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Chelsea: Paul Merson astounded by Mauricio Pochettino's departure by mutual consent – Sky Sports

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Sky Sports’ Paul Merson questioned how Chelsea are going to replace Mauricio Pochettino, who left Stamford Bridge after less than a year on Tuesday; Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol examines a number of candidates mentioned as potential replacements
Wednesday 22 May 2024 18:01, UK
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Sky Sports’ Paul Merson says he is stunned Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea by mutual consent.
The west London club announced Pochettino’s departure on Tuesday, eight days short of a year after it was announced he would take charge at Stamford Bridge on a two-year contract.
The 52-year-old led a youthful Blues side to the Carabao Cup final and FA Cup semi-finals and, despite a season largely of struggles, ended the Premier League campaign with five successive wins to secure European football with a sixth-place finish.
“I cannot believe he’s gone. Who is making these decisions?,” said Merson, visibly astounded at the news.
“How are you going to replace a manager like him? He’s just got this team playing. Finished sixth, got into Europe. It’s madness.
“I cannot believe what I’m hearing.”
Chelsea are now searching for their fourth permanent manager since Todd Boehly’s takeover at the club two years ago.
Pochettino leaves Chelsea by mutual consent
Why is Pochettino leaving Chelsea?
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Striker Nicolas Jackson appeared to disagree with Pochettino’s exit, posting a facepalm emoji and adding: “Love you coach. Wish we could stay together more.
“But may God continue to bless you and your family. Thanks for the advices and support, you’re a true lion and a fighter, wish you all the best.”
Marc Cucurella posted several shocked-face emojis to his post which read: “Thank you for everything Mister. Good luck in the future.”
Cole Palmer said: “Gaffer, thank you for everything you have done for me and making my dreams come true. All the best.”
Chelsea legend John Terry said he was “gutted” with the decision and hoped the club wouldn’t sign any players “until we get a manager in”.
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Sky Sports’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“We all know Mauricio Pochettino had quite a difficult season at Stamford Bridge, but it appeared as though things had changed. Results had got much better, the fans felt a connection with him, and the team.
“But the season ended and Mauricio had a meeting with the two sporting directors at Chelsea, and they decided after talks to sleep on it. But ultimately, both sides felt that going forward they couldn’t make it work, they were on different paths.
“Pochettino revealed he had dinner with Todd Boehly recently and that had gone well, but behind the scenes there has been some doubt. Chelsea are such a big club, politically there is a lot going on.
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“Chelsea believe they are a Champions League club. For a variety of reasons, they’ve not met that target. There are no hard feelings between the owners and Mauricio Pochettino, the players like him, and fans like him too.
“It’s a job that takes time. Chelsea managers don’t get a lot of time and it seems like history is repeating itself under the new ownership.”
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Sky Sports’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“The likes of Thomas Tuchel, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte are not being considered. They want a dynamic coach to work within a structure that is settled and bedded in.
“Kieran McKenna has done such a fantastic job at Ipswich. The only thing I would say there is that he doesn’t have Premier League or Champions League experience.
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“Sebastian Hoeness has done such a great job at Stuttgart, who finished above Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, is a candidate.
“Another name that’s been mentioned to me a lot is Thomas Frank. He ticks a lot of boxes for Chelsea and I think he will be a candidate as well. If you go through the criteria of the kind of head coach they are looking for, he fits the bill.
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“Another name that’s been mentioned is Michel at Girona. Enzo Maresca is a possibility, but not a name that’s been mentioned to me. Ruben Amorim at Sporting was linked with the Liverpool and West Ham jobs, but again, I’ve not heard anything about him.
“I’m being steered away from Roberto De Zerbi and it’s a definite no for Vincent Kompany. He was on the final shortlist to become Chelsea head coach last summer, but I’m being told this time around, he is not going to be a candidate.”
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