Chelsea fans like 'to see a manager standing up for the club'

Mauricio Pochettino is booked by Anthony Taylor
Mauricio Pochettino is booked by Anthony Taylor

Chelsea supporters will appreciate the passion being shown by Mauricio Pochettino and having a manager who fights for them, according to The Athletic's Simon Johnson.

Pochettino was shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor at the end of Sunday's 4-4 draw against Manchester City after he blew for full-time rather than awarding a free-kick for a foul by Mateo Kovacic on Raheem Sterling.

"It was a very important two games for Pochettino," Johnson told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast about the draw with City and the win over Tottenham.

"Not that the fans have been getting on his back, but it never does you any harm as Chelsea coach to beat Tottenham. It is probably the game they want to win more than any other, regardless of league position it is a longstanding rivalry."

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Pochettino apologised for his post-match behaviour and accepted he "crossed the limit".

However, Johnson believes his actions endeared him to the Chelsea faithful in a way that they have not seen for a more than a year.

"Chelsea haven’t competed against Manchester City for a couple of years and they played some great football," he said.

"Last season it was a complete mess and Graham [Potter] doesn’t take all the responsibility for it, but Graham was a different personality. He was a very nice man, he wouldn’t want to criticise referees or be seen to be doing anything untoward.

"I do get the impression the fanbase didn’t like that. They are used to people like Jose Mourinho, Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte who are very passionate managers for them.

"We don’t condone managers confronting referees, but Anthony Taylor does have a history with Chelsea as far as supporters are concerned. As wrong as that may be to us from the outside, to see a manager standing up for the club and wanting to say 'this isn’t right', they did like it.

"Ultimately, like any other coach, Pochettino will be judged on results, but at least for the time being he has got Chelsea playing entertaining football and they are worth watching again.

"That is something you couldn’t say last season."

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