Don’t judge me on winning titles, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino has urged Chelsea supporters not to judge him on whether or not his team lifts the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool stand in the way of a first trophy since co-owner Todd Boehly bought the club in May 2022 and began a radical overhaul.

The Argentinian is also aiming to win silverware for the first time in England, having been runner-up in this competition to his current club in 2015 while in charge of Tottenham.

And he pointed to the example of his opposite number on Sunday as a coach who enjoyed a strong reputation even before his first trophy win.

Klopp defeated Pochettino’s Spurs in the 2019 Champions League final almost four years into his Anfield reign, having missed out on the previous year’s Premier League title by a single point to Manchester City.

“I think it’s not going to increase my popularity or the way the fans are going to see us,” said Pochettino on his team’s prospects on Sunday.

“Klopp was good before he arrived at Liverpool. He had three or four years that he didn’t win. Now he’s won the Champions League and the Premier League.

“I don’t judge a coach or coaching staff for winning titles. It’s about being competitive and winning, but there are too many factors that influence.

“If you have good player, you should be close to winning. Maybe everyone will say you’re the best coach in the world. But everyone knows it’s not like this.

“The thing is to be in the right moment, in the right club that trusts in you with the tools and the possibility to win.

“Some fans will say you’re not good because you didn’t win. For me, it’s not the way to judge a coaching staff.”

Chelsea’s indifferent season has taken on a new complexion after three impressive away performances.

Consecutive 3-1 wins at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the league were followed by a fine 1-1 draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

Prior to that, the team were booed off by supporters at the end of their most recent home fixture, a 4-2 loss to Wolves at Stamford Bridge, days after they were thrashed 4-1 at Anfield.

Pochettino believes that, regardless of Sunday’s result, he is already held in high esteem in England.

“I feel the respect from the football people in this country,” he said. “I really appreciate it, because after five years in Spain and then in France, I feel the competition here – the Premier League, the fans, how people live football.

“It’s a perfect organisation to enjoy my job. It’s my passion to be involved in the game that we love.

“But we want to win because we are very competitive. We want to win because of the people that trust in us, like the owners, the sporting directors, the fans.

“After 11 years here, we feel the respect. That is the most important thing.”

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