Mauricio Pochettino jokes about why Chelsea owners would kill him following Arsenal draw.
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has jokingly claimed that he had no choice but to start Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in the recent London derby against Arsenal. Pochettino quipped that the club’s owners would have “killed” him if he had rested them.
Both Fernandez and Caicedo, who were each signed for well over £100 million, played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea initially took a two-goal lead in the match through a Cole Palmer penalty and an over-hit cross from Mykhailo Mudryk, but Robert Sanchez’s error allowed Declan Rice to close the gap. Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard came off the bench to score the equalizer in the final minutes of the game.
Despite Fernandez and Caicedo returning late from international duty with Argentina and Ecuador, Pochettino decided to start both players in the pivotal midfield positions for the match.
Pochettino acknowledged that neither midfielder was in good form but that they both had to play in his post-game news conference.
“Today, Caicedo and Enzo arrived after two games in [South] America and they were not fresh. But they are important players for us,” he said.
“So now we are going to have a week to work and for sure they are going to be better and improve.
“It’s crazy for players to come back from America on Wednesday and play on Saturday. But if I say ‘OK, I’m going to give them a rest’ you will kill me, for sure if they don’t play. And the owner also!
“It’s really tough to arrive like that. I hope now they can recover and train and in one week be at their best.”
The next game for Chelsea is on Saturday at noon when they host Brentford, a neighboring team from west London, at Stamford Bridge.
Following their promotion to the Premier League, the Blues have lost both home matches against the Bees, with Thomas Frank’s team winning 4-1 in April 2022 and 2-0 in April 2023.