Pochettino to deliver ‘hard truths’ to ‘disjointed’ Chelsea squad – EXCLUSIVE

Chelsea confirm Mauricio Pochettino as new boss

Chelsea’s struggling stars have been warned by former Blues star Joe Cole they will face some “hard truths” under Mauricio Pochettino as the Argentine prepares to begin work at the club. The 51-year-old has already made some brutal assessments of the squad after his appointment was confirmed late last month, and Cole believes that his no-nonsense approach to dealing with players is exactly what the ‘disjointed’ club needs.

The former Tottenham boss will mark his return to the Premier League after four years away when he officially starts his new job on July 1. Pochettino has signed a two-year contract – with an option to extend it by a further year – to become the fifth manager to work under Todd Boehly.

The central pillar to Pochettino’s five-year spell in north London was his man-management expertise, identifying which players needed to be treated in certain ways to motivate them and extract their best performance. Harry Kane and Dele Alli are just of many success stories from his time at Spurs, and he will be tasked with changing up the order at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea stuttered to a 12th-placed finish in the Premier League, their worst performance at domestic level in 29 years, and Pochettino is set to oversee a huge summer clearout with as many as 12 stars facing uncertain futures.

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But for the players that will be sticking with the west London club, Cole thinks there could be a few tough months ahead under his management as he gets to grips with the players at his disposal.

“I think he’s a fantastic appointment, I really do,” Cole told Express Sport. “He’s a manager that assumes the club, he’s a communicator and the club needs that.

“Poch is a straight-talking guy who can go in and tell the players where they stand and that’s all you want as a player. He’ll put his arm round the players that he feels need it, he’ll give the hard truths to the players that need it and he will bring the club together.”

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Pochettino’s long-awaited return to English football comes after being continuously linked with vacancies at Manchester United and his former club Tottenham, before both clubs decided to go in different directions.

His last job ended somewhat acrimoniously in June 2022 when he was sacked by PSG due to their poor performance in the Champions League, despite leading the club to Ligue 1 glory.

At Chelsea, the only way is up after a dreadful campaign to kick off American billionaire Boehly’s first year at the club, which included four different managers, £600million spent on transfers and a seven-game losing streak.

Still, after being axed by Spurs and PSG, BT Sport pundit Cole has suggested Pochettino will be just as eager as the Chelsea players to prove their doubters wrong.

“It’s a bit disjointed at the moment, I’m sure there’s some players feeling really sorry for themselves thinking about their future, a lot more than a few,” Cole said

He later added: “He’s got something to prove, he won’t shy away from that and the players have something to prove as well. The club is ambitious, the owner wants to spend money and I think it will be a better season for Chelsea next year.”

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