Mauricio Pochettino addresses inquiries about his consistent use of center backs in full-back positions
One of Mauricio Pochettino’s most puzzling habits this season has been his insistence on avoiding using his natural full backs.
To start the season Ben Chilwell was fit, but he was used wide left, with Levi Colwill at left back.
Even as Chilwell has been injured, that’s remained Pochettino’s favoured system. Despite the presence of Ian Maatsen and Marc Cucurella for most of the season, the Argentine has insisted on central defender Colwill on the left. That really isn’t his natural position, and in a game like tonight he doesn’t offer enough going forward.
The question of why he does this was put to him by the media today, and he did his best to reply, although as is frustratingly often the case, it mainly came out as a stream of pure waffle:
“We will all agree Levi is a young player that can play in different positions. He can play left, last game he can play like a centre back. Malo Gusto was at right back. We were talking a lot. It’s for him to take experience in Premier League with Chelsea playing there, I think will help him be a better player and in the end it is to feel the competition,”
But Mauricio we don’t want Levi Colwill to spend games learning to be a left back, we want to win games.
“I don’t like to compare with another player but if you find some similarities with different clubs who sign centre-backs that play full back, you can find. Some player for the future of Chelsea. For the moment, when you don’t win, when you struggle with young players, they need to improve in the competition.”
He seems to be talking about Man City there, who use central defenders out wide. But they play a system which creates tons of great chances, they can afford to get away with that. We can’t.