Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino and senior defender Thiago Silva have both reportedly come under fire from a dressing room source following their torrid start to the season. The Blues are currently 15th in the Premier League and they have won just one of their opening six matches of the campaign.
Since Todd Boehly’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have splashed over £1billion on new arrivals in the hope of helping the club restore its status as title contenders, whilst also bringing in youngsters that can play a key role in both the short and long term.
As a result, young players like Mykhaylo Mudryk, Moises Caicedo and Cole Palmer have all been handed contracts that will see them stay at the club beyond at least 2028 despite only having limited experience of playing at the very top level.
After such an underwhelming start to the campaign, questions have been raised about the transfer strategy at Chelsea and whether a sprinkling of experience is necessary to bring out the best in the young players and help them develop. Raheem Sterling and Silva have quickly become the most senior players at the club, though a ‘dressing room source’ has told The Athletic that the latter is not truly leading by example and has ‘questioned how much Silva is showing he is a winner’.
They claim that no one is stepping up and ‘driving everyone on’, with there being a lack of a lead figure insisting on togetherness, despite many feeling that Silva, 39, should fulfill such a role. The Brazilian international is not the only one to have had the finger pointed at him just weeks into the new season though.
Pochettino has also been criticised by another source for how he is offering ‘limited tactical instruction’ to his forwards, which is believed to have been a key factor in Chelsea’s lack of goals over the past month – scoring just five goals in six matches despite dominating extended periods of games.
The ex-Tottenham boss has reportedly kept his instructions very basic to his forwards, rather than providing them with more thorough details that could be decisive over the course of 90 minutes. Thus, Pochettino urging his forwards to ‘express themselves’ has not been uncommon since he became Chelsea manager.
The criticism is disputed by other individuals behind the scenes that feel that the Blues’ injury crisis is preventing the manager from developing the team as expects to, with the club having very high expectations for summer signing Christopher Nkunku upon his return from injury. Reece James and Ben Chilwell, although fullbacks, have both been attacking assets in years gone by and their absences have not aided Pochettino’s cause either.