Published On: Wed, Feb 28th, 2024

Chelsea decide how Mauricio Pochettino can survive sack after Carabao Cup misery | Football | Sport


Chelsea could reportedly sack Mauricio Pochettino if he fails to qualify for European competition this season. Pochettino is under renewed pressure after losing the Carabao Cup final against a depleted Liverpool, with the Blues underwhelming at Wembley.

The Argentine admitted he had hoped to take the game to a penalty shootout before Virgil van Dijk scored the winner in the 118th minute. Defeat against the Reds – who had 10 absentees and ended the game with a youthful team – epitomised an underwhelming first season at Stamford Bridge for Pochettino.

Chelsea have spent over £1billion on new signings since consortium BlueCo bought the club in May 2022. However, they sit 11th in the Premier League and are once again almost certain to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League.

Pochettino insists he retains the confidence of the Stamford Bridge hierarchy. However, The Times report that a failure to qualify for European competition could prompt the former Tottenham manager’s departure in the summer.

A victory over Liverpool would have seen Chelsea automatically qualify for the Conference League play-off round. The west Londoners could theoretically qualify for the third-tier European competition by finishing seventh in the Premier League and are only four points off the position.

However, it would likely require a drastic upturn in form, with Brighton, West Ham, Wolves and Newcastle all above the Blues and in a stronger position to take the place.

Meanwhile, Pochettino has revealed that he spoke with co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali after the Carabao Cup final. He claims he showed their support, but also revealed that Eghbali felt it was a ‘missed opportunity’ to win a trophy.

“They showed their support and after the game Todd sent a nice message,” Pochettino said. “I said hello to the owners when I saw them in the stadium and after I met Behdad and we were talking.

“We were sharing our opinions about the game and the opportunity we missed to win a trophy because I think we played really well during the 90 minutes.

“It’s not in my hands. We have a very good relationship with the owners, with the sporting director. It’s up to them to trust or not. It’s not the coach’s decision.”

Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville referred to Pochettino’s side as “billion-pound bottlejobs” but Pochettino believes the tag is unfair. He used Liverpool as an example of a team that required several years to develop into trophy winners.

“In three or four years with Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool didn’t win a title. Now they are getting what they deserve,” Pochettino continued.

“For us, after eight months to get a final is a massive achievement. A lot of young players had 90, 120 minutes. Now they know what it is to play a final and they will be better for this experience.”



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