Tetchy Mauricio Pochettino shows his spiky side as he insists Thiago Silva was only dropped for Chelsea's FA Cup win against Aston Villa to balance his team... as the Blues boss jokingly offers up his seat to a journalist

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  • Thiago Silva was dropped for Chelsea's FA Cup replay victory at Aston Villa 
  • Mauricio Pochettino defended the move and insisted it was purely for balance 
  • He also jokingly offered up his seat to a journalist so he could play manager 

Mauricio Pochettino showed his spiky side when quizzed on Thiago Silva as the Chelsea manager insisted his decision to drop the 39-year-old Brazilian was purely based on his team's balance - even if it came after his wife, Belle, called for his sacking on social media.

Pochettino used Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Aston Villa as the visitors secured a surprise win with this younger, quicker centre-back pairing.

Ahead of facing Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Pochettino was asked if Silva's role will change ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the season, sparking an exchange in which the Argentinian jokingly offered his seat to the journalist so he could play manager.

'Why? Nothing happened,' Pochettino said. 'All the players are in the same position as him. We take a decision based on the performance. It is not different for him. I can only play with 11. If you want to change the rules, you can.'

Asked if the youth and speed of Badiashile and Disasi made a difference against Villa, Pochettino said: 'That is your opinion. It is not a question because it is an affirmation. You are saying that I changed for two younger players that are faster than him.'

Mauricio Pochettino revealed Thiago Silva was dropped in the FA Cup for team balance

Mauricio Pochettino revealed Thiago Silva was dropped in the FA Cup for team balance

Mauricio Pochettino revealed Thiago Silva was dropped in the FA Cup for team balance

Veteran defender Silva was benched for Chelsea's fourth-round replay victory at Aston Villa

Veteran defender Silva was benched for Chelsea's fourth-round replay victory at Aston Villa

Asked again if their selection benefited his brand of football, Pochettino said: 'That is your opinion. That is not a question. If you believe that, why are you asking me? 

'Why you are not sitting here? You can take my place? You can take the decision and you can pick the starting 11. No? You want to come here?

'I always take my decision trying to provide good balance to the team. I don't see the passport or the age of the player. Always it is about the quality, how we can get the best balance of the team.

'But from the beginning we were playing with him, without him, with Levi (Colwill), with Benoit when he was available. Benoit was not available for a long time. 

'He was injured and now we need to assess him. (Trevoh) Chalobah was injured. (Wesley) Fofana was injured. Reece James was injured. Ben Chilwell, injured. Always we try to get the best balance for the formation and to pick the players that can perform and win games.'

Benoit Badiashile (pictured) and Axel Disasi, a younger pairing, were selected at centre back

Benoit Badiashile (pictured) and Axel Disasi, a younger pairing, were selected at centre back

Pochettino will be keen for Chelsea to end their two-match Premier League losing streak

Pochettino will be keen for Chelsea to end their two-match Premier League losing streak

Chelsea had a youthful look to their team without Silva, who turns 40 in September. 

'I don't want to be the coach that picks the youngest team in England,' Pochettino added. 'We have young players. We need to build a team. You need to be more consistent like a team.'

Pochettino is good pals with Palace boss Roy Hodgson, with both managers having felt the pressure of the Premier League this season from their supporters.

'From the beginning when I arrived at Southampton, he was the coach of the national team and he was always in watching games and sharing time with us and we created a very good relationship,' Pochettino added as he bids to end their losing run in the Premier League after defeats by Liverpool and Wolves.

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