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Pochettino Leaves Chelsea After One Season

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has parted ways with the club by mutual agreement after just one season at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino, 52, began his tenure at Chelsea on July 1, having signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year.

The Argentine faced scrutiny after a lackluster start to the season, but a series of five consecutive wins at the end ensured a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

Chelsea also finished as runners-up in the Carabao Cup and made it to the FA Cup semi-finals.

“I am grateful to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the chance to lead the team,” Pochettino stated. “The club is well-positioned for continued progress in the Premier League and Europe.”

Chelsea is now on the hunt for a new manager, with recent interest in Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna, Sporting’s Ruben Amorim, and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.

Pochettino was the sixth permanent manager at Chelsea in five years, following the departures of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, and interim manager Frank Lampard at the end of the 2022-23 season.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we extend our thanks to Mauricio for his service this season,” said sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley. “He is always welcome at Stamford Bridge, and we wish him success in his future coaching endeavors.”

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Coaches Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez, and Sebastiano Pochettino have also left the club.

Amicable Exit

Pochettino’s departure, just short of 12 months in duration, is understood to have been on very amicable terms. He felt it was the right decision following discussions with senior club officials.

He was initially seen as the manager to turn Chelsea into title contenders again after their £747 million expenditure on transfers during the 2022-23 campaign.

Pochettino also had a substantial budget, with over £400 million spent on players like Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Moises Caicedo, and Christopher Nkunku.

Under Pochettino, Chelsea won 27 of their 51 matches, with 14 losses and 10 draws. The team spent much of the season in the bottom half of the table but saw an upturn in form towards the end.

A defeat in extra time against a weakened Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final drew significant criticism for the former Tottenham and Paris St-Germain manager.

However, Pochettino regained some support after a 6-0 win against Everton in April and a 5-0 victory over West Ham in May, although a 5-0 loss to Arsenal occurred in between those results.

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Pochettino’s departure from Chelsea may come as a shock to many, but the situation was precarious.

Despite finishing the Premier League season with a five-game winning streak, there was considerable uncertainty behind the scenes.

Chairman Todd Boehly had called for patience and met with the Argentine on Friday before the season’s final game.

However, less was known about the views of other senior board members, particularly co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.

Eghbali is the primary decision-maker at Stamford Bridge and played a crucial role in the end-of-season meeting. He has been in London with Clearlake Capital co-founder and board member Jose Feliciano since Chelsea’s Women’s Super League victory on Saturday.

Alongside sporting directors Winstanley and Stewart, they were the dominant voices in the room, despite support for Pochettino from the squad and senior staff.

While this is a mutual departure, Pochettino’s discontent was evident in press conferences, where he raised concerns about injuries and the makeup of his young, inexperienced squad, bringing criticism to the decision-makers.

Privately, he was reportedly open to continuing, depending on the post-season meeting’s outcome, but he also expressed concerns in the final weeks of his tenure.

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