Ex-Chelsea star makes Mauricio Pochettino sacking claim as Blues face Arsenal and Man United test


Former Chelsea star Boudewijn Zenden has claimed that he doubts Mauricio Pochettino may get the time needed to build a competitive team. It comes after the Argentinian head coach has alleviated some early pressure he found himself under since taking the Stamford Bridge hot seat.

In the first few weeks, there was some scrutiny for results as the Blues only managed to beat Luton Town in the Premier League and sat dangerously close to the relegation zones. Performances hadn't been quite as bad though, suggesting more was to come from the team.

That is exactly what followed as a comfortable 2-0 victory away at London rivals Fulham was backed up by a 4-1 thrashing of Burnley. It has given a slightly more positive outlook to the campaign so far, even if Chelsea are still in the bottom half with 11 points from eight games.

"I was telling you when we lost some games against Nottingham Forest and West Ham that we are building something," the manager said after victory over Burnley. "We are a young group. We are a young team, it doesn't mean we have signed young players or experienced players, we're together and what happened in the summer, it's about a matter of time.

"We were performing very well but of course players and individuals improve to add to the team, a bit of quality. That is only with time to know each other and to start to perform. We start to recover players now because we suffered too many injuries, also it's going to help the team increase the level and the competition will be tough. Then it will be tough for me to select an XI but it is a thing I love to do and I hope it happens soon."

The tricky part may be navigating the run of fixtures that is about to hit them, with a number of very tough opponents on the cards. Arsenal are the first clash after the international break before a run of games that includes Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton and Manchester United.

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Should the worst happen, the Blues could enter December in a fairly bleak looking position and in desperate need for some more points. It means the talks surrounding a possible sacking for Pochettino still loom in the background, if not just slightly quiet murmurs at this stage.

That has led to former player Zenden question if the head coach will receive the time he requires to coach the team back towards the top. He told Soccernews.nl: "I really don't dare say that [Pochettino will be sacked by Christmas]. I think he is a good coach, but putting a completely new team together takes time.

"The fact that he cannot play with a fixed eleven means it will take longer to forge certain routines into it. Whether he will get that time, I honestly doubt. But let's not be too pessimistic and assume things are going in the right direction bit by bit, as the latest results show."

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