Frank Lampard reveals first task as Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea appointment announcement faces delay
The Blues are still waiting for Mauricio Pochettino to be named manager, but have been assured that the wait will be worthwhile.
Gary Neville believes Chelsea will make a speedy recovery under Mauricio Pochettino and has made a bold prediction for next season. The former Tottenham Hotspur manager has agreed to join the club at the end of the season.
The club’s silence has troubled some, as the team’s performance on the field has continued to fall short. Frank Lampard now has just one more game in charge, a home game against Newcastle on Sunday, his second managerial farewell.
The next time Chelsea plays in league action after that will be Pochettino’s first as the club’s new manager, and Neville believes it’s a match made in heaven with high expectations.
“He did it at Tottenham where he refined the squad back from where it was and weeded out the players that he didn’t want very quickly and was clinical around that and then worked around a very talented group of players that he developed into a real fantastic team,” Neville said ahead of the match at Old Trafford with Manchester United.
“I think Chelsea have got a similar situation and obviously they’ve got more players than Tottenham had there but I think he’ll look at this group of players and think that with one or two additions, a centre-back, a midfield player, obviously needs a striker. Maybe one of those other two positions and a striker in the first transfer window.
“I think he thinks he can turn these into a top three challenging team, I don’t think that’s unrealistic but they definitely need moulding quickly. He’ll want to refine the changing room and get the players in the dressing room that he wants.”
The Blues obviously have a lot to do in the meantime, with around 15 first-team players likely leaving in the summer. It will be a major reorganization for the new ownership group that has amassed the squad.
“The squad size is something the club will address, and the new manager will understand that,” Lampard said ahead of the game. “The manager will arrive with his tactical approach and style. A number of fundamentals and standards have noticeably slipped.”
Pochettino is known for being demanding of his players in this regard, and Neville can see the club structure being adjusted to aid the existing manager. “I’m not surprised that Todd Boehly has taken a step back in the last 24 hours, that’s just PR, that happens all the time, Ed Woodward said that for a few years here,” he continued.
“I think the reason it has four, five, six weeks, the Pochettino discussions, is he’ll be making sure – the money with Mauricio won’t be an issue – he’s got the right team around him in the first team squad, the medical squad, sports scientists.
“Also that there’s not going to be that interference from above. There’s been stories this season where Chelsea’s owners, sporting directors, have interfered and been in the dressing room, commenting in a which in which they shouldn’t do.
“That’s what he’ll be making sure is happening and he won’t come in – he’s got too much experience now – unless the conditions are right and I suspect he’s got authority on that now.”
It’s going to be a major change for Chelsea, but it could finally settle the club down after a year of upheaval.