Premier League • England

Pochettino risks Chelsea uprising with ‘disrespectful’ treatment of one star leaving players shocked

Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, September 2023

Mauricio Pochettino in thought on Chelsea bench

Mauricio Pochettino has left the Chelsea dressing room stunned due to his treatment of defender Thiago Silva, according to a report.

Despite being 39 years of age, Silva remains an integral player for Chelsea, having played a full 90 minutes in 15 of their 16 Premier League matches so far this season. The Brazilian might be in the twilight years of his career, but he still possesses the athleticism and hunger needed to compete at the top level.

Silva’s composed nature also means he improves those around him, including fellow centre-backs Levi Colwill and Axel Disasi.

Due to Silva’s vast experience – he has played nearly 700 senior games and won a host of trophies – he was a perfect candidate to captain Chelsea last term when usual skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was not selected in the starting eleven.

When Azpilicueta ended his long spell at Chelsea over the summer, Silva will have been hoping to get the nod either as captain or vice-captain. Instead, though, Pochettino gave the armband to Reece James and named Ben Chilwell as his No 2.

Incredibly, when both of those wing-backs have been out injured, Pochettino has refused to make Silva captain. The manager has opted to put his trust in youth by naming 23-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher as temporary skipper.

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But Pochettino’s repeated snub of Silva could come back to bite him. According to The Guardian, senior Chelsea stars have been left ‘perplexed’ by the former Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan ace not captaining the team once this term.

The fact that Silva is being ‘disrespected’ by Pochettino is ‘a growing topic in the dressing room’.

Chelsea players confused by Pochettino decision

The players remain in support of the Argentine, but if results continue to go against them, this treatment of Silva could be another factor that sees Pochettino’s job put at risk.

Important Chelsea stars were left particularly confused when Colwill led the team out for the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United last week, with Gallagher missing after picking up a red card against Brighton.

While Pochettino thinks Silva can be a leader even without the armband, his Chelsea team-mates feel he should be the one leading them into battle as they look to put in a good run of performances and results.

At this moment in time, it seems Pochettino’s job at Chelsea is safe. Senior Blues officials understand his decision to put his trust in youth, while they also believe he is the right man to help them become successful in the long run.

However, the sacking of Graham Potter showed that if Chelsea are not on the right track, then Todd Boehly and co. will wield the axe. And if the Chelsea hierarchy find out that players are unhappy with Pochettino’s handling of Silva, then this will do little to help the coach’s cause.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has aimed a surprise dig at two Chelsea players.