A remarkable 12 players missed our game at Bournemouth last weekend through injury or illness, and Mauricio Pochettino has been explaining why there are no systemic problems at the club contributing to such a long list of absentees.
The head coach could have fielded an entire XI of players unavailable for the trip to the South Coast. Happily he had better news to report in his press conference yesterday afternoon, confirming Moises Caicedo, Noni Madueke, Marc Cucurella and Armando Broja could all return to action when we welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge.
It was a similar story last season, with almost every Chelsea player missing at least some of the campaign through injury, some long-term. Despite that, Pochettino does not believe there are underlying problems.
‘Before we arrived here, we did everything to have a clearer idea why there were too many injuries last season also,’ Pochettino revealed.
‘We analysed the map of risk, and then it is the profile of the player, the risk of the player. It’s not the methodology, it’s not the people working in the medical staff or the coaching staff in the performance area.
‘We need to respect these areas are very good professionals, qualified people. When you assess our players there is some risk of injury you need to assess, and then, of course, bad luck. We have had injuries that would maybe happen over a whole season, or maybe two. There are different situations you cannot control.’
Pochettino used the injury suffered by Christopher Nkunku in pre-season as an example of what he was talking about.
‘You can pay more attention in one thing or another, but look at Christopher against Dortmund, it was a penalty, a tackle, and he twisted his knee, and three or four months out.
‘At the beginning of the game he wasn’t tired, he was fresh, he was strong. It can happen. It’s not because we didn’t do this or that.
‘The organisation in football, not only Chelsea, is super professional. We need to show more respect to the organisation of the club. Sometimes things happen like this, just like they do in normal life.’