5 managers who could replace under-fire Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

Well, maybe Mauricio Pochettino embarked on a sabotage mission after all.

The former Tottenham boss was described as a “winning” coach by Chelsea following his appointment, although victories have been far from ubiquitous in a troubled debut campaign which has only offered fleeting examples of long-term promise.

Defeats at Liverpool and at home to Wolves have seen the Blues sink into the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Poch’s tenure has so far followed a similar trajectory to Graham Potter’s troubled reign and the Argentine – the winner of no major honours as a manager outside of Paris – risks exiting the club before his side take on Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the Carabao Cup final.

Chelsea remain desperate for Pochettino to oversee a successful long-term project, but cries for his departure are gradually increasing in prominence among a disillusioned fanbase. Here’s how 90min ranks five potential candidates for Poch’s job should he depart Stamford Bridge.

  • 5. Xabi Alonso
Alonso is unlikely to ditch his project for the chaos of west London


The Spaniard may well be the hottest property in management right now and Chelsea supporters would undoubtedly welcome Alonso with open arms.

Alonso’s tactical competence and squad-building capabilities have been proven at Bayer Leverkusen, who are aiming to finally dethrone Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this term, and he’s bound to receive plenty of attention in the summer no matter how the campaign concludes for his side.

Chelsea may well have a sniff around, but Alonso will surely reject an advance from the Blues in favour of an alternative role. Stamford Bridge is proving to be a poisoned chalice for managers of Alonso’s ilk, with the Spaniard likely to favour a move to one of his former clubs, Liverpool or Real Madrid, should they come calling at the end of 2023/24.

  • 4. Hansi Flick
Flick has been out of work since leaving his post as Germany national team boss

Flick has drifted into the wilderness since losing his job as manager of the Germany national team.

Joachim Low’s former assistant entered the post with a lofty reputation given what he achieved at Bayern Munich, inspiring them to the treble in 2019/20, but he departed the role with his stock at an all-time low. BILD even labelled him the worst national team coach of all time.

His Bayern side was undoubtedly superb, but Flick is yet to prove his abilities elsewhere and there was a sense that the German shifted away from the ideals which made him an undeniable success in Munich with Die Mannschaft.

Many will question whether Flick is the right man to take on such a difficult role given the imbalance of Chelsea’s squad, but he has been spotted at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks. Are his incognito visits a potential sign?

  • 3. Ruben Amorim
Amorim has garnered an immense reputation for his work at Sporting CP

Chelsea seriously considered Amorim for the job before appointing Pochettino and could revisit this option should Poch get the boot.

Amorim is said to have turned down the Blues last year, admitting he’ll only leave Sporting CP if he has to. There was perhaps a sense of unfinished business for the Sporting boss last season as his side endured a rather disappointing domestic campaign, but they’ve responded impressively this term and are set to duel Benfica for the Primeira Liga crown.

Should Amorim claim his second league title with Sporting, he might be more open to departing the club in the summer – exiting on a high and all that.

The 39-year-old has excellently dealt with key players departing almost every transfer window, while also boasting a pragmatic edge Chelsea supporters would doubtlessly appreciate.

  • 2. Thomas Tuchel
Feeling unappreciated in his homeland?

You get the sense that Tuchel’s relationship with Bayern could blow up in an instant. This doesn’t have the makings of a long-term happy marriage.

Tuchel exited Chelsea prematurely after guiding the club to their second Champions League triumph in 2021. He did an excellent job, establishing a rapport with the fanbase the likes of Potter and Pochettino haven’t come close to matching.

Ambiguous ‘off-field reasons’ are said to have played a role in Tuchel’s Chelsea demise and there’s no doubt the German would have to relay some foundations with American owner Todd Boehly if he were to return to Stamford Bridge. The pair didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye.

Tuchel has unfinished business in west London and will surely entertain a return if his spell in Bavaria turns sour.

  • 1. Jose Mourinho
Round 3? 

The ultimate reunion

There’s a sense Chelsea have lost their identity and completely shifted away from the ideals that rendered them so special during Roman Abramovich’s reign.

No boss has had a greater impact in west London than Jose Mourinho, who evolved the Blues into a juggernaut. He no longer boasts the glint in his eye of 20 years ago, with questions continuing to arise regarding his modern suitability after he was sacked as Roma boss in January.

Mourinho fell in the estimations of Chelsea supporters after taking the Tottenham job in 2020, but things have become so desperate that many would entertain a third round with the 61-year-old.

The Portuguese pragmatist certainly won’t be bothered by the state of the club and may well enjoy some short-term success. Mourinho would certainly reinvigorate a tepid and growingly apathetic Stamford Bridge.

And hey, there are domestic cups to be won…

What we know

  • Mauricio Pochettino is already under intense pressure in west London
  • Chelsea remain keen for former Tottenham boss to lead long-term project
  • Could Blues reunite with Jose Mourinho or Thomas Tuchel?.

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