Search icon


26th Feb 2024

Mauricio Pochettino hits back at Gary Neville’s ‘blue billion pound bottlejobs’ dig

Charlie Herbert

Mauricio Pochettino hits back at Gary Neville's 'billion pound bottle jobs' dig

‘I don’t know if that’s how I can take this opinion’

Mauricio Pochettino said it was “not fair” for Gary Neville to label his Chelsea team “billion pound bottlejobs” following their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.

Virgil van Dijk’s extra time header in the 118th minute secured the League Cup for the Reds after a goalless 90 minutes in which both sides had chances to win the game.

An injury-hit Liverpool were without a host of star names for the game, including the likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Alisson, and manager Jurgen Klopp was forced to name a youthful bench for the final.

During extra time, a number of these inexperienced youngsters came on against Chelsea’s far more experienced – and expensively assembled – side.

By the time the final whistle went, the average age of the Liverpool team was under 22.

This was the third time Chelsea had lost to Liverpool in a final at Wembley in the last three seasons, and when van Dijk’s header went in, Gary Neville said on commentary: “In extra time, it’s been Klopp’s kids against the blue billion pound bottlejobs.”

After the game, Pochettino was asked in his press conference what he thought about Neville’s words.

The Argentinian said: “I didn’t hear what he said, but if you compare the age of the two groups, I think it is similar.

“I have a good relationship with Gary and I don’t know if that’s how I can take this opinion. But I respect his opinion. We made a few changes with [Conor] Gallagher and [Ben] Chilwell in extra time.

“But it is true we didn’t keep the energy of how we finished the second half. I don’t know how you can describe this situation. But I feel proud. I feel proud of the players, I think they made a big effort.

“We are a young team and it is nothing to compare with Liverpool just because they finished with also a few young players. He knows the dynamics are completely different. I think it’s not fair to talk in this way, if he said that.”

The cup action doesn’t stop here for Chelsea though, with the London side taking on Leeds on Wednesday in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, Liverpool host Southampton in the same round as they look to maintain their quadruple hopes in Klopp’s final season.

Related links:

Liverpool fans boo national anthem during Carabao Cup final

Brentford name asking price as Ivan Toney becomes Chelsea’s number one target 

Chelsea player Pochettino forgot about has been banished from the first-team