True reason for Chelsea's lacklustre cup final extra time efforts revealed

Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has revealed the true reason why the Blues' extra time performance in the English Football League Cup Final was just so lacklustre, counterproductive and anticlimactic.

I have supported Pochettino fairly staunchly since he arrived at Stamford Bridge. But then again, I thought Graham Potter may have turned into an astute choice over time. So what do I know!? To be completely frank, I was firmly of the opinion that the Argentine requires at least another couple of transfer windows in order to truly assemble his own side.

Yet the demoralising and very unimaginative approach at Wembley in the League Cup Final, especially the Extra Time tactics, have put me off the former Tottenham Hotspur manager somewhat. There are many things to admire about how 'Poch' tends to his man management work, his managerial conduct, as well as his footballing persona. However, once the motivational becomes apathy, strategy and decisions should be questioned.

Pochettino's spurning of the best opportunity he has ever had for silverware, or is ever likely to have, was a type of yielding. Telling his players to aim for a penalty shootout on a day when the Reds clearly struggled to actually field a senior XI, was possibly a subconscious obsequious bow to Jurgen Klopp's prowess. This capitulation occurred in spite of the German mostly later deploying a depleted team of eager, talented but extremely inexperienced footballers. Maybe Poch's track record with trophies, or a lack of, influenced his mindset.

Listen, I applaud Klopp and his youthful roster whom rightfully lifted the Carabao Cup. If any manager deserves deference and more credit it is he. Although, don't you agree that LFC were there for the taking on Sunday for once? I do. Going straight for pens makes no sense in this scenario. But let's hear what popular pundit Jamie Carragher made of it all:

"Reflecting on why his team had gone into their shells at a pivotal moment in the game, Pochettino explained: 'The players started to lose their energy. The team felt maybe penalties would be good for us.'

After seeing Pochettino's quotes, Carragher reacted on X by saying: 'Wow! Felt like that watching the extra time.'"