Chelsea's manager search: Candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino, turmoil under Todd Boehly, what's next

Despite his strong finish to the season, Mauricio Pochettino will leave Chelsea by mutual consent after guiding the Blues to a sixth-place finish, which will see them compete in either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League next season. Pochettino is leaving after just 11 months, leaving owner Todd Boehly to figure out who will oversee what has become a tumultuous two years in charge of the London club next season. Pochettino is the fifth manager to coach a match for Chelsea in the American's time in charge of the club and amassed a record of 26-11-14 in all competitions.

After finishing 12th with just 44 points in the 2022-2023 season, the Blues improved to sixth place with 63 points in 2023-2024. Only since January 1st Manchester city, ArsenalAnd Liverpool collected more than Chelsea's 35 points. Now linked with the likes of Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna, Leicester City Enzo Maresca, That of Stuttgart Sebastian Hoeness, and That of Girona Michel, the Blues will have to take action quickly to lay a new foundation for a crucial summer.

The new manager may not have the freedom to reshape Chelsea's squad the team's financial concerns. Therefore, it stands to reason that the currently linked managers have found success at clubs at the bottom of their respective leagues in terms of expenditure. It would be a departure from Chelsea's ways, but if it means the Blues miss out on the Champions League two seasons in a row, it could be a welcome change.

The unrest at Chelsea

After appointing two managers to oversee long-term rebuilds in Graham Potter and Pochettino, only to see both leave after a year or less, it is difficult to predict what Chelsea's target is at this point. Although things seemed rough at the start of Pochettino's tenure, once he got his attack into shape, Nicholas Jackson And Cole Palmer were able to lead Chelsea to victories without even seeing much of it Christopher Nkunku on the field. After being signed in the summer, the French striker made just thirteen appearances in all competitions due to injuries during the season.

For Chelsea it is a matter of one step forward and two back as they now need to get the next manager in place. A huge amount of money has gone into building the current squad and if all goes well they could qualify for the Champions League, but that's not enough to satisfy a club that has collected 23 pieces of silverware between 2000 and 2021. Just making the leagues is not where Chelsea should be expected to be. They should be winning leagues and without a Premier League title since 2017 it is something that will continue to fester the longer the Blues go without silverware.

They feel further away from achieving that goal than when Boehly took over the club and are once again back to the drawing board on what the squad and hierarchy will look like.

Potential candidates

  • McKenna: One of the hottest names in management today, the current manager of Ipswich Town became its first coach overseeing back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League since 2012. He took over a struggling side and turned it into a team that amassed over 180 points in two seasons while becoming the highest scorers in the Championship, keeping pace with the recently relegated teams in the league. McKenna is also reportedly on Brighton's list to replace Roberto De Zerbi and it should be on too That of Manchester United list if they decide to move on from Erik ten Hag, which could see Chelsea face competition for the 38-year-old manager.
  • Maresca: Maresca spent time in Manchester City's system as U23 coach and assistant manager and was groomed by Pep Guardiola, but then tested his skills at Leicester City, leading the Foxes to the top of the Championship despite selling out. James Maddison and other players. Although they struggled at the start of 2024, Leicester City managed to collect 97 points to storm back to the Premier League.
  • Quantity: As the second-placed team in the Bundesliga, Stuttgart's season has been nothing short of impressive, returning them to the Champions League for the first time since 2010. Hoeness was once a proud German team that won the Bundesliga in 2007. to bring the faith back to the stands, while building a system behind it Serhou Guirassy that was hard for defense to stop. Hoeness is another young prospect at just 42 years old, but he has 130 top-flight experience in between Hoffenheim and Stuttgart, which could make him the most likely manager on this list to fit what Chelsea need at the moment.
  • Michel: Michel has made history with Girona by leading them to the Champions League and has built an aggressive system to always be ahead. They took that and look set to finish third in La Liga, while only scoring the second most goals of any team behind them Real Madrid. Michel, another manager linked to City Football Group, also has extensive experience at the top level that can help Chelsea, but the transition to the Premier League is a challenge.

Can this work?

It's a bit of a loaded question because if a few more things go in Chelsea's right direction last season and they play in the Champions League, then we won't have this conversion. But if managers aren't given enough time to get their systems up and running, recruiting players can become difficult. Without silverware, the Chelsea name will begin to lose its luster and with financial constraints it will become harder to pay exaggerated wages to recruit top talent. So while Chelsea could return to the top four next season, there's also a world where the Blues enter Boxing Day in search of a new manager and given the history we've seen, I'll take that bet.

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