Pochettino Points Fingers: Blames Players for Set Piece Woes
Journalists tend to save their more detailed and interesting questions until embargoed section of the press conference, and that was the case in yesterday’s presser with Mauricio Pochettino.
His most revealed answer came when he was asked about Chelsea’s set pieces, which have been a real weakness defensively as well as largely ineffective offensively.
Pochettino defended his staff’s efforts in this department, and instead put the blame on the players:
“We work a lot on set-pieces. We have specialists. We are a coaching staff in charge of everything. We have a group of analysts for set-pieces
“After that, it is about the quality of the player. It is about the takers. We don’t have a specialist. Maybe Chilly [Ben Chilwell] is good in the delivery, but we don’t have a specialist after that.
“If you want to be good in set-pieces, we work a lot. But then you need good takers. When you have good takers, and of course, Wolves have good takers, and like Manchester City have, or other clubs.
“It is not down to the work. We work similarly, but the problem is to have good takers.
“Look before at West Ham, and after. What changed? After and before? It’s not the same. The taker is [James] Ward-Prowse.
“For sure, you can work, like West Ham were working. But now, you add a player like him, you increase the percentage. That is football. Football belongs to the players. Not to the specialists.”
Honestly, some players are brilliant free kick takers. But are you really telling us that between the technical talents of Cole Palmer, Christopher Nkunku, l, Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez and another dozen players in the squad there’s not one who can take a decent corner apart form Ben Chilwell? That’s just ridiculous.
Pochettino and his staff may well be spending 8 hours a day on their set pieces, the fact is that it’s not working.