The long search for a coach who can work long-term at Stamford Bridge seems to have come to a successful end for Chelsea. Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart have found their man: Mauricio Pochettino.
It was long unthinkable that the former Tottenham boss would ever take over another Premier League club, let alone one of Spurs’ biggest rivals. However, the Argentine has now agreed on a long-term contract with the Blues, as reported by several media outlets.
He will take up the post in early June. And he is the ideal man for this job. SPOX explains why.
Chelsea FC and Mauricio Pochettino: The right project
At the end of the first season under new club owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali things should have been very different – especially after two Transfer windows with unprecedented record output.
But instead of fighting for the championship title or at least the Champions League places, the Blues have been eliminated from all cup competitions and have to struggle desperately in the lower middle of the table. They are more than 30 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and second-placed Arsenal.
Pochettino’s reputation once fell just as quickly, if perhaps not quite as quickly as Chelsea’s – a year ago at Paris Saint-Germain. Despite this, he is still regarded as one of the best managers in the world and he now wants to prove that at Stamford Bridge – just like Thomas Tuchel, who was also once ousted from PSG, then went to Chelsea and won the Champions League there.
Chelsea could be the right project for Pochettino. The Argentine is known for improving teams in trouble and helping them reach their full potential. In 2013/14 he led Southampton to their best-ever Premier League points tally before taking over Tottenham, who were consistently missing out on the Champions League at the time. Not only did he bring the team into the premier class, he even led them to the final against Liverpool in 2019 (0-2).
He achieved this development at these two clubs with exciting attacking football. Boehly and Eghbali will hope that Pochettino can implement this idea with the expensive Chelsea squad as well.
Chelsea and Pochettino are like two battered boxers – and together they could be very dangerous for the competition.
Chelsea FC and Mauricio Pochettino: The long-term solution you are looking for
That’s not to say that Pochettino turned things around for the better immediately after his arrival at Spurs.
He only led Tottenham from sixth to fifth place in his first season and still missed out on the coveted Champions League spot – coach Tim Sherwood had been sacked for that a year earlier.
Crucially, however, in North London, Pochettino was given the time and patience to shape the team his way and ultimately build something very special over a five-year period.
With Chelsea’s endless resources and squad at his disposal, Pochettino will need to show results quickly. A fight for the Premier League title within the next three seasons should be a realistic goal.
At 51, he’s still relatively young and, as he’s known, enjoyed living in London. The Argentine is a champion of attacking football – and that’s exactly what Chelsea owners expect from him.
Boehly and Eghbali indicated that they are looking for a coach for a long time and will be patient with him even when the going gets tough. Having quickly sacked Graham Potter again, there is now legitimate hope that Pochettino will be allowed to develop the side for at least a few more years.
Chelsea FC and Mauricio Pochettino: the fans want him
Pochettino’s bond with Spurs fans always seemed to be a stumbling block on his journey to another Premier League team. But now he even joins a bitter rival from London.
Chelsea’s senior management were reportedly pleasantly surprised by the initial rumors surrounding the Pochettino talks by their own fans. The Argentine seems to be popular everywhere – a different reaction from supporters could have made his start even more difficult than I’m sure it will be anyway.
Chelsea FC and Mauricio Pochettino: The players want him
Not only the fans are in favor of Pochettino becoming the new manager of Chelsea FC, the players are also enthusiastic about the idea.
According to the English telegraph the first Poch rumors caused cheers among the players. Some should already know how well he can motivate and manage.
During his time at Spurs it was clear that Pochettino’s players would do practically anything for him. The Chelsea players, on the other hand, rarely went through fire for Potter and Lampard.
Chelsea FC: Mauricio Pochettino is nice, but not a second Potter
Pochettino is widely regarded as one of the friendliest coaches in the business. But unlike his predecessor Potter, he still has that certain something that will make him far more popular with Chelsea fans.
Potter is also a nice person – but maybe “too nice”? He was missing that certain somethingto gain respect from the stars in the dressing room. Some are even said to have cracked Harry Potter jokes about him.
Pochettino is a man who can do both: his warm-hearted, relaxed demeanor is appreciated by journalists. But he’s perfectly capable of losing his temper and letting his emotions take over on the sidelines. That can sometimes get him in trouble – but it’s exactly what Chelsea fans want to see after Potter’s lack of emotion.
His experience is also of great importance. While Potter’s work at Brighton was great, a club the size of Chelsea seemed to come too early for him.
Pochettino has had his fair share of achievements – leading Espanyol from relegation contenders to midfield, Southampton to new heights, Tottenham to the Champions League final and PSG to Ligue 1 success.
With those facts, it may not be the world-class bid that immediately blew Chelsea bosses away, but Pochettino has a solid reputation and has already achieved enough to be respected by the team.
Chelsea FC: Mauricio Pochettino can develop talent
One of Pochettino’s great strengths at Tottenham was developing young players and nurturing talent.
Above all, the coach ensured the remarkable rise of Harry Kane, who had previously been loaned out on several occasions. Heung-min Son was signed as a relatively unknown 23-year-old who has since developed into one of the best wingers in the world. Dele Alli also experienced the best years of his career under Pochettino.
Other talents from Spurs’ youth academy such as Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Ryan Mason also got their chances and became first-team regulars.
This reputation could have convinced Chelsea FC. The Blues have numerous English talents in their ranks such as Mason Mount, Noni Madueke, Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka.
Pochettino’s time at PSG should serve as a warning in this regard. Because there he couldn’t cope with the enormous number of stars and couldn’t incorporate the club’s talents into his team.
He even finally had to justify not betting on young players in the final stages of last season: “I didn’t say they will play, I said they might get a few minutes. We have a team built with 30 established players. Nothing changed in January. There isn’t much room for the young players. They have to earn their playing time.”
Chelsea hope Pochettino can clean out the existing squad over the summer so he doesn’t face the same problems in London as in Paris.
Chelsea FC and Mauricio Pochettino: no other option?
Chelsea FC’s search for a new manager has dragged on for so long that it has gotten itself into trouble.
Former Barcelona and Spain manager Luis Enrique has been seen by many fans as the top contender. But after the second round of talks, he was out.
Julian Nagelsmann, who was released in Munich at the end of March, was then considered the clear favorite, but then withdrew from the race himself. The problem: Without the Champions League you just don’t get a world-class coach.
And there are parallels between Pochettino and Nagelsmann: The German led little Hoffenheim out of the relegation battle into Champions League qualification and RB Leipzig into the CL semifinals in 2019.
But his sudden departure at Bayern was perhaps a red flag for Chelsea, who are looking for consistency in the managerial position. That’s another reason why Pochettino is exactly the right choice for Chelsea’s new start.