Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged that Chelsea, who are having a difficult season, need to “grow up” after their latest loss, a 1-0 setback against Aston Villa on Sunday, brought their season to a new low point.
Following Ollie Watkins’ goal in the second half, which clinched the points for Villa at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino’s team have only won one of their six league games since Pochettino took over as manager.
After going their previous three games without scoring a goal, the Blues find themselves in 14th position, only four points above the zone indicating they are in danger of being relegated.
The expulsion of teenage defender Malo Gusto after 58 minutes for a challenge on Lucas Digne was the spark that lit the fuse for Chelsea’s most recent loss.
Jarred Gillett, the referee, made the decision to increase the original yellow card to a red card for dangerous play after consulting the pitchside VAR.
To make matters worse for Pochettino, Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson, who has only scored once since moving to Chelsea from Villarreal, had his fifth card for trying to stop a Villa free-kick, giving him a one-game suspension and adding to Chelsea’s troubles.
Pochettino did not criticize the referees or other players on the field and instead suggested that he and his team were to blame for Chelsea’s poor performance.
It is not just our obligation but also the responsibility of the players. Pochettino said that there was no way to fault either the referee or the video assistant referee.
“Given the circumstances, we have to behave differently and in a different manner. I’m not going to point the finger of blame or criticize Malo Gusto in any way.
“In football, situations might arise, and when they do, they have a detrimental impact on both the game and the team.
“It is imperative that we mature not only on an individual level, but also as a group.” A young player like Nico Jackson, who is still becoming acclimated to the Premier League and is still learning, demands some patience.
Pochettino has been unable to improve a Chelsea team that suffered greatly during the previous season, despite the fact that the club has spent more than £350 million ($428 million) on new acquisitions since his arrival in July.
Pochettino has been forced to work with a line-up that is primarily inexperienced as a result of Chelsea’s philosophy, which has been in place under co-owner Todd Boehly, of signing younger players with great potential and sell-on value.
A long series of injuries has also been a challenge for the manager, who had held positions at Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham.
Pochettino is searching for a reaction as the level of pressure increases, since Chelsea’s inexperienced squad has not been up to the challenge thus far.
“We are in a competitive environment, and our goal is to come out on top. However, he stressed the need of young players gaining experience as early as possible in their careers.
“That is the reason why we are feeling frustrated; we are playing too many different circumstances like this. Just one more unimportant thing, and we are going to wind up losing the game. We are now in a predicament that requires immediate action on our part.