Chelsea's Managerial Dilemma: Pros And Cons Of Sacking Pochettino

After Chelsea’s sixth consecutive defeat in a Domestic Cup Final, speculation over Mauricio Pochettino’s future as Blues manager has intensified.
Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Chelsea failed to beat, or even score against, Liverpool for the third Cup Final in a row when the Blues lost 1-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, the feeling after this defeat is significantly different from the ones in the UEFA Super Cup Final (2019) or last season’s Carabao Cup and FA Cup Finals due to the makeup of Liverpool’s squad.

Liverpool were plagued with injuries to star players, forcing Klopp to field a team composed mostly of academy players, both in the starting lineup and on the bench. While CFC have also battled injuries throughout the season, with eight first-team players missing on the day, the importance of the absentees to the team cannot be compared to those of Liverpool. The match presented a golden opportunity for Chelsea to break their recent Wembley curse and secure European football for the next season, but as Gary Neville harshly stated, the “Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs” squandered their chance. 

Additionally, this was Pochettino’s chance to end his own trophy drought and shed the ‘Spursy’ tag associated with him from his time as manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Pochettino has yet to win a trophy in English football, having lost the 2015 Carabao Cup Final to Chelsea and the 2019 Champions League Final to Liverpool. Despite winning titles with PSG, doubts remain over his status as an elite manager capable of winning trophies at Chelsea, especially after losing to a weakened Liverpool side.

After the game, Pochettino stressed that the players "need to feel the pain” of this defeat. While it is unclear whether the players share this sentiment, fans are undoubtedly feeling the disappointment, especially after hearing Pochettino’s comments claiming “the team started to feel [in extra time] the penalties would be good for us”. This comment coming from a manager who brought over £150 million worth of attacking talent off the bench particularly angered the fans. Whether or not this quote was taken out of context, the frustration from fans about the team’s performance in extra time is justified.

To make matters worse, while Chelsea were losing to Liverpool at Wembley, Wolves beat Sheffield United 1-0, pushing Chelsea down to the bottom half of the Premier League table in 11th place. With just 35 points after 25 games, the Carabao Cup Final appeared to be their best chance at qualifying for European Football next season. A victory could have created a bond between fans and the manager, something Pochettino admits has been lacking.

Furthermore, it could have kickstarted the Chelsea Project under the new ownership. However, losing only creates more doubts about whether Pochettino is the right man to take Chelsea forward. Although Pochettino has never been in danger of losing his job despite several poor runs of form, the clamor from a section of fans calling for his dismissal is growing louder and louder. As history has shown, such emotions from the fanbase can certainly influence the owner’s decisions.

Should Pochettino be sacked for Chelsea’s overall underperformance this season or does he deserve more time? Who could replace him? Will sacking yet another manager change anything? Let’s examine the pros and cons of sacking Pochettino.