- Pochettino wants patience
- Youngsters need time to develop
- Draws comparison with Chelsea legends
WHAT HAPPENED? Chelsea this season has the youngest average age in the Premier League, with contracts of seven or eight years being typical at Stamford Bridge due to the club's emphasis on developing young talent. In 2023, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, two players under the age of 23, smashed the British transfer record twice.
Despite this, the squad has only earned four points from the manager's first four league matches in charge. This is despite a summer in which the current ownership's recruitment budget reached the $1 billion mark. However, Pochettino believes the fans need to be patient with the youngsters.
WHAT THEY SAID: "They were (once) young also, John Terry was young, Frank Lampard was young, (Didier) Drogba was young," he said [via Daily Mail]. "You know better maybe than me, that is a completely different pressure. This is a different Chelsea to what I saw when I was at Tottenham or Southampton. Worse or better? I'm not saying that."
"But it's a different pressure. Different circumstances. Now we cannot compare with the past. I think it's not fair. It's a different Chelsea. What I want to translate is the fans want to win because the normal way in the past for Chelsea is to win.
"(We have) very talented players that need time to perform. But for sure we have one of the best squads of young players with the project. But of course we need time. We need to be careful about how we evolve and how we develop these ideas. But it's true, players that need to improve and improve."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pochettino praised his team's efforts thus far in the season despite a point total that has them in 12th place. He stressed that the club's youthful group is leading it into a new age when success is planned over a longer time horizon and investments are made in potential rather than ready-made stars.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? The last time Chelsea won away from home since March came on their last trip to the Vitality Stadium at the end of last season. On Sunday, Chelsea will go to Bournemouth hoping to record their second away victory since then.