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Pochettino Admits Chelsea Players Gave Up

Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea
© Ace Football

In the aftermath of Chelsea’s crushing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Mauricio Pochettino found himself in the unenviable position of assessing his team’s performance.

While admitting that his side had “given up” during the match, the Argentine manager sought to shield his players by drawing comparisons to some of football’s greats who had experienced similar off days.

Leandro Trossard’s early goal set the tone for Arsenal’s dominance, with Ben White and Kai Havertz adding to the misery with four goals in a blistering 18-minute spell in the second half. Pochettino acknowledged the dire situation, remarking on his team’s lack of presence in the game, particularly after conceding two quick goals.

However, Pochettino refused to attribute the collapse solely to a lack of character among his players. Drawing from his own experiences playing alongside legends like Maradona, Ronaldinho, and Batistuta, he emphasized that even the best players can have moments where they seem to “give up.” Such instances, he suggested, can occur due to a combination of factors, including the strength of the opponent and the team’s energy levels.

While Arsenal soared to the top of the table with the victory, Chelsea found themselves grappling with their 11th defeat of the season, jeopardizing their chances of European qualification. Pochettino lamented his team’s inconsistency, noting the drastic difference in performance between their best and worst days.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who shares a history with Pochettino from their playing days at Paris Saint-Germain, offered his support to his counterpart, acknowledging the challenges he faces. Arteta praised Pochettino’s work with the team and expressed hope for a turnaround in fortunes.

With Chelsea facing Aston Villa in their next fixture and Arsenal gearing up for a clash against Tottenham Hotspur, both managers emphasized the importance of focusing on the tasks ahead. Arteta urged his team to maintain their momentum, while Pochettino emphasized the need for improvement in consistency.

As the Premier League season unfolds, both Chelsea and Arsenal find themselves at pivotal junctures, seeking to navigate through challenges and rediscover their winning ways.