Poch chewed up! It’s back to square one at Stamford Bridge
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Poch chewed up! It’s back to square one at Stamford Bridge

It is ironic that the first time in the whole season Chelsea fans have been happy with their team’s performance, the owners decide to part ways with manager Mauricio Pochettino. Despite the “mutual consent” statement the owners appeared quite happy to let the Argentine go and did not put in much effort in persuading him to stay.

Although fans had not been happy with Pochettino for most of the season owing to some dreadful performances, his departure still came as a shock particularly as the club had shown good form in recent weeks. A positive atmosphere had been building at Stamford Bridge after having won five games in a row and fans were actually looking forward to the coming season.

Considering the poor displays in the earlier part of the season, finishing sixth in the league was not a bad effort and if Manchester City win today’s FA Cup final it means Chelsea will be playing in the Europa League next season. Chelsea also reached the final of the Carabao Cup and the semis of the FA Cup.

However it must be said Pochettino did not have the greatest rapport with the fans, unlike Juergen Klopp at Liverpool. A minority also booed him on occasions.

While American owner Todd Boehly has been a target of criticism by Chelsea fans, many believe the final decision on Pochettino’s departure came from co-owner Behdad Eghbali along with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Many Chelsea players appeared surprised by the news with Cole Palmer sending a message to Pochettino: “Gaffer, thank you for everything you have done for me and making my dreams come true.”

Initial fan reaction was that of shock. “This is absolutely ridiculous," said one long-time supporter. “What the hell is going on? We are a joke, embarrassing and clueless.”

Another commented “What a shambles.Just as we started getting things together we are back to square one again.”

Naturally the newspapers weighed in with the most popular headline being a simple POCH OUT! Some, including the Daily Express combined it with RASH OUT! a reference to Marcus Rashford being dropped from England’s Euro squad. The most painful pun came from the Sun with “No Maur”. The Daily Mail came out with “Poch Chewed Up” as they claimed the manager was informed of his fate while having dinner with the Chelsea owner.

There has of course been much speculation who will be next in the hot seat... and it really is a hot seat. Pochettino, who lasted 325 days is the fourth manager to leave under Boehly’s reign with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard all getting their marching orders.

At the time of writing no decision had been made on the next manager but plenty of names have been suggested. It will be interesting to see if they go for an “‘old hand” or a younger brand of gaffer. But whether they can entice a manager to join the complex Chelsea set up is another matter altogether.

Meanwhile over at Wembley today history is being made. It is the first time the same two teams have reached the FA Cup final in consecutive seasons as City and United face one another once again. City will start firm favourites but you can never be totally sure in the Cup. Football can be a funny old game.

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