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Mauricio Pochettino calls for ‘leaders, not followers’ as strong Chelsea demands set



(Photo by Chelsea FC)

Mauricio Pochettino has warned his Chelsea squad to be ‘leaders, not followers’ after setting out his expectations.

The 51-year-old is relishing the chance to work at Stamford Bridge after being appointed as the club’s new head coach. He will begin to meet his Chelsea squad this week as they start preparations for the 2023/24 season.

Pochettino and his backroom team, Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino, all arrived at the club’s Cobham training ground on Monday, settling into their new surroundings.

As they were kitted out in their new Chelsea attire, Pochettino spoke with the club’s in-house media for the first time since he officially started.

After making the statement of Chelsea being the ‘greatest team in England’ over the last 15 years, Pochettino was quickly focused on the unity culture he wants to instil.

He wants everyone to feel comfortable in their environments to be able to excel. But the Argentine has set out his demand of wanting leaders who will push themselves to the limit to give everything for Chelsea.

‘It’s so important, and that is our philosophy we want to share here at Chelsea,” Pochettino said. “I need to feel that you all are my staff, my people, and you need to feel I am your colleague. We need to work together, and all need to feel important.

“Football has changed in the last few years, it is important in every single area to have people with quality and the capacity to push us and myself to be better. We need leaders, not followers, in every single area and we will push every person to bring their best and give their best for the club.”

Chelsea’s squad has seen an overhaul already this summer and more departures are expected to follow in the coming days and weeks. The team is looking more youthful and Pochettino is excited to work with the current group, as well as new additions, to bring success back to Stamford Bridge.

He added: “It is exciting for us because we love good players, players with the capacity and then talent, but also we want people who want to be with us at this club and be really open to help the club achieve what we want.

“If we are all together, we are going to be very strong. We have an unbelievable squad and for sure are going to bring players with commitment who want to be part of it also. With the fans and everyone, we can find again the way to be successful.”