Chelsea players ‘perplexed’ by Mauricio Pochettino’s ‘disrespect’ for team-mate
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 13, 2023 - 06:41PM
The Argentine still has the squad’s support but questions are being asked (Picture: Getty)

A number of players have questioned ’s recent decision to overlook as the club’s stand-in captain, according to reports.

The Brazilian was somewhat surprisingly overlooked when the new manager picked his skipper in the summer, with academy graduate preferred instead, while Ben Chilwell was selected as vice-captain.

But the two full-backs have yet again been hampered by injuries – incredibly they have only started together in seven of the last 80 Premier League games – with other players having to don the armband instead.

Pochettino has largely picked homegrown players to take on the responsibility in the absence of James and Chilwell, with Conor Gallagher and, more recently, Levi Colwill captaining the side.

But, according to , Chelsea’s players are ‘perplexed’ by the unwillingness to hand Thiago Silva the captaincy and cannot understand Pochettino’s thinking.

The 39-year-old is comfortably the most experienced player in the dressing and has the respect of the whole squad, while he has previously captained AC Milan, PSG and the Brazil national team.

With 20-year-old Colwill handed the armband over Silva, there are some growing suggestions within the dressing room that Pochettino is ‘disrespecting’ the veteran.

Thiago Silva is out of contract at the end of the season (Picture: Getty)

While the players are supportive of their manager despite a poor run of form, the captaincy issue has started to raise questions of his handling of the squad.

It is felt that Silva would be the ideal leader and his team-mates ‘cannot understand’ why their most experienced player is not being given the armband, with some feeling it is lack of respect to snub him.

There is growing unhappiness that more junior players – especially the likes of Colwill, who actually lost his place in the side – are being preferred and some of the squad feel it typifies the lack of direction at the club.

Pochettino has denied there is any problem with Silva being overlooked, explaining his decision to hand the armband to Colwill as such: ‘People who know Levi know he can deal with the captaincy because of his personality and character.

‘He loves the club, he came from the academy, and in four or five months, everyone respects him. He has the profile to be captain. We are building something for today, but for the future also. He’s a massive player for the future of the club.’

He added: ‘Experienced players don’t need to put the armband on to behave like a captain. The decision is about giving responsibility and learning. For him it’s a massive test to be responsible for the team, and to learn.

‘If we want young kids to become men and then great players, you need to trust them. And you need to trust them with your big mouth, not just trusting quietly.’

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