Premier League English

The real reasons why Mauricio Pochettino left Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino has decided to call time on his tenure at Stamford Bridge, having left by mutual consent, with those close to the manager insisting his desire to do so had become much stronger by the time the decision had leaked out.

Apparently the Argentine had wanted out for weeks, having found it a tad too challenging to work within the structure of the club. Chelsea may now have some work convincing another manager with the requisite profile to join, as a number of other decisions need to be made to meet Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Pochettino had been said to be aggravated about the potential sales of Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah. The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss will now certainly become of immediate interest to Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United, with the Bundesliga juggernauts said to have already actively considered the possibility of hiring the Argentine.

As Chelsea’s form grew increasingly erratic over the season, the negative talk had been more from the other side, with rumors of the club’s American hierarchy considering moving on. However a refreshing end-of-season turnaround with successive wins saw co-owner Todd Boehly finally issuing some public compliments regarding Pochettino. Which apparently did nothing to change the gaffer’s sentiments regarding the management of club.

The frustration for Pochettino was that he had no guarantees that the necessary improvements would be made. Another major issue was the uncertainty around the medium-term direction, a situation compounded by interference from the hierarchy. The word had been going around in football circles that Chelsea had become “a basket case”.

This is clearly a vital threshold moment for the club as the next appointment is obviously crucial. Roberto De Zerbi offers a potential quick solution, having exited Brighton and Hove Albion, although there is stiff competition from Juventus. There is news the top brass insist they want to appoint a long-term project manager and are interested in Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna.

It is now left to be seen whether Chelsea are at a point of greater chaos than they were under Roman Abramovich, when Brendan Rodgers said he wouldn’t go there as an up-and-coming coach because he wanted to build a career.

As for Pochettino, the Argentine needs prudent about his next destination. Despite managing to exit Stamford Bridge with his reputation largely intact courtesy of a rowdy season after inheriting an expensively-assembled team comprising mainly younger, inexperienced talents, it has still been two chaotic jobs in a row that could see some small stains on his CV – vacillating from Paris Saint-Germain with their stable of superstars on bloated contracts, to Chelsea’s menagerie of unproven, youthful talents.