Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino explains truth behind lemon obsession | Football

The west Londoners take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has clarified comments he has made in the past about lemons absorbing negative energy and now says they are simply a comforting reminder of home.

The Argentine’s rather curious habit of keeping a box of lemons in his office to bring ‘good energy’ first emerged when he released his book, Brave New World, during his time as Tottenham manager in 2017.

At the start of this season, Pochettino revealed he had continued the tradition following his move to Stamford Bridge, though he now says the myth around his obsession with lemons has become slightly exaggerated.

Asked about his book, and his belief in ‘good energy’, Pochettino replied: ‘We need to update the book now! We need to update because many things have changed. Things evolve and we need to make an update of the book!’

Probed further on whether he still has lemons in his office, and if he still believes they get rid of bad energy, Pochettino replied: ‘Yes I have lemons [in my office], I have them because it’s a habit.

‘It’s not superstition but I like to have, you know, lemons. In my office. I don’t know why, but… I don’t know now if I need to believe in this, or if it’s helping or not.

‘But it makes me feel comfortable, it’s like home. My place here now in the training ground, my office, it’s like my home now and lemons make me feel like home. It’s one of the things that makes me feel good.’

Asked if the lemons are part of any pre-match ritual before big games, such as Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, Pochettino continued: ‘No, no, no, I don’t change.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

The lemons have had mixed success during an indifferent season (Picture: Getty)

‘For me, all games are big games – whether I’m playing the semi-final of the FA Cup or when we play the first round of the FA Cup.

‘For me, every single game is an important game – is the most important. It’s like in football, the most important action is the next one.’

Pochettino was also asked about his lemon obsession back in September, when the side had picked up just five points from five games, and said: ‘They started to work after two years at Tottenham. Give time to the lemons. It is a thing that we all believe. If you want to have good energy you need to implement all the things that you believe.

‘I believe in the lemons but at Tottenham they started to work after one-and-a-half, two years. They need a long time, they are not magic, but more than ever I still believe in them.

‘Today in my office I have yellow ones, green ones, different types. From Spain, from Italy. I don’t want to lie, there is a big box of lemons. I always thought the yellow lemons worked much better than the green but now I believe in any colour – any colour can help. If I could get a blue lemon it would be even better.’

On whether the green lemons in his box are in fact limes, he said: ‘A lime is not a lemon. It is a brother, maybe with a different mother or different father.’

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