Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea? | OneFootball

Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea? | OneFootball

In partnership with

Yahoo sports
Icon: 90min


·22 May 2024

Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea?

Article image:Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea?

Todd Boehly's project in west London has pointed towards long-termism, and despite a bumpy 2023/24, Chelsea seemed to be on the right track under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Blues ended a rather tumultuous season with five successive Premier League wins to secure a return to European football. An odd feeling of stability was starting to prevail over Stamford Bridge, with players and manager received generously as they embarked on their lap of honour following their final day victory over Bournemouth.

OneFootball Videos

However, any apparent stability and optimism has been undermined by the decision to part ways with Pochettino.

The Argentine's debut campaign was far from plain sailing, and there were genuine questions raised throughout the season about whether Pochettino was the right man to lead this rebuild, especially with some quarters of the fanbase struggling to accept him given his Tottenham past.

There were distinct lows and tactical concerns, but the timing of this decision is odd given how well the Blues finished 2023/24.

Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea?

Article image:Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea?

Poch's sole season was far from plain sailing before a strong conclusion / Copa/GettyImages

Pochettino has left the club by mutual consent after co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart led an internal review of the manager's debut season.

Thus, this wasn't a sacking as such. Pochettino was content to depart, too.

“Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history. The Club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come," the Argentine said of his exit.

Despite building considerable momentum in the final weeks of the season, Pochettino is said to have wanted out of Chelsea for weeks before the decision was eventually made. The former Spurs boss found the environment in west London difficult to work in, and had been aggravated by the club's transfer policy with homegrown stars Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah potentially leaving this summer.

The players' farewell messages point to a manager that was doubtessly well-liked, with Nicolas Jackson even expressing his love for the departing boss. 'Wish we could stay together more,' he captioned an Instagram post. Marc Cucurella, Moises Caicedo, Cole Palmer, and Malo Gusto were among the other Chelsea stars to show their appreciation.

Overall, Pochettino walked into a poisoned chalice, worked with the youngest squad in the Premier League, mitigated an injury crisis, and earned the Blues European football for 2024/25. He departs with his reputation in tact, and with Chelsea needing another leader.

The archetypal 'young and progressive' coach will be sought, but whom?

Who will Chelsea appoint to replace Pochettino?

Article image:Why did Mauricio Pochettino leave Chelsea?

Todd Boehly is looking for another head coach to steer the Chelsea ship / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Chelsea are looking to appoint a 'young, progressive' head coach who will be tasked with qualifying for the Champions League and to compete for trophies - something many will feel Pochettino would have achieved had he fulfilled the remainder of his contract.

Championship promotion winning duo Enro Maresca (of Leicester City) and Kieran McKenna (of Ipswich Town) are among the names being linked - despite their complete inexperience of managing at the top level - and VfB Stuttgart's Sebastien Hoeness and Girona's Michel have also been touted - they have both achieved qualification for next season's Champions League.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank is another under consideration but bookmakers favourite Roberto De Zerbi, who left Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend, is yet to receive much support in the gossip columns.

View publisher imprint