There is no questioning Mauricio Pochettino and his managerial credentials at the highest level. That is not what is up for debate here.  

At Espanyol and Southampton his high-pressing mandate, using a preferred 4-2-3-1 system, took both sides from lowly positions to the higher echelons of their respective leagues. 

At Tottenham he created a high-achieving team with a clear identity that went all the way to a Champions League final.

Nearly four years after departing North London, Spurs supporters still yearn for the tactical shrewdness he implemented and the sense of togetherness he fostered. They still miss Poch-ball.

The Argentine’s subsequent stint at PSG may have been hit and miss but greater men have struggled in Paris and lesser men have succeeded. It’s that kind of club. 

The likeable 51-year-old therefore can hold his head high when he is officially announced as the new Chelsea boss on July 1st after taking a year-long sabbatical. He is a catch, for any club, unquestionably so. 

Where doubts emerge however is when we move past that initial line of enquiry and wonder if Pochettino and the Blues are compatible with one another. That’s where things get potentially complicated. That’s where the uncertainties lie.

Which, to be clear, is not a poor reflection on the coach, nor perhaps on the club either, because, as we’ve seen from Pochettino’s predecessor Graham Potter, sometimes a manager proves to be an ill-fit - especially when you have some of the loudest fans in the Premier League on your case.

And even if blame can attributed to various quarters when this occurs, ultimately that is what it comes down to.

One detail that leads us to believe this may possibly happen again at Stamford Bridge lies in Pochettino’s approach in instilling his methods, then from that point forward trusting his players to find solutions when problems arise.

That’s a definite warning flag given the player power that notoriously holds sway in West London despite the fact that Chelsea's boss, no matter who it is, is usually one of the highest paid football managers in the sport. 

On the occasions this has previously come to the fore at Chelsea – most recently when the players quickly lost faith in Potter – it has typically led to terrible returns on the pitch. In short, this is not a side that can successfully self-govern. 

This leads us in a roundabout fashion to work-rate, or rather the lack of it that has been in evidence at the Bridge in recent times.

Last season only Crystal Palace put in fewer miles and this sharply contrasts with Pochettino’s methods, that demand high-intensity in all moments.

Lastly, by his own admission, the Argentine tends to struggle with superstar egos, something that was most prevalent at PSG. As has already been alluded to, the Chelsea dressing room is not exactly short of self-regard.

Mauricio Pochettino and Neymar discuss

Yet, if these three aspects are a concern, there are potential positives too.

A huge overhaul of personnel across the summer represents a genuine fresh start for the club, with big names leaving, and exciting new signings on their way

One such player in the latter camp is Christopher Nkunku, a striker who has fired 36 in his last two campaigns in the Bundesliga, and it bodes extremely well that Pochettino has a proven track record in getting the very best out of hungry centre-forwards.

Kane and Son at Tottenham are two highly pertinent cases, as too is Jay Rodriguez enjoying a stellar campaign under Poch, arguably one of the best Premier League managers, at Southampton. 

There is also the more abstract consideration of Chelsea starting from such a low base of expectation.

Having endured such a horrendous season last time out, that had their Premier League odds pricing them more likely to drop than secure a top four spot, it is highly conceivable that mere improvement will be deemed sufficient in the short-term.

Subsequently, Pochettino will be given time to build his new project in necessary increments. 

Whether Chelsea’s new gaffer is featuring prominently in the next Premier League manager to leave market come September or proves himself a success at the Bridge only time will tell.

At this juncture, all we know for sure is that Mauricio Pochettino is an excellent coach and he is inheriting a squad packed with talent. 

Should these two truths synch up, the future is bright for the Blues. If not, don’t rule out recent history repeating.


Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.