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Ben Chilwell was one of the best performers in Mauricio Pochettino's renowned Gacon Test

Chris Byfield

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Ben Chilwell was one of the best performers in Mauricio Pochettino's renowned Gacon Test

Ben Chilwell was one of the best performers in Mauricio Pochettino's infamous Gacon Test, it has been claimed.

The new Chelsea boss is hoping to lift the spirits and performances of a club that spent over half a billion pounds last season only to languish to a 12th-place Premier League finish.

And according to Standard Sport, Pochettino has put his players through a gruelling first week of pre-season training, with the new manager’s sessions so far having featured a lot of running and gym work.

Blues players have reportedly welcomed the approach after acknowledging how short they were of fitness last term. Indeed, no club had more injuries than Chelsea last season, with 46 injuries in the squad across the 2022-23 campaign having been in part, credited to poor conditioning.

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On pre-season, one ‘source’ told the publication: “They have been really worked, it has been a harder first week than the whole last pre-season. They will be machines, this year will be different, these boys are getting worked.”

Chilwell among best performers in Gacon challenge

A feature of Pochetinno’s pre-season training is the Gacon challenge - a similar concept to the bleep test.

The Gacon challenge is an intermittent training exercise in which players start by having 45 seconds to cover 150 metres, followed by a 15-second rest. This process is repeated over and over, with 6.25 metres added to each subsequent 45-second rep.

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And according to Standard Sport’s Nizaar Kinsella, Chelsea have undergone the Gacon challenge, with Ben Chilwell, who ran for his county while at school, among the best performers.

Chelsea players will reportedly face another physically gruelling week before Pochettino switches his focus from fitness to tactics.

The club will then commence a pre-season tour of the US, kicking off proceedings with a game against Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Wrexham on July 19.

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The Blues will then play three fellow Premier League teams, beginning with Brighton on July 22 in Philadelphia. Four days later they take on Newcastle United in Atlanta before facing Fulham on July 30 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

The final game of the U.S. tour sees Chelsea face Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field on August 2.

Featured Image Credit: Nizaar Kinsella via Twitter

Topics: Football, Ben Chilwell, Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea

Chris Byfield
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