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Leboeuf: Any manager would struggle to coach inexperienced Chelsea
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Adam Drury
Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Chelsea last summer
Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Chelsea last summer

Frank Leboeuf believes Mauricio Pochettino is the last person to blame for Chelsea's difficult campaign.

The Blues sit 10th in the Premier League, 14 points off the top four and 25 behind leaders Liverpool.

Pochettino has the chance to lead his side to Carabao Cup final glory against the Reds on Sunday but Leboeuf, 56, insists he deserves more time regardless.

The former Chelsea defender told LiveScore: "I really think the last person you can accuse is Pochettino.

"You could appoint Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho and they're all going to face the same problem.

"Chelsea have a group of talented players with no experience. It's impossible for a manager to grow them up this fast.

"It's going to take time, that is the project but this is Chelsea and Chelsea fans cannot wait.

"We're not in the 1990s when Chelsea were starting a new era, we are in 2024 with Chelsea being the club that has won so much silverware over the last two decades.

"They have to go against their trading philosophy and sign some players aged between 28-31 and then the manager has a chance to develop the squad."

Pep's big mistake

Despite criticising his old club's approach in the transfer market, Leboeuf has still taken a liking to Chelsea's young stars.

And there is one player in particular he is surprised they were able to sign.

The 1998 World Cup winner added: "Cole Palmer is the one. He is amazing.

Cole Palmer left Manchester City for Chelsea last September
Cole Palmer left Manchester City for Chelsea last September

"Guardiola doesn't often make mistakes when he gets rid of a player. We saw that with Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Kalvin Phillips most recently. He knows what to do.

"But I think he made a huge mistake with Palmer because that guy is brilliant. 

"It will be interesting to see what happens with England's Euro 2024 squad. I understand Gareth Southgate likes the chemistry within his squad and bringing in a new player can disturb that.

"But Palmer is going to be a top, top player."

Full of hope

Sunday's Wembley showdown arguably comes during Chelsea's best spell of the season.

Since losing 4-1 at Liverpool and 4-2 to Wolves last month, Pochettino's men have beaten Aston Villa in the FA Cup, Crystal Palace in the league and taken a well-deserved point from champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.

And those signs of life mean Leboeuf is hopeful the Blues can beat Jurgen Klopp's side and lift their first trophy since the 2021 Club World Cup.

He said: "After the Anfield game a month ago, I would have said Chelsea are going to get destroyed.

Frank Leboeuf believes Chelsea can win the Carabao Cup
Frank Leboeuf believes Chelsea can win the Carabao Cup

"But from what I've seen over the last couple of weeks I am full of hope about this young team.

"Liverpool also have some injuries. Diogo Jota is a really underrated player and Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah are not definitely fit either.

"It's a great chance to win a trophy. For a club like Chelsea that is expected and it can bring something good.

"It brings respect and confidence inside the dressing room. It could be important in their development."

Frank Leboeuf was speaking to LiveScore on behalf of BetVictor.


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