Three potential Mauricio Pochettino replacements for Chelsea

The Hard Tackle lists three candidates for Chelsea to consider as they look to replace the now-departed Mauricio Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino is no longer the Chelsea manager. The decision came out of nowhere, leaving neutrals and rival fans shocked and the West London club’s supporters dismayed. However, Pochettino’s uneasiness in the position was visible, with the power of hindsight helping us realise that.

Despite being at the receiving end of jarring criticism from Chelsea fans, he ended up winning many over as the months passed by, with the players also becoming loyal supporters of his methods. However, Pochettino is no longer at the helm at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea making the official statement earlier this week.

A lot of time has elapsed since the Argentine tactician, with Chelsea no closer to announcing his successor, thus illustrating the suddenness of Pochettino’s departure. Nevertheless, the West London club must appoint a new manager, with The Hard Tackle producing a list of three candidates to fill the void left by Pochettino’s exit.

Kieran McKenna

Our first pick might surprise many, considering his inexperience in the managerial world. However, with Chelsea eager to appoint a manager who can be in charge of the project, Kieran McKenna might be the ideal candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

The 38-year-old has only been a manager on the first-team level for less than three years, having previously spent periods as the assistant to a few managers at Manchester United. However, the Northern Irishman has taken to management like a fish to water, guiding Ipswich Town to two successive promotions, bringing the club back to the Premier League after over two decades.

While the highly-rated tactician is rightly receiving plaudits for his work, his style of play has attracted many admirers. A proponent of the possession-based style of play, McKenna focuses on building up play with short and precise passing, although his men do not shy away from playing the ball long to switch flanks either.

In addition, the Tractor Boys have a penchant for high pressing, making McKenna’s style eye-catching. So, it is hardly surprising that several well-known clubs, including Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion, are keen on securing his services. So, it behoves Chelsea to step up and beat the competition to his signature.

Roberto De Zerbi

We continue our list with another young manager who has seen his stock soar in the last few years. We are talking about Roberto De Zerbi, who, like Mauricio Pochettino, has become a free agent after leaving Brighton & Hove Albion this week.

The 44-year-old Italian tactician has risen in prominence since arriving in England, specialising in getting Brighton & Hove Albion to play as more than the sum of their parts. However, that is not all, with the Seagulls also employing an eye-catching brand of football by focusing on a possession-based approach.

However, the gung-ho attacking style sometimes hampers his team’s defensive output. But De Zerbi will get a better crop of defenders at Chelsea, meaning the end product should improve. However, the Italian tactician dreams of managing AC Milan and Barcelona, thus potentially putting a spanner in the works for Chelsea if either job is up for grabs.

Thomas Tuchel

Our final pick might also surprise our readers, considering he has already been a manager for Chelsea during the Todd Boehly-led era. However, recent reports have claimed that Thomas Tuchel remains on the West London club’s radar, with the managerial market not throwing many names.

Incredibly, the 50-year-old is open to returning to Chelsea despite Todd Boehly and the club’s board’s actions in his previous spell at Stamford Bridge. However, that stance is not too surprising, as Tuchel might feel he has unfinished business at the West London club.

Tuchel’s style of play might vastly differ from the ones employed by Kieran McKenna and Roberto De Zerbi. However, his pragmatic approach only becomes prominent when he does not have enough resources to employ a more eye-catching brand of football.

After all, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have had spells where Tuchel’s charges have been imperious in the final third, focusing on methodical build-up plays. So, if the German tactician receives a world-class striker, he should be in business to outperform his previous spell.

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