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  • By Matthew Ferris at Cobham training ground

Poch feeling blue over cards but happy with team’s attitude ahead of Monday’s match at Palace

By Matthew Ferris at Cobham

Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his frustration regarding the recent announcement of the new ‘blue card’ rules that will be implemented in the sport.  


In his press conference ahead of Crystal Palace on Monday night, Pochettino listed multiple concerns about the potential introduction of the new system.  


He said: “It’s difficult to express how I feel about the blue card. I think that it’s going to create more delays, it’s going to be more complicated for referees, to the players and to the fans. 


“My feeling now is that it is not a good idea, but we’ll see what happens; we’ll give it one opportunity to see how it works.” 


The announcement on Thursday has caused a stir in the footballing world, with the intention being to sin-bin players for dissent or tactical fouls for 10 minutes during the game.  


Trials will be put in place for the blue cards after the recommendations for the ruling have been made by the International Football Association Board on Friday.  


Pochettino, though, believes there are “too many question marks” surrounding the idea.  


The Argentine admitted that he would most likely have received a lot of blue cards in his career, although he expressed how he was unsure of the threshold for the blue cards, which will be one of the key talking points if they are introduced.  


He also raised an issue with the system, asking: “What happens with the goalkeeper? Do you play without a goalkeeper for 10 minutes or can you change a player to wear the shirt of the goalkeeper?” 


There seems to be a lot to still unpack about what the rulings would include; Jurgen Klopp is just one of many other managers who have voiced their apprehension.  


Levi Colwill could return to the starting 11 on Monday night, with a late decision likely to be made on his availability.  


Benoit Badiashile may miss out after sustaining a groin injury late on in Chelsea’s FA Cup win at Aston Villa; Pochettino said he will also be assessed by the medical team before the game.  


Even if they both fail to pass their late fitness tests, there could be a welcome return for Trevoh Chalobah, who has been “training well with the team”.  


It has been a difficult season to manage injury-wise, with new problems always lurking around the corner for Pochettino’s squad, which has prevented him from playing his best team.  


Despite Wednesday being up there with his side’s best displays this season, he refused to say whether the team that started the game was his best 11.  


“It’s difficult to say that that was the starting 11 that was on my mind…with all the circumstances we have from the beginning…the important thing is the level of the players that we are showing, little by little we are recovering players who need time to reach the level that we expect.” 

Pochettino wants his players to build on the feelings from Wednesday, but the inconsistencies throughout the season will be playing on his mind, with it being impossible to forget the timid displays in their last two Premier League games against Liverpool and Wolves.  


He was full of praise for Connor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez, both of whom scored brilliant goals at Villa Park.  


“I think Connor and Enzo are so good and they work a lot and are always committed to the team and club. 


“I feel so happy because they deserve to feel this way, they deserve to feel happy and enjoy playing football.”  


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