Mauricio Pochettino admitted he empathised with Thiago Silva’s frustration after the defender appeared to lose his temper with Chelsea teammates during their goalless draw at Bournemouth on Sunday.
At one stage, whilst in possession of the ball during the first half at the Vitality Stadium, the defender was visibly angered by the team’s set-up, with little movement in front of him and huge gaps between forward players and the defence.
Silva, who turns 39 on Friday, is one of the club’s most experienced and successful players having won seven Ligue 1 titles with Paris St Germain, the Serie A title with AC Milan and the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021.
He has also collected 113 caps for Brazil during a 15-year international career.
By contrast three of his teammates who started the draw with Bournemouth – Lesley Ugochukwu, Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto – were not born when Silva made his professional debut for Brazilian third-tier side RS Futebol in 2002.
With an average age of just over 23 Chelsea have the youngest squad in this season’s Premier League, and an injury crisis that has left Pochettino without 12 first-team players has increased his dependency on youth.
“We need to be more relaxed,” said Blues boss Pochettino. “Sometimes the defensive players want to help the team to score because the feeling is that we are creating chances but can’t score.
“Then we need to be clever. Thiago has experience, but too many players (in the team) are still learning about the game. That is the construction and the building of a new team. There are many rules in football that you can’t write.
“In these type of games when you are pushing, pushing, trying to score and if you don’t score, it’s normal (to be frustrated), you know.”
Pochettino also clarified the absences of Marc Cucurella, Noni Madueke and Moises Caicedo, none of whom were in Sunday’s squad.
Instead the manager was forced to name three players who were 19 and under with no first-team experience on the bench, as well as two goalkeepers.
“Cucurella had a fever (on Saturday) and was at home and didn’t train,” said Pochettino. “Noni came from the national team with a muscle problem. Caicedo came with a knock in his knee.
“We need to assess (on Monday). That’s why they weren’t available, plus another 10 or 11 players.”