Manchester United legend Gary Neville has weighed in on Mauricio Pochettino’s future as Chelsea manager in a message to Todd Boehly. Pochettino is in his first season as Chelsea boss since taking over after interim manager Frank Lampard following the conclusion of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
Chelsea have endured a difficult start to the season, winning just one of the team’s first six games in the 2023/24 Premier League campaign. The West London club’s one and only victory came in a 3-0 win over Luton Town on August 25.
There have been defeats to Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Aston Villa so far this season. The other two games have resulted in draws with Bournemouth and Liverpool.
Neville has previously been vocal about Boehly’s ownership of Chelsea, which has seen more than a billion dollars spent on transfer fees over the course of three transfer windows. And now the former Man United right-back has explained why Boehly would be wrong to fire Pochettino after just a few months on the job.
“They’ll have to give him time,” Neville said on the Stick to Football Overlap podcast. “Pochettino has to have time.”
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Neville was joined by his former Man United teammate Roy Keane, who questioned at what point a manager’s job at a club comes under threat.
“I’d love to go into a club and say can I have a 10-year project,” said Keane. “What did we say about Chelsea’s project, if he keeps losing football matches he will be under pressure.”
Neville then responded by saying: “They won’t sack him this year.” Keane concluded the conversation by adding: “Maybe not this year but there’ll be pressure building.”
Keane was also asked for his own perspective on playing for a club with uncertainty around ownership. “It doesn’t help, it certainly doesn’t help,” said Keane.
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“Without making excuses it can have an effect on the dressing and the energy at the club, the leadership. But you always want the players when the whistle goes.
“The only thing I would say is that when you bring in that many players together, I’ve never experienced it, it’s strange that I’m actually talking about it, I cannot imagine when we were at the club three or four new players would come in and it takes them time to adapt.
“The players from a football point of view, off the field their families, and their schools. How many have they [Chelsea] bought over the last what [year]? I can only imagine going to the training ground, I feel sorry for the kitman, it must be chaos.”
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