‘Subbuteo football’ - Paul Merson names Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest Chelsea problems

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Paul Merson has been discussing Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest problems at Chelsea amid a disappointing start to the season.

Paul Merson has been discussing Chelsea’s early-season woes with fans left concerned following defeat over the weekend.

The Blues were expected to improve significantly this season following the summer appointment of Mauricio Pochettino and the trimming of their bloated squad. But the signs have not been great so far, with Chelsea winning just one of their first four games, losing twice.

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Chelsea lost to Nottingham Forest over the weekend, following up defeat to West Ham, and they continue to show signs of struggling to gel amid more new signings over the summer.

Speaking about the issues, Sky Sports pundit Merson has said: “Mauricio Pochettino will get it right because he’s a good manager, but it’s going to be hard. If they get in the top four then they will be pulling up trees.

“They’ve bought too many players that are the same. Enzo Fernandez is different class - a cut above the rest. But how long will he stand for this? There’s not enough guile in the team. You haven’t got players that will put the ball through the eye of a needle.

“Teams will go to Stamford Bridge, set up 10 players behind the ball and counter-attack. I said on Saturday that Chelsea would get beaten 1-0. I know how they struggle against teams that play 10 at the back.

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“They can’t break teams down. It’s like watching Subbuteo football - there’s no movement. Unless Fernandez finds that killer pass, no one else will.”

Merson added: “Away from home, teams will come on to Chelsea. With Nicolas Jackson and Raheem Sterling’s pace, and Fernandez’s vision, they will cause havoc - like they did at West Ham in the first half. But what happened in the second half? West Ham sat deeper because they scored, and Chelsea could still be playing now and they wouldn’t have scored.

“Thiago Silva is still one of their best players - he’s 38. You don’t always have to be young. Sometimes you have to buy the ready-made product as well. Bar Ben Chilwell, Sterling and Silva, no one is over 25 years of age. You need experience. These players are all on eight-year contracts so I don’t know where this is going. Maybe you go and get the book back out the sea to see how this ends.

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