Mauricio Pochettino: Cole Palmer ‘is the only player we have to link all the lines’ at Chelsea

With Cole Palmer absent from Chelsea’s 5-0 defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday due to illness, Mauricio Pochettino expressed in his post-match press conference that the England international ‘is the only player we have to link all the lines of the team.’

‘When you miss a player like this, it is not easy. It was a great opportunity for some players to step up. We are showing this inconsistency and that is why we are where we are. We are able to have an amazing performance [against Manchester City] and then one like this. When we have bad days, we are so bad,’ Pochettino stressed.

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The Argentine added that he was ‘disappointed’ with a ‘really bad’ performance. ‘We didn’t start the game in the way we were supposed to start. We made things easy for Arsenal. After 10-15 minutes, after we concede, we started to play a little bit and create some chances. We were talking at half-time that it is impossible to start a game like this,’ he commented.

‘We put in a fantastic performance at Wembley and then today, you can lose a game at Arsenal but in the way we competed, why one day, three days ago and then today in this way? For the circumstance, we needed to make changes for different reasons. Then it is about consistency.’

But Pochettino is optimistic that the drubbing in North London can be used as a learning experience, insisting that it ‘is an experience we need to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. The club is building a new project, a new way to operate. Of course this is the risk we need to take, when you build a new squad. The circumstances are not helping us be more competitive, be better or be more consistent.’