Cole Palmer sets the record straight on Mauricio Pochettino’s criticism 

Chelsea star Cole Palmer sets record straight on big Mauricio Pochettino criticism

Cole Palmer has rallied behind his Chelsea manager, Mauricio Pochettino, amid heavy criticism of his progress at Stamford Bridge since his summer arrival.

The Argentine followed up Sunday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool with a narrow last-gasp 3-2 victory over Championship club Leeds United in Wednesday’s FA Cup tie.

Another averse performance against out-of-form Brentford on Saturday will crank the pressure up further ahead of Newcastle and an FA Cup quarter-final with Championship leaders Leicester City.

Palmer is Chelsea’s top goals contributor this campaign with 12 goals and nine assists, and has been the club’s standout player of the season. The 21-year-old was named Men’s Young Player of the Year at the 2024 London Football Awards on Thursday for his efforts over the past year, which includes his Treble success with Manchester City.

Palmer has defended boss Pochettino, describing him as a “top manager and a top person” despite accusations of disunity within squad mentality.

Speaking to BBC Sport’s Football Focus, Palmer added: “He speaks to you about anything, like family issues. I think if he knows what’s going on off the pitch, it can affect how he is with you on the pitch. He’s really great at that.”

Palmer, who arrived in a £45m deal on summer deadline day, hailed the impact Pochettino has had on his game and believes he has been given more licence to be more expressive on the pitch.

“He’s given me the freedom to play my stuff and I like it when he frees you because I feel I can express my stuff more,” he said.

“I’m loving it. Every day he’s talking to you about different things, not just football things but life things as well. He’s good at making you feel good and trying to get the best out of you.”

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