The good news for Chelsea fans is that the key executives at the club have faith in Mauricio Pochettino.
The man who has a bowl of lemons in his office to suck up negative energy might seem like an odd fit for the club who aim to be data driven, with science and supposedly rational recruitment propelling them to 100 points a season, which is apparently what new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali envisage, albeit they managed 44 last term.
It appears there is still room for a Pochettino-style Latin bear hug at the club that has been in search of a new identity ever since Roman Abramovich was sanctioned in March 2022. ‘Mauricio is more into feel,’ said one club source. ‘The lemons and all that. But you can’t do everything off a spreadsheet. The human element is important.’
And right now Pochettino is the best hope Chelsea have. ‘He’s made a deep impression on the players’ psychology,’ said the source. ‘It feels like we’re all part of one organisation.’
Which will be a relief to fans if true, because it does not look like that at the moment. The only victories Chelsea accrue are ones on paper. They are seventh in the xG table, that is the expected goals a team would have normally scored given the amount of chances they have created and, analysts insist, a fairer representation of how a team is playing.
Seventh is not amazing but it is better than 15th in the actual league table. The derby with Fulham is a reminder that Chelsea are now second best in their London Borough and third best in west London, which seems a steep decline since being crowned the best team in the world in February 2022.
The most positive turnaround the new owners have performed is to recalibrate the club finances in a more sustainable manner. HeadlinesRead on m.allfootballapp.com