The Cursed Number 9: Chelsea’s Struggle for a Star Forward and Pochettino’s Playful Response

The Cursed Number 9: Chelsea’s Struggle for a Star Forward and Pochettino’s Playful Response

The subject of the “cursed” number 9 shirt at Stamford Bridge has been a popular topic for Chelsea fans and critics alike.

The struggles to find a consistent goalscorer since Diego Costa’s departure have led to superstitions surrounding this number.

Pochettino’s recent statements shed light on his unique approach to the situation and the club’s transfer strategy.

Introduction: The Curse of Number 9

New forwards including Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson have opted against taking the number deemed cursed by many in and around Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have struggled to find a top goalscorer since Diego Costa left the club in 2017, with arguably Tammy Abraham being the only striker to have performed with the no9 shirt since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Pochettino’s Take: A Joking Approach to a Serious Issue

When asked about the curse, Pochettino seemed genuinely unaware of the issue and said, “For sure, if we bring in one strike more, now I‘m going to be sure that he uses the nine and try to change the feeling and the idea that this number is not cursed.

“We need to do some things to change the energy.

“I will ask the kit man to bring all the nine shirts and we do some energetic thing to break it,” he jokingly added.

Transfer Plans: Evaluating Options

Pochettino also revealed Chelsea are carefully evaluating the “profile” of forward they will look to sign in the final days of the transfer window.

Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun, Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson, and Lyon’s Bradley Barcola are all among the known targets.

Squad Management: Downsizing and Keeping Key Players

Chelsea will also have to sell some players with Pochettino keen to drive down squad numbers to a maximum of 23 players, including goalkeepers.

Speaking ahead of Luton’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Friday night, Pochettino says he is happy to keep West Ham target Conor Gallagher but added many of his players will have suitors.

He continued, “Other clubs are working just like we are and maybe talking with some of our players.

“We need to be aware of that.

“At the moment, I didn’t hear anything [about Gallagher leaving] and I wasn’t informed of some situations with our players.

“At the moment, I don’t know anything. The club didn’t inform and the player haven’t told me anything.”

Commentary

Pochettino’s lighthearted approach to the so-called “curse” is both refreshing and indicative of his leadership style.

His transparency about the club’s transfer plans and squad management further builds trust with fans.

As Chelsea gears up for the final days of the transfer window, the spotlight remains on their forward strategies and whether the “curse” of the number 9 will finally be lifted.

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