Pochettino in the dugout for Chelsea
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Who Should Be the Next Chelsea Manager? De Zerbi, McKenna, Tuchel?

On the evening of May 21, 2024, Chelsea F.C. announced they would be parting ways with current manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Reactions to the news have been varied among Chelsea fans, with some questioning the club’s decision and some being happy to see the back of the former Spurs manager. Overall, people have been left with the same two questions. Why and who will be the next Chelsea manager?

Many fans thought and hoped ‘Poch’ was safe from the boot after a much improved second half of the season for the Blues. Chelsea climbed to 10th after 18 games, trailing 6th by 8 points, where they would finish at the end of the season having turned things around after a shaky start under Pochettino. But how did the Argentine turn it around and win back the fan base?

Boehly, the New Abramovich?

Part of the reason fans had been swayed towards keeping Poch was because of his change of style. The Chelsea manager inverted Cucurella into midfield and started to get the best out of the Spanish full-back, who had also fallen out of favour at the Bridge. This move got the best out of struggling midfielder Moises Caicedo, and paired up with workhorse Conor Gallagher, Chelsea began to dominate games more. Going the last 6 games of the season unbeaten and looking like a very solid team.

Unfortunately for the former Spurs man, this move came too late in the eyes of Todd Boehly, as he decided that the 52-year-old’s reign was over before it even really began. Looking back at the first half of the season, it was always going to be tough for Poch to stay in his job come the end, especially with Boehly keeping the tradition of Roman Abramovich being trigger happy when it came to sacking managers.

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The Chelsea fanbase (as always) is split down the middle regarding the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino after it appeared the Argentine had stolen the hearts of the fanbase throughout the late-season charge. Some fans have said he should’ve been given more time and was on an upward trajectory, while the other half claimed they had seen enough by Christmas and it was only a matter of time before he got the bullet.

Personally, sacking Poch can only be marked as a good or bad thing, depending on how the next manager’s run goes. If Boehly somehow trips and falls into the right decision, then it may all be worth it. If Boehly gets it wrong, then there’s a worry we are going to find it hard to get any reputable manager for a long time because the risk of being sacked will always just be a whim away.

Accordingly, Chelsea wants a young manager with possession-based and attacking qualities. However, the manager will be under pressure to deliver straightaway. Which makes no sense, the board wants a long-term project but doesn’t want to wait for the results. Make of that what you will. Chelsea HAVE to get this next manager appointment correct; otherwise, they are in massive trouble.

So who is next to take the hot seat at the Bridge? Any manager who appreciates their reputation will be running a mile, but money talks, and Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in England. I’ve compiled a shortlist of names currently floating around the rumour mill and a description to see who the perfect fit for the Blues will be.

Who Do Fans Want as the Next Chelsea Manager?

Roberto De Zerbi

Everyone’s first name when they think of the next Chelsea manager will, of course, be their second teams manager. Sorry, I mean Brighton. De Zerbi has confirmed he’s leaving the Seagulls this summer, with many clubs sniffing around the Italian. Chelsea, however, should run in the opposite direction. RDZ has a reputation of falling out with higher figures in the club (that won’t sit well with a certain Mr. Boehly) and overall has seen a demise in form at Brighton.

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The squad at Chelsea is currently filled with huge egos, and with De Zerbi being a fairly rigid manager and Chelsea having fairly fragile players, this matchup might just not work out. De Zerbi is a fantastic manager, yes, but so was Graham Potter when he joined Chelsea, and look what’s happened to his reputation since then.

Verdict: No.

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is a funny one. A manager who has deserved a big move for a long time now, and after being linked with Liverpool and Manchester United in recent months, it’s no surprise to see the Brentford manager linked with the Chelsea job. With reports saying Chelsea want a ‘young manager who is forward thinking’, Frank is bound to be considered.

However I think Chelsea might be a bridge too far. Immediately Frank is going to be under pressure to achieve results and high finishes in the league and he won’t get the time he needs to make a big enough impact to keep him in the job. This could put Chelsea back to square one this time next year. If Boehly can hold off his sacking policy then there is a possibility it could all work out. Going after Frank might be worth it all just if he can bring Ivan Toney to the club, but there’s too many ifs buts and maybes to justify calling this a smart appointment.

Verdict: No.

Kieran McKenna

The name is on everybody’s lips at the moment when it comes to managerial vacancies. The man has won every football fan over this past season while bringing Ipswich up to the Premier League. Beautiful attacking football that would have fans on their feet and tactically spot on down to the last minute detail to keep all the stat-nerds jaws wide open. The sky is truly the limit for McKenna. Unfortunately, I think he needs more time and Premier League experience, and I also think he’s destined for Old Trafford in the future.

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Verdict: In 3 years, yes, if he’s not at United.

Thomas Tuchel

Bring him home! The man who won Chelsea’s second Champions League would be exactly the man who I would 100% bring back to the club. But I know it is very unlikely to happen. Tuchel didn’t exactly cover himself in glory, while at Bayern, Chelsea would also face a huge battle if Manchester United chose to sack Erik ten Hag and pursue Tuchel.

But the biggest hurdle Chelsea faces in bringing Tuchel back to the club is Todd Boehly. The pair did not have a great relationship, and Tuchel’s sacking was believed to be heavily influenced by a falling out between the two. But if Boehly can put that to rest, I would bring Tuchel back, let him rebuild his connection with the fans that adore him so much, and give him this young squad to work with for the next 4–5 years.

Verdict: Yes

Should Poch have been sacked by the Blues and who do you think is up next to join the long list of managers through the revolving door of Stamford Bridge. Let us know !!

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