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Pochettino lays down the challenge for Raheem Sterling, Enzo Fernández, Mykhailo Mudryk

Time to perform

Chelsea FC v Real Madrid: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

New head coach Mauricio Pochettino has made his general expectations pretty clear already, but in his first press conference as the new boss, he’s also laid down specific individual challenges to Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Enzo Fernández, three of Chelsea’s highest profile arrivals in the past year — and two of our biggest disappointments during that time as well.

Enzo is the one non-disappointing exception. Our record signing — and the Premier League’s record signing — has been about as good as advertised, but unfortunately he cannot do it alone. Pochettino’s looking for his countryman to get even better with proper rest this summer, and help improve the team collectively as well.

“It was important now to rest a little bit because he was one year and a half playing, playing, playing. It was arriving from Argentina to Portugal from Portugal to World Cup and from World Cup to England and never stop for one year and a half. He’s young and energetic but young players also need to rest and clean the mind and he arrived in Chelsea not in the best circumstances.

“He is still young and needs to learn about the Premier League. Now he knows what it is to be a Chelsea player and knows London, and is communicating better and we are going to help in all these aspects.”

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

As far as Sterling and Mudryk, the message is clear. It’s time to start performing, of living up to price tags, potentials, promises.

Sterling had his worst season as a senior professional since his debut season at Liverpool in 2012, and while Mudryk showed flashes of his scintillating speed, proper end-product was rarely produced. Chelsea’s offensive woes won’t be solved just by the two of them playing better, but it certainly would help!

“I’m going to meet [Mudryk] before he comes to pre-season. I really like to see and to know him, and then to design the best strategy to help him to be at the level that Chelsea expect.”

“[With Sterling] we are talking about a really good player. But sometimes it’s not easy for a player to adapt quickly and show the same performance that he maybe had at the other club.”

Of course, the blame doesn’t fully rest on just the players. But hopefully Pochettino can make the difference, unlike his recent predecessors.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Either way, there can be no more excuses, for anyone involved.

“We can’t just blame the players. We need to see what is going on and why they are not performing in the way we expect. When all is clear, we cannot give excuses to them not to perform. We need to clean everything and say: ‘Come on – now it’s up to you, show me that you are ready to play for this club’.

“[But] I am not worried. From tough situations you can become stronger. Different circumstances in the last few years put the club in this situation. That is why we are here – to try to fix things. I am not a person who will think too much about all these situations. I feel the responsibility but I am not worried.”

-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Guardian

Obviously all of this talk is just ... talk. That’s all we got for now. That’s where we start.

Hopefully we’ll see the results of it in action when the time comes as well.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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