March 3, 2024

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly should look to Arsenal after Mauricio Pochettino’s snappy answer | Football | Sport

Chelsea should take inspiration from London rivals Arsenal by giving under-pressure boss Mauricio Pochettino time to develop in his role as manager. Pochettino has faced heavy criticism this season, with his side’s performances so far falling below Chelsea’s lofty expectations.

Had Conor Gallagher taken one of his many chances, or Nicolas Jackson hadn’t strayed a millimetre offside in the build-up to Raheem Sterling’s disallowed goal, who knows what the mood would’ve been like in the Chelsea camp the last week or so. Instead, following a humiliating defeat against Liverpool in the League Cup final, it’s been seven days of batting off questions about his future for Pochettino.

Victory against Leeds United in the fifth round of the FA Cup did provide Chelsea with an immediate tonic after their Wembley woes, but the Blues still trail the leading pack in the Premier League. And given Chelsea’s growing worries about financial fair play regulations, missing out on European football for a second consecutive campaign is a non-negotiable for the west Londoners, who are already struggling to balance the books after consecutive seasons of big spending.

Despite that, Todd Boehly and the Chelsea hierarchy pulling the trigger on Pochettino could prove counter-productive. The new ownership group have already burned through three managers during their short time at Stamford Bridge, with little to no benefit likely to come from sacking a fourth.

Not least because Boehly and Co. have sanctioned transfers with Pochettino’s playing style in mind. By sacking the Argentine, not only is it an admission from the ownership group they got the wrong appointment again, but they’ll no doubt have to dance to the tune of their next hire when it comes to signing players in the transfer market.

Alternatively, inspiration for Chelsea can be taken from the way Arsenal handed their early years with current boss Mikel Arteta – patience which has since paid off for the Gunners. Arteta might not yet have guided Arsenal to a league title, but the Spanish coach has been instrumental in changing their fortunes following a dismal decade or so under Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.

In fact, it’s something Pochettino has pointed towards in a recent press conference, with the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss urging the Chelsea owners to give him time. When asked about his future at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino replied by saying: “It’s not in my hands. We have a very good relationship with the owners, with the sporting directors, but it’s up to them to trust or not. It’s not the coach’s decision.”

Pochettino goes on to list examples of clubs where managers have been shown patience, despite a troublesome first season: “Manchester City, Liverpool. They are successful or not? For me, they are good examples of teams that win. It’s the reality. If you want to be successful in life, you need to look at the people who are doing things well.”


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