- Mauricio Pochettino has blamed VAR for draining his players aggression
- He also admitted that he chastised his players after their defeat by Newcastle
- We expected perfection from VAR – we haven’t got it: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
Mauricio Pochettino says VAR is to blame for his players not being able to be more aggressive, having chastised them for his meek display in being thrashed at Newcastle last week.
Chelsea are top of the league for yellow cards, with 44 in just 13 games, but got bullied in a 4-1 defeat St James’ Park, leaving former Argentina enforcer Pochettino enraged.
He roasted his team in the dressing room after the game in a bid to provoke a reaction ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Brighton, but reckons the extra scrutiny of VAR has drained the aggression from the modern player, and not just in matches.
The Blues boss said: ‘Football has changed a lot from my period. It was different. There wasn’t VAR. We competed in a different way. Today, it makes you compete in a different way.
‘Before, if I punch or kick someone when the ball was over there, if the referee didn’t see me… there wasn’t a VAR.
Mauricio Pochettino believes VAR is to blame for his players lacking aggression in games
The Chelsea manager claimed that having the video refereeing system hanging over his players heads ‘makes footballers compete in a different way’
Chelsea are also top of the Premier League for amassing the most yellow cards this season
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‘Now, if the ball is over there and I kick someone or punch someone there are 200 cameras watching everything. And boom! Red card.
‘And… you cannot behave like this in training. You cannot show this type of aggression. That is why players are different now. I think that is a big worry. It is tough.’
Pochettino warned his players that he is not acting when he turns on the hairdryer, and that they can expect plenty more blow-ups if Chelsea’s poor form continues.
‘I am not an actor,’ he said. ‘I cannot act. I cannot come here and tell myself to smile if I don’t feel happy.
They suffered a 4-1 defeat at the weekend to Newcastle with Pochettino turning the hair dryer on his players after the game
The Blues manager said that he was ‘not happy’ and added that while his coaching staff were ‘tough in their analysis’ they ‘told the truth’
‘I am not happy after the last game and we know we need to perform to recover the points we lose against Newcastle.
‘Do I like my players to be angry? Yes of course. I like when they challenge me. I like it. Sometimes I push them to try to see the reaction.
‘We were tough in our analysis but we told the truth. It’s to show the things we didn’t do. But it’s not to blame them, it’s to blame everyone, ourselves first.
‘Maybe our approach (as coaches) wasn’t right. So maybe we have to pay attention, to have a different approach in the future.’