Difficult to understand new rules – Mauricio Pochettino
The Chelsea boss has seen his side pick up a league-high 47 bookings this season.
Mauricio Pochettino puts Chelsea’s ill-discipline down to the close-season change of rules with the Blues leading the Premier League for yellow cards this season.
Chelsea have amassed 47 yellow and three red cards, following the dismissal of Malo Gusto against Aston Villa in September and both Reece James and Conor Gallagher being sent off in their last two games.
Pochettino highlighted how the FA’s new rules in targeting petulance such as kicking the ball away or dissent is the reason behind his team’s poor record.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Manchester United on Wednesday, Pochettino said: “Today we were talking in the meeting and we showed the clips of the yellow cards. There are too many because they changed the rules this season.
“We touch and we put the ball from here to there, and that is a tic that we need to change.
“We were talking about Nicolas Jackson, the yellow card because of complaining to the referee. The opponent made a foul and didn’t receive a yellow card.
“But you complain about ‘why is that not a yellow card?’ And it’s ‘Oh, yellow card for you’. We receive like this.
“It’s difficult to understand this rule but now the referees want to apply it.”
Jackson’s seven bookings are the most in the league and that tally saw him sit out of the Blues’ 2-0 win over west London rivals Fulham in October.
Pochettino called for his players to be cleverer if they are to avoid picking up similar suspensions.
He added: “We need to be clever and improve in this area. We cannot be silly to repeat, repeat, repeat the same mistakes.
“When we play football, always if you made a foul, if the opponent came to take the ball quick, boom, you touch. Even when you play football with your friends, that happens. It’s difficult to change.”
The last time Pochettino faced Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was when he was in charge of Spurs during their dramatic 3-2 Champions League semi-final victory over the Dutchman’s Ajax in 2019.
And the Chelsea manager noted that the match would have been painful for Ten Hag while it was one of his “best nights in football”.
He said: “Of course it was really painful, the situation, but sometimes when you are a coach there are things you cannot control. This is the beauty of football.
“He wasn’t on the pitch. People make you responsible of course. But you cannot change anything from outside. It was difficult.
“One of my best nights in football. For sure it was tough for him. But we all move on.
“For sure he has moved on and he is at a great club now. It’s going to be nice to meet him.”