Mauricio Pochettino surprise next job announced as Chelsea could face nightmare summer scenario

By Staff

Mauricio Pochettino will be managing at Stamford Bridge in the summer whether he is dismissed by Chelsea at the end of the season or not. The 52-year-old is under pressure in the managerial hot seat heading into the final months of his first year in charge, with the club set to assess his position.

Replacing Frank Lampard – who was temporarily in charge between April and May 2023 following the mid-season departure of Graham Potter – Pochettino was announced as the third permanent boss at Chelsea under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership in May last year.

He started his role officially on July 1 and is already fighting for his short-term future at the club. Chelsea fans haven’t taken to the former Tottenham man well due to a multitude of factors summed up by the current 11th-place standing in the Premier League table.

In recent weeks there have been increasingly loud calls – both online and indeed in the home and away ends populated by fans – for him to be sacked. This comes despite reaching a second domestic cup semi-final of the season, and European places in the table being within view.

However, having signed an initial two-year deal with the option for a third, understands that the plan remains to examine the situation come the end of May when the season is finished, as was always the idea. That could lead to a potentially awkward encounter to come though.

Pochettino has now been announced as the manager of the SoccerAid World XI. Almost ironically, the match this year will be held at Stamford Bridge, and will also feature Lampard in the opposing dugout to Pochettino, as well as the return of Eden Hazard.

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Pochettino took the role for the event at Old Trafford in 2023 as well, with that coming during the period between him being announced by Chelsea but also yet to start his tenure. This led to fans seeing a glimpse of their new boss ahead of his start, when excitement was still in the air.

“Soccer Aid for UNICEF is a huge event – and one I am delighted to be part of again,” Pochettino said of the announcement this year. “The 2023 match was a great experience to be a part of and that is why I was more than happy to accept a return this year, particularly as it will be at Stamford Bridge and with Frank Lampard, a Chelsea legend, in the opposing dugout for England.

“We raised so much money last year, and I hope we can do the same this time, so please get involved and buy your tickets. A sold-out Stamford Bridge generates an incredible atmosphere and we want the players who are part of Soccer Aid 2024 to enjoy that same feeling when they step out on to the pitch on Sunday 9th June.”

This time round there is the prospect of him no longer being in charge at the club by the time the match takes place. SoccerAid will be played on Sunday, June 9, 2024 at SW6. This is currently just three weeks after the final Premier League game of the season, though Chelsea could also still be involved in the FA Cup final on May 25., one week later, if they beat Manchester City at Wembley next month.

SoccerAid, therefore, comes just five weeks before the club’s first pre-season friendly is due to be played in America against Wrexham. Add in Euro 2024 and there is a busy schedule to work around that causes logistical issues for assessing a coach and possibly appointing a new one.

SoccerAid will take place the week before the tournament in Germany begins but ends just 10 days before Chelsea are due to be in action in USA. For any manager, Pochettino or possibly someone else, this raises concerns around preparation and timing.

With the club considering their options moving forward there is the very real chance that Pochettino returns to Stamford Bridge having been removed from his post less than one month earlier, though at the current moment all outcomes are in the air. Although the crowd would be extremely different to a normal matchday, it would still be at a stadium that has widely booed him over the course of the season.

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