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Pochettino admits Chelsea ‘far away’ from targets set

Can we rise to the challenge?

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino made a good first impression back in the summer when he arrived at the club, vowing to get us back to winning ways, espousing the club’s familiar (and seemingly waning) trophy-winning ethos, and promising to prioritize results and substance over process and style.

Over the past six months, those intentions have eroded, not necessarily of our own choosing but as a consequence of the various challenges thrown in our way, and our inability to respond and deal with them in an effective manner. Injuries are of course a big deal, especially to key players, but they don’t excuse the lack of focus and execution from everyone else. If anything, injuries to players should be viewed as opportunities to impress by those handed minutes as a consequence. And injuries also don’t explain all the questionable tactical and personnel choices made at times, such as (but not limited to) the over-reliance on center backs, the inability to settle on a shape for the three-man midfield (who, by and large, have been healthy for most the season), and our continuing woes and incoherence in attack (and not just in the finishing).

All of that has led to Chelsea sitting mid-table at the halfway point of the season, working on our second worst points total at this point in a 20-team Premier League campaign.

Obviously, that’s not where we want to be, project or no project, which Mauricio Pochettino readily admitted in yesterday’s pre-match press conference.

“We need to win. We need to perform. We need to compete better. [We’re] so far away. To be honest our target was to be on top, even if no one believed it. [We] are Chelsea, with our history and everything, it demands us to be near the top. But at the moment we need to be realistic, we need to increase in the way we compete if we want to win more games.”

“[We] knew that the job was going to be tough, but we never ... [this tough]. All the circumstances [that have acted against us] have made the situation worse [and] those are not in our hands. And that is the problem [...] but at the same time, it’s a good challenge.”

-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Chelsea FC

So that’s step one. Now the question is what we will do to deal with this problem. Will we just keep doing the same thing hoping that eventually it will work?

Probably! That’s what (most) football coaches do.

Maybe in this case, it’ll work.

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