‘Nine years ago it was Tottenham, now it’s Chelsea’ Pochettino says the deck is stacked, now what’s needed is stability and growth
Mauricio Pochettino oversaw a golden era at Tottenham Hotspur, but can he replicate it at Chelsea?
Let’s go back in time to the summer of 2013. Tottenham sold their biggest star, Gareth Bale, to Real Madrid for €110 million ($147 billion). With the money from Bale’s sale, Spurs brought in seven new players: Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Vlad Kirikesh, Nacer Chadli, and Etienne Capoue.
The results were less than satisfactory. Expecting to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Spurs finished sixth in the league and barely qualified for the UEFA Europa League. Head coach Andre Villas-Boas was sacked midseason, and the team barely made it through the season under Tim Sherwood. Of the seven signings, Eriksen was the only successful one.
Tottenham hired Pochettino from Southampton in the summer of 2014. After Pochettino’s appointment, the Spurs made a number of bold moves to get rid of non-performers, including Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Andros Townsend. Younger players have taken the place of these surplus resources.
The results have been spectacular. Under Pochettino, Tottenham has evolved into a Champions League contender every season. The likes of Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen anchored the side, while youngsters like Eriksen, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, and Dele Alli blossomed. Tottenham finished EPL runners-up in 2016/17 and reached the UEFA Champions League final for the first time in club history in 2018/19.
Pochettino’s time at Tottenham came to an end in November 2019 when he was sacked for poor performance. About four years later, Pochettino took over at Paris Saint-Germain and then Chelsea. After a disappointing stint at PSG, Pochettino returned to England, where he had experienced success.
Chelsea invested aggressively ahead of the 2022/23 season, Todd Boly’s first since taking over the club, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana, and Mark Cucurella arriving in the summer transfer window. Enzo Fernandes, Mikhail Mourinho, and Benoit Badiashil joined the club in the summer. Chelsea has spent a total of €611.9 million in two transfer windows. 메이저놀이터
Despite the spending spree, the results were disastrous. Chelsea finished 12th in the league and missed out on European competition for the upcoming season. They didn’t win a single trophy in the Champions League, FA Cup, or League Cup. The club has gone through three different managers, including Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and Frank Lampard.
When Pochettino took over, Chelsea overhauled their squad. They parted ways with first-teamers like Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, and Mateo Kovacic, as well as unnecessary players like Christian Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They brought in Nicholas Jackson, Leslie Ugochukwu, Axel Disassi, and Christopher Nkunkwo. Most of these players are young, not even over the age of 25.
There are similarities between Tottenham in 2014 and Chelsea in 2023. Both teams spent big in the transfer market, but the results were unsatisfactory. Tottenham brought in seven players