Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence on Chelsea penalty taker situation amid Everton chaos

Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence on Chelsea penalty taker situation amid Everton chaos

Cole Palmer’s brilliance should be the focus coming out of Chelsea’s 6-0 win over Everton, but one extraordinary incident involving a Blues penalty will also be competing for the headlines.

With Palmer having already bagged a 29-minute perfect hat-trick before Nicolas Jackson added Chelsea’s fourth just before half-time, the Blues had the chance to extend their advantage from the penalty spot after the break. Palmer has been Chelsea’s regular penalty-taker of late, but there was an argument involving Noni Madueke (who thought he had won the spot-kick), Jackson and Palmer over who was going to take it.

Eventually captain Conor Gallagher arrived on the scene and made it clear Palmer was taking, much to the disappointment of Madueke. Despite the drama, 21-year-old Palmer dispatched from 12 yards with conviction. After all that drama, it was a situation that could have been avoided given something similar happening earlier in the season.

Against Arsenal back in October, Raheem Sterling wanted to take a penalty but Enzo Fernandez stepped up in that time to hand the ball to Palmer. After the game, Pochettino gave his thoughts on the matter, with his stance perhaps explaining why there were more disagreements.

“There are a few players who can take the penalty. It’s about their feelings. As a coaching staff we give them the responsibility to decide on the pitch,” he told reporters at the time.

“It’s not only one player, that this player is going to be in charge. It shows that Cole was ready to take the two penalties he took. Normally it is going to be him if he is on the pitch. But if not I’d be happy with Raheem, with Nico (Jackson). For me the most important thing is to have the decision and the personality to go.”

Sterling also missed a penalty in Chelsea’s 4-2 FA Cup win over Leicester City in March after taking the ball off of Palmer. Pochettino said after that game: “Raheem asked for the ball for the penalty and Cole gave the ball.

“You saw on the TV but that is not a problem. Cole can miss, Raheem can miss.

“For me, their decision and I will always support the decision of my players on the pitch. It’s obvious that I cannot hide nothing. You are like me, the feelings weren’t good for him (Sterling) but I am going to support him, we are all going to support him.

“We need to accept. It doesn’t mean we agree or not agree but we have to accept because our fans, all the fans in football live expectation and want the best for the club, the best for the players.”

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