Gael Clichy tells Chelsea what they’re missing following Carabao Cup final defeat | Football

Gael Clichy says a lack of leadership is to blame for Chelsea’s struggles (Photo: Getty / Sky Sports)

Chelsea’s lack of leaders on the pitch cost them the Carabao Cup final, according to former Arsenal and Manchester City star Gael Clichy.

Mauricio Pochettino was denied his first trophy in English football on Sunday after Virgil van Dijk’s 118th minute header won the cup for Liverpool.

Chelsea were left to reflect on what might have been at Wembley, as the young Blues side failed to take advantage of a Reds team that were missing many of their best players thanks to injury.

The club are languishing down in 11th in the Premier League, with the FA Cup not only their last chance to lift silverware this season but perhaps also their best hope at qualifying for Europe.

Pochettino’s side have lacked a cutting edge and winning mentality this season, something that Clichy believes is down to a lack of experience and leadership, referencing the impact several of his former teammates had on their respective sides.

The former defender said on Sky Sports: ‘Most importantly, you have different types of leaders in a team. When I look at this Chelsea team… where is your performance leader, your Thierry Henry for instance?

‘Where is you tactical leader, someone like Gareth Barry? Where is your performance in terms of stamina, like James Milner? Where is your Vincent Kompany, your character?

Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final

Chelsea missed several great chances to win the Carabao Cup (Photo: Getty)

‘I don’t see any leaders in this team. Now, that’s not to say that the players aren’t good enough.

‘I’m saying that as a coach, as a club you need to be able to identify certain aspects within a dressing room and when I see this team game after game, I don’t see any leaders.

‘So when you come to a game like this where you’re supposed to be on the front foot and actually get your hands on silverware, do you actually have the experience and the players to do it?

‘I don’t believe they do. They do have great players or good players but they don’t have these leaders that make you win games.’

Chelsea have the youngest average squad in the Premier League (23.4) by some margin, with their most experienced players and serial winner Thiago Silva out of form and currently out injured.

Chelsea continue their FA Cup campaign on Wednesday night against Leeds United, with Pochettino saying in his pre-match press conference: ‘Now we need to keep the spirit up, move on and be ready for tomorrow.

‘Of course it is another competition, the FA Cup, and we also want to go until the end. We need to be ready because we are going to have in front [of us] a very good opponent in Leeds.

‘They have won their last eight games, are in a very good moment and it is going to be very tough. That is why we need to feel confidence and energy.’

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