Mauricio Pochettino wants Chelsea players to be ‘naughtier’

Mauricio Pochettino insists his Chelsea players must be ‘naughtier’ and learn how to deploy the dark arts in matches. The Blues have made a mixed start to life under the Argentina, earning just four points from their first four matches.

That’s despite a favourable start against the likes of Luton, West Ham and Nottingham Forest. It was a defeat to Forest before the international break that left Pochettino fuming.

While Pochettino says Forest deserved their victory, he was angry that Anthony Elanga was allowed to score after a mistake in midfield. Pochettino feels his side should have committed a foul earlier in the build-up to avoid the goal.

Pochettino Wants Chelsea To Be Naughtier

And he says his side must learn to be ‘naughtier’ if they’re to challenge for the Premier League. ‘If you watch the Forest game, they won and deserved it,’ he said.

‘But the way that we concede the goal… a team that is going to be involved in European competitions or play to win the Premier League, we cannot concede this type of goal. We need to be more aggressive in this type of situation.’

Questioned on if he was a master of the dark arts as a player, Pochettino said: ‘(I was) really naughty, the worst. I was the most competitive but without the quality that we have in this team. They are much better than me about quality but here (taps head) I was stronger than them.

I need to translate this idea. It’s a joke, always we joke about that. Always with the coaches we think we are better than everyone. That comes with time. The perfection only arrives when you have time, the players know each other and confidence and trust is high and the level of competition is really high.

We need to set principles on how we play from the back and press, the evolution of the system. The dynamic of playing with two defenders or three, how many in the middle and how we’re going to attack in the right areas.’

Chelsea Must Adapt To Succeed

Pochettino is right in saying that Chelsea must adapt if they are to succeed this season. The Blues have been playing a possession-based game under Frank Lampard, but Pochettino is looking to add more of an edge to their play.

The Argentine has already shown his willingness to mix things up tactically, switching between a 4-3-3 and a 3-4-3 formation in his first few games in charge. He has also been vocal about wanting his team to be more aggressive and willing to commit tactical fouls when necessary.

It remains to be seen whether or not this will pay off for Chelsea, but it is clear that Pochettino is determined to make his mark on the team. If he can get his players to buy into his philosophy then there is no doubt that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.


Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear that he wants his Chelsea players to be naughtier and more aggressive on the pitch. The Blues have made a mixed start to life under their new manager, but if they can buy into his philosophy then there is no doubt that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

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