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Betting odds favor Mauricio Pochettino for Chelsea sack amid pressure at Stamford Bridge.

The pressure to perform as the manager of Chelsea Football Club has always been immense. Over the years, many managers have come and gone, with the metal plaque on the manager’s door being changed frequently. When new ownership took over the club, many hoped that this would put an end to the constant changes, but this was not to be the case. Despite winning the UEFA Champions League by defeating Manchester City, Thomas Tuchel was fired, allegedly for standing up to the owners and making some mismanagement decisions. He was soon replaced by Graham Potter.

Throughout the contemporary period, Chelsea has had a consistent strategy for resolving crises – replacing underperforming managers. And history has shown that this approach has often been successful. For example, when Guus Hiddink took over from Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009, he led the team to third place in the Premier League and an FA Cup victory. Roberto Di Matteo went even further by not only winning the FA Cup but also the Champions League after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in 2012. Most recently, Thomas Tuchel added a second European Cup to the club’s trophy cabinet in 2021, following the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

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When a new coach arrived who they did not really like or rate, the players were frequently accused of downing tools because they had grown accustomed to this code of conduct. The Chelsea locker room has frequently been referred to as having player power. Former midfielder Mikel John Obi, who served from 2006 to 2018, acknowledged that it was there. As a result of witnessing Chelsea receive awards for doing this, fans have also become aware of it.

Nevertheless, all of this happened when Roman Abramovich owned the business. Now in command, the Todd Boehly-Clearlake consortium is attempting to operate differently. Of course, Tuchel was fired by the leadership in September after they had only worked together for a short while. But, that was more a result of a dysfunctional working relationship than it was of due to losses against Southampton, Leeds, or Dinamo Zagreb.

Graham Potter was brought from Brighton on a six year deal, despite the fuming around Tuchel sack majority of Chelsea faithful saw the huge contract as a culture of stability. Potter at Chelsea was experiencing a great deal of stress with all the on-field Chelsea struggles, his position as head coach was in jeopardy, and that is when Todd Boehly’s mettle was tested. He got rid of Potter, one that was fueld by majority of supporters dwelling on the results and monotonous play by the club.

SAME STORY CONTINUES AT THE BRIDGE?

Mauricio Pochettino was already in a tense situation at the Stamford Bridge coming into the weekend on wake of succession of poor performances, and then the thrashing in hands of Gary O’Neil‘s Wolves [FT Score: 4-2 defeat] meant the Argentine was booed off at half-time as well as full-time. Following what was a thrashing at Anfield by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Wednesday [FT Score: 4-1 defeat], Chelsea suffered another setback by Wolves, slipping once again into the bottom half of the table.

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This is not the first time Pochettino finds himself in a walking-on-a-thread situation as the club reaffirmed their support for him in early December following losses to Everton and Manchester United, asserting that his position was not immediately in jeopardy. And following that statement Chelsea have had quite some settled run with a run of seven in ten games before the deflation of performances this week.

The Blues from London find themselves in sort of a precarious position with Pochettino, who still has 18 months left on his current contract at the Bridge with an option of additional year but it is tricky with this growing sentiment among some that he should be relieved of his duties. Following the loss against Wolves, Poch came out with an apology for the fans in his post press:

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“What we can say, apologise to the fans,” he said after the game. “The perception is one thing and the reality is another. The perception is that Chelsea should be in a different position but the circumstance, we are not there. One maybe we are not good enough.

“It’s the most important [thing] now to feel the responsibility and of course the organisation and the players that we have. To understand the fans is really important. We want to apologise. We are disappointed like them but until the end, you need to fight together and of course we want to take good results in the future.

“During the 90 minutes, you need to try and work together and in the end, they have the capacity and they will be right to criticise or be angry if the performance is not good. The players are young, they need support. I want to thank you [the fans] because until the end, they were supporting.”

And the pressure is starting to reflect in odds, behind the under-fire Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace, he stands second favourite to be relieved of his managerial duties in the Premier League. While Roy is 1/1, Poch stands 4/1 on the punter odds.

Meanwhile, the odds also quite variably suggest Jose Mourinho could return to Chelsea for his third stint if Mauricio Pochettino were to be sacked.

Chelsea has a fourth-round FA Cup replay against Unai Emery‘s Aston Villa tomorrow, followed by facing Crystal Palace. While Villa will be a tricky tie, a loss at Palace would definitely lose it for the fans.

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