How Mauricio Pochettino can use the international break to help Chelsea bounce back?

The international break has come at a pretty good time for Chelsea and manager Mauricio Pochettino.

mauricio pochettino chelsea

Transforming Chelsea was always going to be a difficult task for Mauricio Pochettino, given the mess they were in when he took the keys of the club in the summer. Due to a combination of injuries and inconsistency within the squad, the Blues have failed to transform their dominant pre-season form into the Premier League.

After a solid showing in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at home in Pochettino’s first game, the west London side have won just once and lost two in their subsequent three games. They beat Luton Town 3-0 comfortably but have fallen to defeats to West Ham and Nottingham Forest. The 1-0 loss to Forest at Stamford Bridge last weekend left Pochettino visibly disappointed at the full-time whistle.

With plenty to ponder over the international break, here are three things Pochettino must do to help Chelsea bounce back.

  1. Get Romeo Lavia match fit

Romeo Lavia has yet to kick a ball for Chelsea since completing his £58million move from Southampton in August.

The Belgian midfielder, 19, is still trying to build up some match fitness, having rarely been involved in the pre-season games for Southampton. After not being selected by Belgium, he has stayed back at Cobham which gives a great opportunity for Pochettino and his coaching staff to work with him.

A press-resistant, technically skilled and ball-winning defensive midfielder, the prospect of Lavia joining Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in the Chelsea engine room is a tantalising one. So, it is important for Pochettino and co. to get Lavia match-fit and ready for Chelsea’s trip to Bournemouth when the Premier League resumes.

  1. Motivate Mykhaylo Mudryk

Mykhaylo Mudryk has not quite settled at Chelsea since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. In fact, he has struggled badly since moving to the Premier League and rarely looked like the player he was at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Under Pochettino, Mudryk has been reduced to limited minutes off the bench. He missed the game against Luton with a minor injury and has amassed only 67 minutes across three league appearances so far this season. The Ukrainian winger’s cameo role in the 1-0 defeat to Forest was simply poor, giving the ball away many times and barely making an impact for which he was brought on by Pochettino.

With a trip to Bournemouth to come straight after the international break, it is imperative Pochettino sparks a fire in Mudryk’s belly and motivates him to get back his mojo. In reality, though, it is the 22-year-old who needs to show Pochettino he deserves a spot in Chelsea’s starting XI.

  1. Recuperate and regroup

A lot of Chelsea players will be away on international duty, and so there’s not a lot of tactical work Pochettino can do. In the short break, the Argentinean would be better off using this break to look at his tactics and ideas and take some time to determine what can be improved upon.

Those who have remained at the club will also get time to continue their work on Pochettino’s preferred style of football. Also, they will need to rest and regroup both physically and mentally, before the work continues after the international break.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *