Mauricio Pochettino: Why Chelsea Shouldn’t Sack Him Ahead of Showdown Talks With Owners

Mauricio Pochettino: Why Chelsea Shouldn’t Sack Him Ahead of Showdown Talks With Owners

Martin Moses
updated at May 21, 2024 at 4:03 PM
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  • Mauricio Pochettino's future as Chelsea boss is reportedly not certain
  • The club is said to be looking at options like Ipswich's Kieran McKenna
  • Sports Brief looks at why the Blues need to trust him with another season

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Football is an interesting sport. Opinions change rapidly. Two seconds are enough to turn a defensive action into an offensive one. Two seconds might be the difference between a place in the semi-final of a competition and packing your bags. And so on and so forth.

For Chelsea fans, their two seconds were spread over three weeks. 11 halves of football, to be more specific. Everyone wanted Mauricio Pochettino out after the 5-0 mauling at Arsenal - and with good reason.

Mauricio Pochettino, Kieran McKenna, Chelsea, Cole Palmer
Chelsea Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino looks dejected during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on April 23, 2024 in London, England. Photo by Marc Atkins.
Source: Getty Images

But after a six-match unbeaten streak that saw the side finish in sixth place, the tune has changed among the Blues faithful. So much so that reports coming out this week indicating that the Argentine could be sacked has rubbed the majority the wrong way.

Why Chelsea shouldn't sack Mauricio Pochettino

The Mirror reports that the former PSG manager will demand to have a bigger say in the club's transfer policy if he is to see out the last of his two-year contract.

Letting Pochettino go could be a step backwards for Chelsea, and here is why.

1. Signs of progress

The first part of Pochettino's debut season in West London went so badly that he averaged similar numbers to the 'inexperienced' Graham Potter with a much better (or expensive) squad.

Chelsea flirted with midtable and at some point, they were closer to relegation places than a top-four finish. Everton would have been above them on the table if they hadn't been deducted 10 points in November.

That's how poor Chelsea were.

But gradually, after the turn of the year, Pochettino's side started showing signs of improvement, although with some glitches of inconsistency. He finished the season strongly, which was the first time the club had won five successive matches since 2022.

His tactical nous improved and was buoyed by the return of some key players who had missed most games with injuries. In 2024, no club apart from Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool collected more points than Chelsea.

It all appears to be coming together. All he needs is time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

2. Players are behind him

Chelsea's star player of the season, Cole Palmer, was categorical that the players were fully behind Pochettino and were ready to fight for him.

As a manager, the key thing you usually need is to know the players are listening to you and your message is getting across.

If the players had turned on the former Espanyol manager, the board would have been well within its rights to sack him. Pochettino's man-management is elite, with Palmer and Noni Madueke on record thanking him for changing their game plays for the better.

3. No elite managers on the market

Bayern Munich knew as early as February that Thomas Tuchel would leave at the end of the season but to date, they are yet to find a manager to take over. On paper, Bayern appears to have a more solid structure and experienced players than Chelsea but still can't find a manager.

Fabrizio Romano has indicated that Chelsea would look at a young manager like Kieran McKenna or Roberto De Zerbi if they were to let go of Pochettino.

No disrespect to McKenna or other coaches whose names have been floated, but it doesn't make sense to sack a manager who has already laid down the foundation to hire someone else to 'gamble' with.

4. Stability

Stability and Chelsea in the same sentence is ironic, especially during the days of Roman Abramovich.

However, if the board wants to get the best out of this transitioning squad, it is important to stick with a specific manager who has done wonders with young talents before.

Pochettino offers more authority than the available options in the market and if points 1 and 2 are constant, then he is the manager who can make the £1 billion squad tick.

Disclaimer

The above points shouldn't make us turn a blind eye to Pochettino's misgivings during the season. He needs to do better with his in-game tactics and set-ups and profiling players properly. Levi Colwill was played as a left-back as Marc Cucurella sat on the bench.

Mykhailo Mudryk was left out as Ben Chilwell was played on the wing. He will also need to find a solution to his defence that shipped in 63 goals in the Premier League.

That aside, a sixth-place finish (European spot), Carabao Cup finalists and FA Cup semi-finalists in your debut season with all the crisis around you deserves a second season.

Why Pochettino was absent from Chelsea's lap of appreciation

Sports Brief has also reported why Pochettino missed Chelsea's lap of appreciation after their final game against Bournemouth on May 19.

The Blues beat the Cherries 2-1 to secure a European spot for next season, but Pochettino was a conspicuous miss as the players went around the stadium.

Authors
Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)