According to a fresh report, Mauricio Pochettino’s treatment of one key player is frustrating figures at Chelsea.
On Saturday, Chelsea claimed a 1-0 win over local rivals Fulham and won a third consecutive Premier League game for the first time this season.
Cole Palmer dispatched his fifth penalty of the season after Issa Diop was adjudged to have brought down Raheem Sterling on the stroke of half-time.
It was a vital three points. Despite a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, the Blues’ recent flurry of form has seen the rise to the Premier League’s top half and kept dim hopes of European football alive.
However, questions of Pochettino’s management still persist among the fanbase and reportedly within the club hierarchy.
In particular, theTelegraphhas claimed that the Argentine’s use of Levi Colwill at left-back has caused “frustration” inside and outside Stamford Bridge.
Though the 20-year-old produced an accomplished performance against Fulham, helping the club earn only their second clean sheet in 14 games, Colwill is naturally a centre-back.
Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell, who build his reputation at left-back. returned as a substitute on Saturday and operated, as he largely was before his injury, on the left wing ahead of Colwill.
It’s a peculiar situation, but with Marc Cucurella recovering from surgery and Ian Maatsen now on loan at Borussia Dortmund, it seems likely Pochettino will play Colwill there for the rest of the season.
Ultimately, Pochettino has much to ponder going into the winter break.
In his press conference, he said: “We need to give some rest to the players and the staff because it is a really busy period now and they need to breathe a little bit. This break is very useful.
“I need to go to see my family [in Spain] and it is going to be good to have a little bit of a change. I won’t really be able to switch off — not with the chairman. I will need to be available 24 hours in case anything happens to be contacted by the sporting director or the owners. I know that something can always appear in football.
“To be honest, I would prefer it if the phone did not ring. If it does not ring, it is much better for me.”