IT NOT NORMAL: Pochettino reacts as Sterling, Palmer banned for Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

IT NOT NORMAL: Pochettino reacts as Sterling, Palmer banned for Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has emphatically stated that his players are not lacking discipline, addressing concerns in the wake of the suspensions handed to Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling.

Despite leading the league, Chelsea currently holds the dubious distinction of being the team with the highest number of yellow cards this season. The recent setback involves Palmer and Sterling, who both received their fifth bookings during the 2-1 defeat against Wolves, rendering them ineligible for Wednesday’s match against Crystal Palace due to an automatic one-game ban.

This comes in the wake of earlier suspensions for Reece James, Malo Gusto, and Conor Gallagher, who received red cards earlier in the season. The situation is compounded by summer signing Nicolas Jackson, who is just two yellow cards away from accumulating 10 for the campaign, triggering an additional two-match ban, having already faced suspension in September.

Pochettino, however, rebuffed any suggestions of indiscipline within the squad, asserting, “No, it’s representative that we play for Chelsea, we are in a big club, you feel the pressure.” He attributed the recent incidents to the players’ passion and desire to succeed, particularly noting the frustration that arises when faced with challenges.

He acknowledged the relatively inexperienced nature of some players, such as Palmer, who is in his debut season as a regular for the team, emphasizing that mistakes are a natural part of the learning curve. Pochettino went on to underline the players’ commitment, stating, “The players care, they want to win, they are frustrated. It’s not discipline. We need to have more the capacity to read the situation of the game.”

In essence, Pochettino seeks to dispel any notion of a disciplinary issue within the Chelsea squad, attributing the challenges to the pressure associated with playing for a prestigious club and emphasizing the need for improved situational awareness on the field. The focus remains on nurturing the passion and commitment of the players while navigating the demands of a competitive season.

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