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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Mauricio Pochettino, Levi Colwill
Middlesbrough v Chelsea - Carabao Cup Semi Final First Leg / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

3. Mis-profiling Players:

Since the start of the season, Pochettino has been guilty of mis-profiling players. Starting Ben Chilwell at Left Wing and Levi Colwill at Left Back in the opening game of the season ranks among his most bizarre decisions as Chelsea manager. His insistence on playing Colwill at Left Back seems particularly questionable after the England international's recent standout performances at Left Centre Back. His three blocks in the Carabao Cup Final were crucial to preserving Chelsea’s clean sheet until the 118th minute, when Virgil Van Dijk netted home the winner.

Additionally, the former Spurs manager initially deployed Fernandez as the most advanced midfielder, often playing as a number 10, while assigning Gallagher the role of controlling the midfield from a deeper position. Anybody who has watched both midfielders over a run of games would agree that this midfield setup did not capitalize on either player’s strengths. It took Pochettino several games to realize his mistake, and he eventually switched their positions to suit their skill sets better. 

4. Poor Use Of Squad:

While Klopp embraced Liverpool’s Academy stars during their injury crisis, the Blues' manager has often ignored the Club's Academy talents. The pressure to win at Chelsea often dissuades managers from giving deserving Academy players the opportunity they deserve. Even though Pochettino has handed debuts to several Academy players like Alfie Gilchrist, Alex Matos, Michael Golding, Leo Castledine, and Mason Burstow, none of them have received meaningful minutes apart from Gilchrist.

Additionally, the Chelsea boss is guilty of rushing players back from injuries, which has led to several players getting re-injured, including the likes of Romeo Lavia, Benoit Badiashile, Malo Gusto, and others. The most recent example of this came when Chelsea were 3-0 up against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-finals. With less than 15 minutes to go and his side comfortably in control of the game, Pochettino chose to bring on Sterling and Thiago Silva off the bench rather than giving Ishe Samuels-Smith a deserving debut or Gilchrist a chance to prove himself against Premier League opposition. More crucial was his decision to leave Badiashile on the pitch, who just returned from a month-long injury and had already played a full 90 minutes in 2 of Chelsea’s last 3 games. Badishile picked up an unnecessary injury which has now kept him on the sidelines since February 8th.

Chelsea’s Academy players have shown time and time again that they are good enough to be trusted, and Klopp has shown that trusting Academy players with meaningful minutes during an injury crisis can be very beneficial for the team. Not to mention, it is an easy and instant win with the fans, most of whom would love to see more minutes for players like Castledine and Gilchrist rather than having two goalkeepers on the bench.