Following Chelsea’s defeat against Wolves the previous week, Mauricio Pochettino became rather philosophical. He was thinking along these lines: “You have to have a free mind in order to be focused on playing football. The stock market in New York or Tokyo, the weather in I don’t know where, or the inability of the farmers to produce grains may all have no bearing on you. I wear my hair this way for that reason. It’s because I don’t have to suffer for circumstances beyond my control. I only suffer for football and sports in an effort to help players become better and be better. An excellent online gaming platform. I can’t produce the crops on my farm if it doesn’t rain. You destroy my family’s agricultural business, and they depend on money. Stress is that. You may lose your hair with it. But because our opponent was superior to us, I could not lose my hair.
Pochettino was making a valiant effort to convey that The Blues need to have patience and that, that particular evening, their opponents were superior to them. While pointing out that despite Chelsea’s miserable run, his thick mop at 51 wasn’t significantly thinning.
Though the confused managerial comments may not have made much sense, they serve as the ideal metaphor for the current Premier League turmoil Chelsea finds itself in.
Chelsea has allowed eight goals in its past two Premier League games—a 4-1 defeat to Wolves and a 4-2 loss to Liverpool—aside from an FA Cup victory over Aston Villa midweek.
Due to this run of bad luck, the wife of footballer Thiago Silva has even taken to social media to urge the manager be fired. This does not exactly provide a positive image of a cohesive locker room.
The team that was regarded as a superpower just three years ago and won the Champions League now seems to be a shell of its former self. They have lost 10 of their 23 games, are now ranked 11th in the league standings, and have let up 39 goals. And that too after transactions totaling over £1 billion since 2023.
While Pochettino searches for a method to put his tactics into action, the massive record buys of Moises Caicedo from Brighton and Enzo Fernandez from Benfica have collapsed as opponents simply outpace them in the middle. Romeo Lavia, a huge addition from Southampton who cost £58 million, has been sidelined more often than on the field. With great hoopla, goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was acquired from Brighton; however, he too is out due to a knee ailment, while captain Reece James is sidelined once again due to a thigh issue.
Although these are some of the club’s biggest absences, they should have enough depth in their roster to make up for it. Players like Christopher Nkunku, Malo Gusto, Conor Gallagher, Mykhailo Mudryk, and the adaptable Nicolas Jackson needed to step up since big names like Thiago Silva, Raheem Sterling, Fernandez, and Caicedo were all struggling. However, they haven’t been able to offer a spark yet. The one shining light in these gloomy times has been Cole Palmer, a £40 million offensive midfielder bought from Manchester United who is 21 years old and has contributed 10 goals and 4 assists.
Pochettino would have been fired by now if everything were going according to plan, but they can’t because of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). With more than 18 months remaining on his present deal, Todd Boehly and company will have to pay more than £10 million to part with the Argentine manager.
The club will need to generate £100 million via player sales in the summer in order to balance their books, since their reckless investment in the market last year brought them dangerously close to exceeding the PSR. If they don’t, they could have to forfeit points, much as Everton did.
This is a long cry from the empire that Chelsea had established under the astute businessman and knowledgeable club owner Roman Abramovich. Boehly, the owner of Chelsea, actually flings a bundle full of cash at the issue. The worst mistake the American made after replacing Abramovich was firing head coach Thomas Tuchel, who had led them to a second Champions League title. Graham Potter, a resident of Brighton, was appointed in his stead but was fired after just seven months.
Chelsea subsequently appointed club legend Frank Lampard, who had previously failed at Stamford Bridge, to the position on an interim basis. Following that, the owners appointed Pochettino, who was just leaving Paris Saint-Germain after a lackluster managerial career of his own. Nonetheless, the Argentine’s ability to work magic with younger players—a skill he demonstrated at Tottenham, a team he guided to a Champions League final in 2019—made this deal seem like a wise one.
However, it hasn’t worked out so far, as the manager is still having trouble getting the most out of the players playing for him; as a result, the Blues are now just 31 points behind the leaders in the league. Pochettino still has time to leave his mark on this young team since he is now untouchable, but given the way Chelsea is playing as a unit, he is going to have his job cut out for him.