Will Pochettino’s positivity bring the title home for Chelsea? – Talk Chelsea

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Mauricio Pochettino has inherited a squad that did terribly last year, and has since been stripped of the vast majority of its experience – as well as the vast majority of its midfield.

He will start the season this weekend against Liverpool with an exceptionally callow team. There will be teenagers and debutants in every part of his side. He’s perfectly set up for the excuse that this is a transition season, and that expectations shouldn’t be too high. That’s probably what Graham Potter would have done.

But Pochettino knows that if you give players an excuse to not win, they’ll take it. In fact, if you give them an excuse to play at just 90% effort, they’ll take that too. And the Premier League is so rich and so competitive from top to bottom now, that if you drop off even sightly you’re brutally punished by those around you – as we saw every weekend last season.

The English Premiership odds show that he’s certainly not lacking in ambition. His team are a distant 5th according to the numbers, with some bookies putting them at a distant 20/1 to overturn not only the dominant winning machine that Pep Guardiola has created at Man City, but also a strong Arsenal, an improved Liverpool and Manchester United – as well as a Newcastle team that some rank as better placed than us to lift the trophy.

So Pochettino has maintained through his early press conferences that he wants his team to be in the title race this season. That’s what he’s aiming for, and whether he believes it or not, that’s what he’s pushing for.

A lot will depend on the early weeks, and starting our season with an incomplete squad is clearly a huge blow to our chances of winning the title. The points on this opening weekend are worth just as much as those in April and May, and getting off to a good start is vital to any team’s chances of reaching their objectives in the league.

We don’t expect Pochettino to give up on his positivity just because we have a bad start to the season, but it will be hard for him to maintain his position if his side struggles in the early stages. Even he might be forced to fall back on the perfectly valid excuses he has ready made for him – he’s been put in a difficult position, and the squad still feels incomplete and unbalanced.

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