Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been officially confirmed as the new Chelsea manager on a two-year deal. After a disappointing season in the 2022/23 campaign, the Argentine has the task of trying to turn the club’s fortunes around. Here are three challenges he faces.
System That Fits Current Squad
There were times last season under Graham Potter and Frank Lampard when it looked as though Chelsea did not have a system that suited the squad. Unlike Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, who have a clear identity, the Blues were experimenting with different formats and players across the campaign.
Pochettino is a coach who enjoys setting his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He did that at Tottenham and PSG. He is an attacking coach, which is one of the reasons Chelsea have opted to hire the Argentine.
Although Pochettino does like his team to play a certain way, he is not afraid to change formations mid-game. His 4-2-3-1 system can easily be converted into a 3-4-3 should they need to push for a goal.
Sort the Balance of the Squad
Chelsea Football Club is pleased to announce Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s new head coach!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2023
When he starts his new job on the 1st of July, Pochettino will inherit a squad that has had a lot of investment in it over the last two transfer windows. He must determine which players he wants to keep and who he feels needs to move on from the club.
The balance of the squad was not right last season, as they had lots of attacking options, but they were short of players at the back when key personnel picked up injuries. To give him the best chance of having success over a 38-game campaign next season, Pochettino will need to have the right balance.
If Chelsea cannot offload some players permanently, they may need to send them out on loan to other Premier League clubs or across Europe. That will ensure they don’t have players who are out of the squad but still adding to their wage bill each week.
Domestic Cups Need to Be Prioritised
Pochettino is likely to have taken notice of the job Erik ten Hag has done in his opening season with Manchester United. They won the opening cup competition of the season when they defeated Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 26, 2023
The Reds have a chance of a second trophy when they contest the FA Cup final in June. Given how well they have performed this season in the domestic cups, those who play football jackpots like Bwin’s eight-game competition will consider taking them to beat Manchester City at Wembley. They are underdogs at 14/5 to lift the trophy in that contest against their local rivals.
It has been six years now since Chelsea last won a domestic cup. To create a winning mentality at the club, he will need to improve their results in the EFL Cup and FA Cup. If he can win one of those competitions in his opening year, it could be the start of a successful period for the West London club.
Pochettino and Chelsea will learn who their opening opponents will be in the 2023/23 Premier League season when the fixtures are released at 9 am on the 15th of June.