EPL

Mauricio Pochettino warns Nicolas Jackson over ‘cheap’ yellow cards

By Sports Desk September 22, 2023

Mauricio Pochettino has spoken with Nicolas Jackson to try to address the striker’s discipline on the pitch after he was booked for dissent for the fourth time in five games against Bournemouth last weekend.

The summer signing from Villarreal has cut an increasingly frustrated figure during Chelsea’s early-season struggles, scoring just once in last month’s 3-0 win over Luton.

Chelsea are 14th in the Premier League after Pochettino’s first five games in charge and have not found the net in their last two outings.

Jackson, who was signed for £31million in part as a response to the team’s woeful goal return of 38 last season in the league, has shown flashes of promise.

But he was a peripheral figure for much of Chelsea’s dour stalemate at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, when the home side coped comfortably with what little threat Pochettino’s side posed.

The manager reiterated his call for Jackson and the rest of the club’s young new recruits to be afforded time, and pointed to the example of Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior – one of the most effective forwards in Europe last season.

After joining the La Liga giants in 2018 from Brazilian side Flamengo he scored just seven league goals in his first two and half seasons, but has since taken his total for the club to 60.

“I had a meeting today (Friday) with Nicolas and Enzo (Fernandez),” said Pochettino. “I said ‘come on, a striker with four yellows cards for protesting?’ You need to get yellow cards but in different actions, not for that. Not so easy, so cheap. It’s going to put him in a very difficult situation with the team.

“He understood. But Jackson is 21, he’s young. He needs to learn, needs to improve, needs to settle. He’s going to be a fantastic player. But he needs time.

“I like to make similarities with players at other clubs. Jackson is a fantastic player but he needs to be calm and relaxed in front of goal. I said remember Vinicius, he took three seasons, or two and a half seasons, to perform (at Real).

“We’re talking about young players. You can blame us, blame me. We can talk about tactics. But they need time. It’s no doubt we have amazing talent on the team, but now they need time to settle.

“But he needs to be clever not to protest to the referees in this way.

“Maybe it’s his normal behaviour on the pitch, it’s something maybe he can improve. Maybe this season they change the rules, he came from Spain where it’s different the relationship with the referees.”

Pochettino said there was a good chance Armando Broja would be available for Sunday’s meeting with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge after he recovered from the ACL injury that has kept him out since December.

“Broja will maybe be involved at the weekend,” he said. “But it’s after nine months that he’s not competing.

“We cannot expect Broja to arrive to score every single touch, he needs time to feel the competition and start to perform in the way we expect he can.”

The manager added that despite the team’s run of one win in five league games this season he has been pleased with the emotional reaction shown by his players to the team’s indifferent start.

“I’m so happy the way they felt after Bournemouth and (the 1-0 defeat to) Nottingham Forest. They really care about performing better.

“This week was good to work really hard and create a good atmosphere to try to translate to the competition.”

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