Pochettino says ‘the owner would kill me’ if he didn’t play Chelsea duo vs Arsenal

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has joked that the club’s owners would ‘kill him’ if he didn’t start two players against Arsenal.

The Blues were impressive on Saturday but blew a two goal lead to draw 2-2 with their London rivals at Stamford Bridge.

Though Chelsea have a number of key players out injured, Pochettino was able to name a strong team, including Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez.

The duo played the full 90 minutes against the Gunners, initially dominating proceedings but they started to tire late on, allowing the opposition to get back into the match.

Part of this can be attributed to their late return from international duty, with Caicedo and Fernandez playing in World Cup qualifiers for Ecuador and Argentina respectively on Wednesday.

Pochettino said despite the turnaround he felt he had no choice but to start the young duo: ‘It’s crazy for players to come back from South America on Wednesday and play on Saturday.

‘But if I say “OK, I’m going to give them a rest” you [the media] will kill me, for sure if they don’t play – and the owner also!

‘Today Caceido and Enzo arrived after two games in America and they were not fresh. But they are important plasters for us.

‘It’s really tough to arrive like that. I hope now they can recover and train and in one week be at their best.’

‘We didn’t have the facility to have all our squad available and then to pick the starting 11. That is another thing you need to put in your analysis,’ he added.

‘Then look at the form of the players that we had because they came from injuries. Reece James had 15-20 minutes and now he needs time recover his best.

‘Maybe one criticism of us was maybe we need to take better decisions in 77 minutes not to concede in the way that we did. We gave our opponent the confidence, momentum and the belief to say “come on, go” because it was possible with only one goal difference.

‘The situation is to live together and improve together and for sure the team has the talent to do that.’

   

JB

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