“Chelsea job not as hard as Southampton or Tottenham“ – Pochettino

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The Blues boss is still searching for results despite significant transfer spending.

Mauricio Pochettino believes he is under no greater pressure from the owners at Chelsea than in either of his two previous Premier League appointments.

The Argentinian enjoyed successful spells with Southampton and Tottenham, guiding the latter to the Champions League final in 2019, but has seen his new side struggle for goals and wins since he was appointed in the summer despite a huge transfer outlay.

He famously enjoyed a close relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy prior to being sacked five months after taking the club to within a game of being crowned European champions.

At Southampton there was a similarly jovial working arrangement with executive chairman Nicola Cortese, who appointed Pochettino in order to try and stabilise Saints in the top flight, a task he achieved comfortably during his 18 months in charge.

Yet Chelsea has brought a different level of expectation with over £1billion spent on recruitment by co-owner Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital consortium, an investment that is yet to yield results with the club mired in the bottom half of the table.

Pochettino said that far from making the task harder, the work that had gone on prior to his appointment at Stamford Bridge has made his job less complicated.

“It’s less hard than when we were in Southampton and Tottenham, trust me,” he said. “Believe me.

“The only thing we are missing is scoring goals, because the team is playing, if you see our first few months in Southampton and Tottenham, I think we (Chelsea) are playing much better.

“We are doing much better here, but we are missing the most important (thing) in football – to score. But it’s not harder than the previous experience.

“It was different (at Tottenham). The transformation was with us, in the way that we found the squad, with the club, we were working in six months, one year to change and design.

“Here, the plan was already made, and we arrived here and we tried to develop this project. When I arrived here, the plan had started to work. Now I am part of the plan. Of course I am responsible here also like in Tottenham, but I think it was a little bit different.”

Pochettino’s work at Southampton laid the foundation for his reputation in the Premier League, guiding the team to a 14th-place finish after replacing Nigel Adkins midway through their first season back in the top flight.

The decision of Cortese to dispense with Adkins, who had led the club up from League One, and replace him with a coach who was virtually unknown in England was controversial at the time.

However, the pair quickly built a relationship that underscored the manager’s first success in England.

“With Nicola we were really close,” said Pochettino. “He liked to invite me for coffee before a game in his office at St Mary’s.

“One day we were sitting on the sofa in his office and talking and talking, and my phone was like this (face down). We were talking about I don’t know what. Then somebody knocked the door and said, ‘we need to start the game in five minutes’.

“Nicola was like that. Daniel (Levy) sometimes arrived before the game to talk in the manager’s office. At the moment it’s not the case because in these five games at home, (the owners) came after.

“(Co-sporting directors) Paul (Winstanley)  and Lawrence (Stewart) always come to say hello before. It’s a similar relationship (to Southampton and Tottenham). No more pressure now than in other places.”

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