The market has been quiet in January, in part because there have been highly active negotiations behind the scenes among the top spenders of the prior three windows.
They are looking for a big striker, perhaps Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. However, the purchase of 1,000 shares for £140 million is not regarded as a sign of budget.
Mauricio Pochettino has previously stated publicly that he has been assured that they do not need to sell in order to buy. This Chelsea hierarchy has generally tried various tactics, continuously looking at angles that others haven’t considered yet.
Some football fans, however, would go even further. One typical description is that Chelsea are conducting a massive experiment in football that has never been seen before.
If this is the case, they may be on the verge of making another discovery.
The next four games in all three tournaments might very well define the entire season. They may also have a say in Pochettino’s future, despite assurances that he is not in danger. Results can still build their own momentum, which is precisely what this period threatens.
On Saturday, Chelsea face Fulham in one of those strange Premier League matches when they should be expected to win yet no one would be astonished if they lost. A positive result is almost more crucial because there will then be a 10-day break, giving everyone plenty of time to think about what comes next.
That comes to an end with the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Middlesbrough, where Chelsea must overcome a 1-0 deficit in a chance that would seem like a disgrace to blow.
Michael Carrick has done an outstanding job, but this is still a Championship team against a club that has spent heavily to win the Champions League. It’s all for the possibility of a first final in this ownership’s tenure.
Then there’s an FA Cup match against Aston Villa, who have nearly been the anti-Chelsea in terms of over-performance. It’s also worth noting that Villa Park’s management initially preferred Pochettino over the sensational Unai Emery. It could be another outcome that also serves as a lesson.
The month comes to a close with a trip to Liverpool, which comes just before what many regard to be the club’s main event, transfer deadline day.
Who knows what Chelsea’s season, let alone the starting XI, would look like then.
Pochettino has been working on a response to Middlesbrough’s setback in training, but this highlights one of the issues. There has been dissatisfaction with how little seems to permeate and how it always feels like one step back. Nobody, not even Pochettino, anticipated the team to evolve at the rate it has.
This is due in part to the fact that so many members of the squad have yet to mature.
This is what has been so novel. The age profile is unlike anything seen at a modern premier club. Even Ajax 1995 and Manchester United 1996, two of the most well-known “young” teams, had a large number of older players.
According to some in football and even within the club, it is “almost all kids” and “not a typical team to coach.” Many of the players would have been in the under-21 team five years ago, according to those who work in academy football, rather than carrying the responsibility of one of modern football’s noisiest clubs.
It has been more difficult to implement the manager’s approach since some players still require additional tactical education rather than being ready to do so. The struggles of their loan players provide further evidence of this. There’s also a sense from the academy that some of the signings’ ceilings aren’t as high as Chelsea’s numerous graduates. One opinion holds that Bashir Humphries should be ahead of Benoit Badiashile, but the latter cost more than £32 million. It doesn’t yet speak to the notion that they’ve simply gathered all of the brightest young talent for a rapidly approaching future.
In other circumstances, Pochettino lacks the necessary players. Conor Gallagher, whom the hierarchy would be willing to sell for profit and sustainability considerations, is regarded as one of the few who always gets what the manager wants. He is almost ideal for Pochettino’s vision of a midfielder in his preferred 4-3-3 formation. Aside from that, the Argentine is still attempting to find the perfect balance for Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez.
That may seem incredible for two midfielders who cost a total of £221 million, but it was the leadership paying over the odds when there was at least some hesitation within the club about both fees. The players’ worth may climb to that level over time. They aren’t there yet, as seen by their lesser earnings.
Going for a younger player profile is a developing tendency in football, especially as the game becomes more physical and financially challenged. Real Madrid, perhaps more than any other club, has embraced this concept in their adaptation to a world of state ownership. Until now, that is. Chelsea has taken it to new heights.
Pochettino has gone from one extreme to the other as a result of this. This is the polar antithesis of a Paris Saint-Germain side loaded with stars. Pochettino had a slew of free agents join him at the Parc des Princes in his final season as manager. The Argentine struggled to implement his approach since the club’s star system just did not let it. The three assailants in particular were granted permission to float. At PSG, no manager has any authority. Nobody in charge has thrived as a result, including his predecessor at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel.
A reasonable answer to all of this is that Pochettino knew what he was getting himself into. The majority of it was put out in the lengthy appointment procedure, where the conditions were clearly stated.
That puts Pochettino under additional strain outside of his current position. It could even be a case study in how making the wrong decisions at the wrong time can lead to an unfulfilled career.
The Argentine is still seen as a potential coach by major teams, but not in the same way he was in 2018.
Cole Palmer responds to Middlesbrough
(REUTERS) At the time, Real Madrid was anxious to hire him, while Manchester United had a long-term interest. Pochettino chose to stay at Tottenham Hotspur because of faith and emotion, despite the fact that he was already intentionally attempting to fix a deepening staleness.
The 2018-19 Champions League final may have provided some vindication, but he eventually succumbed to staleness a few months later. There’s a case to be made that Pochettino made the same error again. He waited too long and then took the incorrect positions since they were large.
Except that it’s still early in the game. If the above is a pessimistic assessment, it is merely a hypothetical event that creates stress. Pochettino can use it against him.
Despite the club’s concern about the pace of outcomes, there is an acknowledgment that it is far better than it was at this point last year under Graham Potter.
Chelsea’s metrics appear to be promising. Certain game passages have looked good. The assumption is that some higher-level finishing, of the type that such a club should have, would make Pochettino’s work thus far appear much better. After all, they’ve hardly had Christopher Nkunku. They are currently looking for another forward.
Pochettino also has more clout in transfers, thanks to a meeting with the management in September following a tumultuous transfer window.
However, there is a certain irony in that Chelsea is experiencing market restrictions for the first time under this management. This has also increased the emphasis on the essential figures. Todd Boehly hasn’t been as noticeable, which is saying a lot for someone who just debuted a new haircut at the Golden Globes.
All of this has resulted in a quieter market and a more subdued Chelsea.
In any case, the next few weeks may be filled with a lot of noise.