Former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend has criticized Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.
“I don’t think Chelsea can win the Premier League (PL) unless they bring in three or four players of Kylian Mbappe’s caliber,” Townsend told Talk Sport in the U.K. on Monday (Aug. 31).
Since Pochettino’s appointment ahead of the season, Chelsea have struggled, currently sitting 11th in the league. This is due to a confluence of negative factors.
At the start of the season, Chelsea suffered from a number of injuries. Starting with Christopher Nkunkwo’s return from a long-term injury, the likes of Moises Kaysedo, Leicester James, and Romeo Rabia all missed the first few games of the season with various injuries. Pochettino said: “There is a reality that cannot be changed. We have too many injuries. If everyone is back to normal, we can compete with the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal,” he said.
In addition to injuries, Pochettino’s tactical issues have also played a role in Chelsea’s struggles. In the first few games of the season, Pochettino used a “modified back three” that featured Levi Colwill at left fullback and Marouane Fellaini up top as a wingback, but the team’s offensive and defensive performances were lackluster. As a result, Chelsea slumped to 14th place in the league after six rounds.
In October, it looked like a solution had been found. Pochettino, who had been playing Enzo Fernandes in the third midfield position and Connor Gallagher in the second midfield area until the previous game, switched the positions of Enzo and Gallagher. The result was a three-match unbeaten run, starting with a 2-0 win at Fulham in round seven, followed by a 4-1 win at Burnley in round eight and a 2-2 draw at Arsenal in round nine. Along the way, Chelsea found their attacking touch, with even Mikhail Mourinho getting on the scoresheet.
But even that was short-lived. Against Brentford in the 10th round, the problems of the previous match were repeated in a 2-0 defeat. With 10 league games now played, Chelsea sit in 11th place in the league with three wins, three draws, and four losses.
This has prompted strong criticism from Townsend, who was a key midfielder for Chelsea in the early 1990s and even served as captain. “That’s a really 안전놀이터 strong statement,” Townsend said of former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan’s prediction of Chelsea winning the PL in three years. But I don’t think so,” Townsend responded.
“Of course, Chelsea have very good young players at the moment. But you can’t guarantee that young players can come on and make a difference.” Townsend then asked ‘Talk Sport’ host Ally McCoist, “If Chelsea had Mbappe and Jude Bellingham at the moment, do you think they could win the PL?”