Mauricio Pochettino giveth and Mauricio Pochettino taketh away. Chelsea's gruelling pre-season fitness pile on for a group of physically unready players already looks to have taken its toll.
Pochettino, by now famed for his laughing personal trainer-type attitude to grinding his players down into the ground in the off-season in order to have them reach new heights of endurance and longevity, is facing some of the consequences. «We did the Gacon one day and we were meant to do 10 runs,» Ben Chilwell explained of the short-distance, bleep-test-y sprints Chelsea players were forced through numerous times in America.
«But we got to the eighth and the manager — I still don’t know if he was doing a mental trick on us — said we could stop if we wanted. Everyone was on their knees after the eighth one and he said, 'If everyone completes the next two, I’ll take you all out for dinner.'»
Stories from his time at Southampton indicate that he was punishingly brutal and even doubled the tally of runs after a complaint made by Rickie Lambert. Chilwell said he felt as fit as he ever had, a good sign at the time for a player that has had a lengthy injury in each of his three years since joining the club.
It hasn't stopped yet another setback for the 26-year-old though andhe is once more in the treatment room with fellow wing-back extraordinaire, Reece James. The pair have become frustratingly acquainted in missing games at the same time and watching on.
«What we've seen [on Sunday] is that Chelsea have fantastic wing-backs but they've both gone off, first game of the season,» Gary Neville said of the full-back struggles one game into the new term. «That will destroy Pochettino's plans. If you're going to play wing-backs, they have to beRead on football.london