Gianfranco Zola Gives His Verdict On Whether Mauricio Pochettino Should Stay As Chelsea Manager

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says he still believes Mauricio Pochettino is the right manager to take the club forward.

The former Blues forward claims he backed the Argentinian for the job in the first place as he felt he was best suited to manage a young squad. While there have been issues in Pochettino’s first season in charge, Zola thinks the club should stick by him:

“When they appointed him, I thought he was the best manager for the task because we had a project, we had to bring in young talent and develop them. I believe to do that job Pochettino is the best one.”

“I didn’t expect all these difficulties. Whatever the main problem, I don’t know, because I am not every day with them. I still believe he’s a strong coach.”

European qualification may decide Pochettino’s future at the club

It has been widely reported that Chelsea’s board have set a target to qualify for Europe this season. With the Blues sitting 11th in the table, that may seem unrealistic at the moment.

However, with the Premier League expected to get five Champions League places, it means 8th position could be enough for a Europa Conference League spot. Pochettino‘s team are currently three points off 8th-place Brighton with a game in hand.

Chelsea do have a pretty tough run-in

There is no guarantee that the London club will finish the season strongly. They have away trips to Arsenal, Brighton and Aston Villa coming up, while they also host Manchester United and West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

Finishing in the European places could still be a tall order, especially if the club’s injury situation doesn’t improve. Eleven members of the first-team squad are currently sidelined, with two having already been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.