“The history of Chelsea is to win.”
Mauricio Pochettino could’ve just ended his first interview right there. That’s all we needed to hear.
But he didn’t, which is good since there is about 15 more minutes of excellent interview material, which you should watch, if you haven’t yet.
(Also, the new training kit is fire, as the kids might say, if they still say that — both this, and the reverse-color version.)
First interviews are of course just that, first interviews. A first impression. A few canned answers. Talk about making fans happy, talk about getting the best out of players, talk about big ambitions, grand plans, and ideal outcomes. Especially at the start of a brand new season, it’s a clean slate onto which to paint a new hope, and we so want to be hopeful.
“It is a pleasure and honour to now be involved with Chelsea Football Club. We are so excited, and I know Chelsea very well, it is one of the greatest clubs in the world. So of course, it was easy for us to make the decision to move here.
“[What] we want is to bring the happiness again to this great football club. We will work hard, play in a way the fans can enjoy football, and the history of Chelsea is to win — but it is important also in the way we are going to build those victories.
“[Chelsea’s culture] is important and it’s a culture of winning. In the last 10, 12, 15 years, Chelsea is the greatest team in England. I know very well the Premier League and what the culture of Chelsea means. I think our fans are excited to again be on the road of trying to win.
“Of course, we are excited. We are excited to work with a very young team, with a different approach than in the past. But I think we all need to understand that we have to work really hard and create a very good atmosphere at the training ground to build success for the team in the next few years.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Chelsea FC
Pochettino absolutely nails this first interview, which shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s got plenty of experience as a coach and a player, at the highest levels of the game in England, Europe, the world. He’s also a very empathetic, emotional person, someone who believes in human and metaphysical connections and that a deeper meaning can be gained through them. (I highly recommend watching/listening to his appearance on the High Performance Podcast from a few years ago for some insight into him as a person and as a coach.)
You can understand why he was so beloved at Spurs, and he understands that it’s going to take a bit of time (and a few wins) for him to fully shed that taint.
“I know very well that we need to build this relationship [with the fans]. Our past is our past, we respect and are proud of our past, but now is time to build at a new club, with different fans that behave and are different to other clubs.
“That is our responsibility to build a very good relationship with our new fans. We hope we can create as soon as possible this good feeling, but I know very well we need to create this good feeling around the signals the team sends to them.
“We need to be team that shows togetherness, cares about the club, cares about the fans, and that fights until the end for the badge. That’s the most important thing. The fans need to feel that all the players involved in the game are going to die for the club. That is the most important thing to create this good feeling and for sure feel proud of each other.”
Of course, words are just words. Good first interviews don’t guarantee success, just as bad interviews don’t guarantee failure. But they can inform what happens next and certainly how we view what happens next.
So, what happens next?
“The objective is to win because football is about winning. We will have good times, create good relationships, have a nice environment and relationship with people, but the most important thing in the end is to win.
“If you win, it helps develop all the other things. Football is about results, how you achieve that is different because we are people that care about the way we achieve the results. But in the end, we want to win, be competitive, be animals that want to compete every week and in every game. But we need to translate before on the training ground and to train in this way.
“We need to be really tough to try to create that mentality and the feeling that we can beat anyone.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Chelsea FC
Time to get to work.
Let’s be animals!