'You cannot be nice' - Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino claims he is no different from 'tough' counterparts in Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Man City's Pep Guardiola

  • Pochettino considered to be too 'nice'
  • Failed to win silverware at Spurs
  • Nightmare start at Chelsea

WHAT HAPPENED? Pochettino has endured a nightmare start to his reign at Chelsea, who have fallen to 15th in the Premier League table after recording just one win alongside two draws and three losses in their first seven games of the 2023-24 campaign. The Argentine boss previously established himself among Europe's elite managers while in charge at Tottenham, but ultimately failed to deliver any silverware in north London - with some critics accusing him of being too 'nice'. Arsenal and Manchester City are considered to have more ruthless men in the dugout in the form of Arteta and Guardiola, with the former currently living up to that billing by dropping No.1 goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for summer signing David Raya. However, Pochettino insists that he is equally as "tough" and won't beat around the bush when it comes to making difficult selection calls.

WHAT THEY SAID: When asked if he has a ruthless side, the Chelsea manager told Football Daily: "He [Arteta] is very tough and I am very nice? I think Pep and Mikel are the same, no? You cannot be nice for the people that don’t play."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea have spent over £1 billion ($1.2bn) on new players since the Todd Boehly-led takeover at Stamford Bridge in 2022, and Pochettino was given the freedom to bring in his own specific targets after succeeding Graham Potter at the helm in June. The likes of Moises Caicedo and Nicolas Jackson have been unable to make an instant impact, though, and Pochettino has also been hampered by injuries to a number of key players - particularly in defence. Reece James, Benoit Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana are all currently taking in spells on the sidelines.

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Mauricio-Pochettino(C)GettyImages20230804 Arteta Guardiola(C)Getty ImagesBen Chilwell Chelsea 2023-24Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Pochettino will be desperate for his team to get back to winning ways when they take on Fulham in a London derby clash at Craven Cottage on Monday night.