February 11, 2024

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino fires back at Alan Shearer | Football | Sport


Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino says Alan Shearer is wrong to suggest that struggling Nicolas Jackson is not a natural goalscorer. The Chelsea manager admits the Match of the Day pundit was spot on with the way the Premier League’s record goalscorer dismantled the shortcomings of his £38m player after the 2-0 defeat against Brentford.

But he says if Shearer wants to see what he is really like, he should dig out the video of him pre-season. Or, fingers crossed, he will add to his tally of just three from 12 games tonight in the Carabao Cup clash with Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.

All Pochettino has to do now is find a way to get him back to being the dangerous goal-getter who terrorised Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund before injury struck earlier this season.

“Goalscorers don’t hang around on the edge of the box like he does,” Shearer said of Jackson’s blank on Saturday. “It’s his job to get on the end of it. There was a complete lack of movement from Jackson. He looks very raw and at times unsure what to do.” You’ve got to make defenders work.”

But Pochettino says Shearer is basing too much on the evidence of just 90 minutes. “It’s really dangerous, this type of analysis because it’s one game,” he said. “I cannot lie, it wasn’t his best. But we need to be fair. If you watch Luton, if you watch Dortmund in pre-season, if you watch Liverpool, you will see this is one player. Brentford game was another player.

“I agree with the analysis, but it’s not fair to say he is not this or that or to say he is not capable of doing what we expect of him. I believe in him, I believe. The only problem is time.” Frustrations spilled over when Pochettino had to intervene after a fan shouted at the Senegal international from the stand to tell him to “wake up”.

The Blues boss reiterated that when things are not going well, even the mildest rebuke can feel like abuse. But he also agreed that Chelsea players perhaps needed to develop a thicker skin to play Premier League football.

“Of course it is not the worst thing that has happened in football, but we need to see also that players can be very sensitive in this situation where a player is suffering,” Pochettino said. “Nico needs support.

“I understand the fans, they are entitled to say what they want but it was a really quiet moment and it was out of context. At this moment you are fragile, you need help, you need confidence and you need trust and this can change your focus.”



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