Chelsea agree to sign set-piece coach from Premier League rival | Football

Bernardo Cueva will join Chelsea at the end of the season (Mark D Fuller/Focus Images Ltd)

Chelsea have agreed a deal with Brentford to sign Bernardo Cueva as their new set-piece coach.

The 36-year-old joined Brentford from Mexican side Chivas in September 2020 as the team’s tactical statistician working as part of Thomas Frank’s coaching staff.

According to The Athletic, Cueva will join Chelsea at the end of the season and the report claims that Mauricio Pochettino is fully supportive of the Mexican coach’s arrival.

Chelsea’s move for Cueva comes despite Pochettino appearing to play down the significance of set-piece coaches last month.

‘We work a lot on set-pieces. After that, it is about the quality of the player. It is about the takers,’ said Pochettino.

Brentford's Tactical Statistician Bernardo Cueva

Bernardo Cueva has impressed since joining Brentford in September 2020 (Mark D Fuller/Focus Images Ltd)

‘We don’t have a specialist. Maybe Chilly [Ben Chilwell] is good in the delivery but after that, we don’t have a specialist. If you want to be good at set-pieces, we work a lot. But then you need good takers.

‘When you have good takers, and of course, Wolves have good takers, and like Manchester City have or other clubs. It is not down to the work. We work similarly. But the problem is to have good takers.

‘We have specialists [coaches]. We are a coaching staff in charge of everything. You can have a specialist and you can promote the specialist. Or you can have the specialist and not promote the specialist. It depends how you want to sell the idea of working on set-pieces.

‘We have a specialist, we have a group of analysts for set-pieces, we have the coaching staff and we work a lot. And then it is about the quality. At the moment, we were talking about trying to find a good specialist [player] for next season.

‘Look before at West Ham and after. What changed? After and before? It’s not the same. The taker is [James] Ward-Prowse. Or he is Pochettino, no? Prowsey is a much better taker than me. For sure, you can work, like West Ham were working. But now, you add a player like him, you increase the percentage. That is football. Football belongs to the players. Not to the specialists.’

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