Chelsea ‘four-man shortlist’ emphasises how ill-advised Pochettino sack is

Jason Soutar
Chelsea: Kieran McKenna, Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank are all being considered to replace Mauricio Pochettino
Kieran McKenna, Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank are all being considered to replace Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

Chelsea will appoint one of Thomas Frank, Enzo Maresca, Kieran McKenna, or an ‘unnamed fourth candidate’, to replace Mauricio Pochettino, according to reports.

The Blues decided to part ways with Pochettino on Tuesday, a decision that is looking worse by the hour.

There is no doubt that it was a difficult season for Chelsea, who were lingering in mid-table for much of the campaign, but they finished the season very strongly.

Pochettino’s side lost only one of their final 15 Premier League games of 2023/24 to earn Europa League qualification through a sixth-place finish.

Although there were hopes for a top-four finish at the start of the season, given the inexperience of the squad and the alarming amount of injuries, finishing sixth is hardly a colossal failure.

With Chelsea playing very well in the run-in and the players clearly behind their manager, the decision to sack Pochettino feels…unsalvagably stupid.

It is even more ridiculous when you consider the names in the frame to replace the Argentine, with all due respect.

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Kieran McKenna has done an outstanding job at Ipswich Town, earning back-to-back promotions, but he is still in his first managerial job and has never taken charge of a Premier League match before.

The 38-year-old has the potential to be a world-class manager but would be one hell of a risk for co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali to make.

There is no doubt that he is not an upgrade on Pochettino. Nor are any of the names being considered; especially when you factor in the fact that Pochettino had been at Stamford Bridge for a year and has the backing of the playing squad.

Chelsea manager targets all ‘interested’ as ‘four-man shortlist’ drawn up

Lots of different names have been linked with the Chelsea job and a report from The Telegraph says it is down to four names.

Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness and Girona’s Michel were under consideration but are now ‘out of the running’, with the Blues looking at McKenna, Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca and Brentford’s Thomas Frank, as well as an ‘unnamed fourth candidate’.

Sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are currently ‘working around the clock’ to sort out an appointment by the start of June.

None of the names in the frame are currently deemed frontrunners for the job with ‘further talks’ scheduled.

The report just casually throws it out there that Manchester United ‘are expected to sack Erik ten Hag after the FA Cup final’, meaning Chelsea want to act fast as their rivals will also be searching for a new manager – with McKenna and Frank mentioned as likely targets.

In a boost to Chelsea, all three names – who have ‘internal support’ at the club – are ‘interested in the prospect of moving to Stamford Bridge’.

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Have Chelsea absolutely chucked it here, folks? Join the debate here.

Whoever comes in, they ‘must fit into the club’s structure and the club want a coach who will be possession-based and look for his team to control games’. Have Boehly and Eghbali watched Brentford, by the way?

The Blues have also been said to be targeting a ‘young, progressive coach’, on top of this claim of wanting a ‘possession-based side’.

Pochettino was born a year earlier than Frank, who is eight years older than Hoeness and two years older than Michel.

My oh my, how Chelsea have screwed the pooch here. Boehly and Eghbali continue to make themselves look completely clueless.

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