Gus Poyet exclusive: 'Chelsea’s season so far? I can only give it six out of 10'

Gus Poyet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Chelsea star Gus Poyet says that the Blues' season only merits a rating of six out of 10 so far – but he remains hopeful that Mauricio Pochettino can start to get consistent results.

After finishing a hugely disappointing 12th last season, Chelsea still only sit 10th going into tonight’s match at Manchester United, but won at home to Brighton on Sunday – they previously triumphed at Tottenham, but then lost 4-1 at Newcastle.

Pochettino was appointed in the summer and charged with guiding the club back into the upper echelons of the league, although Poyet believes he hasn’t been helped by injury lay-offs for full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

Asked what rating out of 10 he would give the Blues’ season so far, Poyet told FFT: “I would go six. I cannot go higher, because of all the expenditure, you would think Chelsea should be higher in the table, but this is no criticism of Pochettino, I know how difficult it is for the coach.

“It’s been a very difficult season, difficult to find consistency because of not being able to play the same team week in week out. At the start of the season everyone thought, ‘OK, Reece James and Ben Chilwell’, but they haven’t been there.

“You need to adapt, and the lack of results put a little bit of pressure on the team. It was a tough start. I think the last few victories will help, they were quite good and with that, confidence will grow.”

Mauricio Pochettino and Gus Poyet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Poyet knows that patience isn’t always high at Chelsea, where the expectation is to win trophies on a regular basis, and there isn’t usually the willingness to wait for results to come further down the line.

But Pochettino had a highly successful spell at Tottenham after a relatively slow start, and the Uruguayan hopes that can happen again, once the manager is able to implement his own style of play.

“You can’t say ‘Yeah, but in the future’,” Poyet says, speaking on behalf of “No, the truth is Chelsea is Chelsea, they need to win. I remember when I was there, we needed to win a cup every year and you took that responsibility – we were winning cups, whether that was the FA Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup, the Charity Shield.

“I’m waiting for Pochettino to implement a style and for that he needs all the players. It’s not the same playing a back four with Reece James and Chilwell, then playing a back four with two centre backs at full back. It’s completely different.

“People think ‘It’s a back four, they’re all international players, £50m’, but no, it’s the characteristics of the players that give you an option to play in a certain way or not.

“I’m sure Pochettino is desperate for players to be back, then he can decide which is the best team. I’m waiting for that, for Pochettino’s style, for something really unique to make that group play in a certain way.”

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