Ladyman: Chelsea are just 'expensive names on a team sheet'

Struggling Chelsea are just ‘expensive names on a teamsheet’ and Mauricio Pochettino ‘STILL doesn’t know his best team’, IAN LADYMAN and CHRIS SUTTON say on Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’

  • Chelsea have endured a tough start to the season despite their massive outlay
  • Sunday’s drab goalless draw at Bournemouth showed the work still to be done
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off! 

Chelsea are little more than just ‘expensive names on a teamsheet’ with little connection between players and fans, Ian Ladyman said on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast.

The Blues have splashed out over £1billion on new signings since Todd Boehly took over as owner but appear to have regressed as Mauricio Pochettino ‘clears up the mess’ of previous managers.

Sunday’s drab goalless draw with Bournemouth left Chelsea a lowly 14th in the Premier League table with just one win from their opening five matches.

Chris Sutton, also on the show, argued that Pochettino ‘doesn’t have a clue’ what his strongest team looks like amid a churn of incomings and outgoings.

The former Chelsea striker said: ‘Pochettino has gone in at Chelsea and he is essentially still clearing up the mess.

Mauricio Pochettino ‘has no clue’ what his strongest Chelsea line-up is amid a constant churn of new signings, Chris Sutton has argued on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Nicolas Jackson (left) and Enzo Fernandez (right), two of Chelsea’s expensive arrivals this year, cut dejected figures during Sunday’s drab goalless draw at Bournemouth

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‘It was a top heavy squad, we know about the Chelsea signings, they’ve bought young and he needs time to develop the squad. It is as simple as that. 

‘They have issues in the goalscoring department and that has gone on for a long time now. 

‘[Nicolas] Jackson isn’t firing, it’s five games. [Christopher] Nkunku, unfortunately for Pochettino is injured and out for a few months. 

‘It’s not clicking. I don’t think Pochettino doesn’t have a clue what his best XI is but we’re still very early on.’

Mail Sport’s football editor Ladyman argued that the turnover of players at Stamford Bridge makes it impossible for Chelsea to have any kind of identity at the moment. 

He said: ‘In the last couple of years, with the sheer number of players that have come into that club and gone out, if I was a Chelsea fan turning up on a Saturday afternoon and looked at the teamsheet, I would be asking who some of the players were.

‘Manchester City have been under Abu Dhabi ownership now for 15 years and already they have managed to spend and win. 

‘They have fielded players such as Kompany, Zabaleta, Toure, Aguero who are now looked at by Man City fans in the same way they look at Bell, Summerbee and Lee. 

Mail Sport football editor Ian Ladyman argues that Chelsea ‘are just expensive names on a teamsheet’ with little connection to the fans

Pochettino speaks to £88.5m winger Mykhailo Mudryk after he was taken off on Sunday

Mail Sport’s Chris Sutton believes Pochettino needs more time to ‘clear up the mess’

‘They have managed to move from that era to this one, players such as John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne who have been there a number of years.

‘They’re players who have almost have the club written all the way through them. 

‘Mo Salah, a North African footballer, will be in the pantheon with Kevin Keegan when he leaves Anfield.

‘What part of that do you see when you look at Chelsea? You just see names on a teamsheet. Expensive names on a teamsheet. They haven’t even got a centre forward!

‘Of course Chelsea have been successful, giving their supporters a lot of joy, fun and silverware but they could be doing what City are doing now had they been smarter.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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