Pochettino interview part one: ‘We can create a fantastic journey’ | News | Official Site

On his first day at Cobham, new head coach Mauricio Pochettino spoke exclusively about why he joined the project at Chelsea, building on the club’s winning culture, the importance of his staff and his enthusiasm to work with the squad.

Welcome to Chelsea, Mauricio. Firstly, what attracted you and your team to the project here at the club?

‘Thank you. For me it is a pleasure and an honor to now be involved with Chelsea Football Club. We are so excited and I know Chelsea very well, it is one of the biggest clubs in the world. So of course it was easy for us to make the decision to move here.

‘We are so pleased that today we can start here at Cobham on the training ground and meet the people and staff. It’s exciting for us and what we want is to bring joy back to this great football club. We want to work hard, play in a way where the fans can enjoy football and Chelsea’s history is to win – but it’s also important in the way we build on those wins.

‘We are excited, so happy and are very grateful to everyone. It starts with, of course [chairman] Todd (Boehly), [co-controlling owners] Behdad (Eghbali), Jose (E. Feliciano) and after all the people really welcomed us today and a few days ago when we first arrived at Cobham.’

You mentioned history, how important is that and the culture of the club?

‘I think it’s important and it’s a winning culture. In the last 10, 12, 15 years, Chelsea is the best team in England. I know the Premier League very well and what the culture of Chelsea means. I think our fans are excited to once again be on the road trying to win.

‘Of course we are excited. We are happy to work with a very young team, with a different approach than before. But I think we all have to understand that we have to work really hard and create a really good atmosphere on the training ground to create success for the team in the next few years.’

The profile of the squad has changed a lot over the past 12 months, how much of an opportunity does that give you and your coaching staff?

‘It’s exciting for us because we love good players, players with capacity and then talent, but we also want people who want to be with us at this club and be really open to helping the club achieve what we want .

“From the beginning the owners and sporting directors were very clear about the project and we were very excited to join them in this project. We are here to try to help the club and the fans. At the end of the day, the most important thing in football is that they are happy and feel proud of us and the way we approach games, the players need to know that.

“Of course there are always ups and downs in the history of football, but Chelsea is a club where it is impossible to have these ups and downs. We have to be sure that we bring what the club needs to be at the top because the club’s history is to be at the top.’

What are your expectations for the players while they are here at Cobham?

‘The expectation is that they will be open and let us handle it. First of all, they have to create a platform so that they can feel comfortable here. They need to have their place and feel important.

‘Our expertise is to provide Chelsea with the best tools for the players to succeed, to improve individually and collectively. We have the experience and together we can create a fantastic journey. This is what we want: to be together, to work together and to be part of this football club.

‘If we are all together, we will be very strong. We have an incredible squad and we are definitely going to bring players with commitment who will also be a part of it. With the fans and everyone, we can find the way to success again.’

What is your first impression here at Cobham?

‘It’s a fantastic, really nice training ground. The most important thing is for players and staff to feel like it’s our home. It’s not just a place to come to work, it’s to come here and feel at home. Our responsibility is to help create this feeling and we are fully committed to trying to create a great atmosphere where people can feel really happy to work.

‘I always believe that together we can achieve anything – you can’t set a limit. We will try to fight this to be together on an amazing journey together.’

How important will pre-season and the trip to the USA be?

‘It’s another goal in the pre-season. The results have to reach the Premier League and the competitions we are involved in. Now we have to give the players the best tools to grow, feel better and start the pre-season in perfect condition.

– It is not closed, the squad, and the club is doing a fantastic job to finish the squad, so we have the players here to work with us as soon as possible. Together we will be in a perfect situation to work and develop the way we want to apply ourselves on the pitch.’

Tell us about your coaching staff and how important your relationship is?

– It is so important and it is our philosophy that we would like to share here at Chelsea. I need to feel that you are all my employees, my people, and you need to feel that I am your colleague. We must work together and everyone must feel important.

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

How do you feel you’ve developed as a coach over the past few years?

‘I’m much, much, much better! No, I think it’s an important experience to analyze. We have had times in the past to analyze everything and improve. Evolution tries to get better every day. Experiences are something you have to take advantage of, because if not, experience is nothing.

‘I think we are on the right way to try to add things and help the players to improve. We are a better coaching staff and a staff that loves to innovate, be ahead of everything, but also share and mix with the football of the past.

‘We are responsible for keeping football’s values ​​from the past, they are great and why we are in love with football. Football is an emotional contact; it is so important. The emotions cannot only come through the fans. It is our responsibility.

– The players must also send the message and the feelings. The team sends to the fans, fans to the team and staff to the players.

‘We all move through the emotions, but that’s why it’s important to have clear ideas about new technology to help and give better tools to the player. But at the same time, the smell, the eyes, the skin, it’s so important to preserve these human senses in the same way.’

More will be posted from Mauricio later today!

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