• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Pochettino on brink of Chelsea exit after Sheffield draw

Pochettino (1)

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino expressed frustration after his team’s 2-2 draw against Sheffield United, a result that intensified speculation about his future at the club. The Premier League’s bottom side managed to secure a late equalizer through Oliver McBurnie in the 93rd minute, leaving Chelsea once again facing criticism from their supporters.

The result moved Chelsea to ninth place in the Premier League table despite over £1billion having been spent by Todd Boehly and co on new players since their arrival. Although the club has reiterated their understanding that a long-term project is underway, they will be dismayed at the progress under Pochettino this season.

The Blues are 16 points off fourth-placed Tottenham and 27 behind league leaders Arsenal, having slipped up once again as they faced a team battling relegation.

Chelsea were similarly unable to put away 10-men Burnley at Stamford Bridge just over a week ago, with Pochettino facing calls from supporters to lose his job. A meeting will reportedly be held at the end of the campaign to discuss his future, but gifting points to the team at the bottom of the division will unlikely be seen as a sign of improvement by the club’s hierarchy.

Speaking after his side’s dismal result at Bramall Lane, Pochettino said: “Very frustrating because we conceded in the first half after we scored. Then you concede in the last few minutes, you always feel very disappointed and frustrated. I want to say the draw is a fair result. Even if we control and have possession, we did not create enough. We didn’t show the capacity to be solid. That is the painful situation.”

Veteran defender Thiago Silva gave the visitors the lead after returning to the Chelsea team, before Jayden Bogle in the first half. Cole Palmer then set up Noni Madueke before their talisman was substituted off, though Pochettino confirmed not through injury, but in the last few moments, McBurnie equalised to send the home fans into raptures.

Pochettino slammed his side’s inability to keep clean sheets and suggested that they were not suited to the physical affair that comes with playing against opposition towards the bottom of the table.

“The team is not showing in the last few months the capacity to be solid,” he added. “We score goals but we concede and that is why they punish us.

“For different reasons, we struggle to compete in these types of games. We scored, we were better, we were under control but in a situation like this, we concede from nowhere. That is about being more competitive. Yes, it’s about the combination. It’s to identify the profile. We are learning how the players need to learn from the coaching staff.”