Zola rates Pochettino’s work at Chelsea, and reveals the biggest problem at hand

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Former Chelsea winger and assistant manager Gianfranco Zola, has rated the ongoing project at Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino.

Zola believes Pochettino is the ‘best choice’ for the job, due to his ability to work with young players. However, the Italian admits he didn’t expect Chelsea to struggle this much.

“When Pochettino was appointed as manager, I thought he was the best option for the task,” Zola said on the Up Front podcast.

“We had a project to bring in young talent, and to develop them, and I believe to do that job, Pochettino is the best man for it.

“Obviously at the time, I didn’t expect all the difficulties they seem to be going through at the moment. But I still believe he’s a strong coach.”

Zola believes the lack of leaders in the current Chelsea squad, is a huge problem for Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea have spent over £1billion on new signings under Todd Boehly’s era, but the bulk of the money has been used to build a very young squad.

Chelsea have fielded the youngest squad in the Premier League this season – with the average age of the 30-player group less than 24.

Zola believes the lack of leaders is currently posing a problem.

“The policy at the club in recent years has been to spend big money,” added Zola.

“They used to have a core team of four or five players with the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Branislav Ivanovic, and Chelsea would build their team around those players.

“Those players had the knowledge, the experience, the character and the personality which all combined with the know-how of how to be a successful team and be winners.

“Those players were the ones to spread those fundamental traits to the new players within the team, as well as many of the players who came up through the ranks in the youth team. Because they were in that environment with those core players, they could develop those attributes and abilities.

“Some of Chelsea’s young players seem a bit intimidated because there’s a lot of pressure to play for this club.

“Some of the players, even if they have good ability, they are still developing and they aren’t ready, they need more time. But at Chelsea it’s difficult because you need to get top four otherwise it’s a failure.”

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