chelsea’s future his present.
“I hold my past with pride,” he admitted, swiftly pivoting to express his unwavering commitment to Chelsea’s success. Pochettino is excited about the potential he sees in the club, and that ‘potential’ is his present focus. “We’re all about making competitive decisions for the team, and I’ve found an encouraging atmosphere and professional attitudes since day one,” he noted.
Leadership Up for Grabs
The departure of Cesar Azpilicueta to Atletico Madrid leaves a vacancy for Chelsea’s captaincy. Thiago Silva and Reece James may be the obvious frontrunners, but Pochettino is taking his time, keen to assess players’ behaviour both on and off the pitch.
His unique approach includes using cameras at Cobham to track players’ attitudes and personalities – a clear indication of his commitment to ensuring the right choice. “It’s essential to understand the players’ commitment, character and personality before making a decision,” Pochettino explained.
Uncertain Future for Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku’s future remains in the balance. His desire to return to Inter intersects with Chelsea’s willingness to part ways. Despite the difficulties in striking a deal, should Lukaku remain at Chelsea, Pochettino is expecting a discussion with him soon.
“All parties are aware of our position,” Pochettino clarified. “If he’s still at Chelsea, I expect him to walk into my office as soon as he returns.”
One aspect of managing Chelsea involves coexisting with an elite recruitment team, a challenge that Pochettino willingly accepts. Whilst he respects the ‘clever’ owners’ prerogative to make calls, he also wishes to collaborate closely with the team to make decisions in the club’s best interests.
A Bright Prospect in Levi Colwill
The Chelsea manager intends to work with Levi Colwill, who demonstrated impressive performance on loan at Brighton last season. Pochettino briefly interacted with the promising defender, wishing him luck for the upcoming European Under-21 Championship final against Spain, and expects Colwill to join the pre-season preparations in America.
Even amidst the backstage turbulence and player departures, Pochettino is not planning on a ‘settling in’ period at Chelsea. His goal is unequivocal – winning.
“If you’re at Chelsea, the aim is victory, not just good play,” he asserted. “Without wins, you’ll struggle at a club of Chelsea’s stature.” The manager emphasised the need to instil a winning mentality in the team, from the get-go. “It’s about being competitive and being the best from day one,” he added, insisting Chelsea will be ready to take on Liverpool.