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Mauricio Pochettino: 4 things the new manager needs to change at Chelsea

Todd Boehly and the Chelsea board have hired Mauricio Pochettino as the new Chelsea manager, with the former Tottenham boss confirmed

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Todd Boehly and the Chelsea board have hired Mauricio Pochettino as the new Chelsea manager, with the former Tottenham boss confirmed to be taking over on July 1.

His arrival was announced the day after Chelsea's final match of the season, with a draw against Newcastle rounding off a poor campaign for the Blues. Frank Lampard had been in charge since the start of April, winning just one of his 11 matches in charge as part of a disappointing interim spell back at the club.

He is believed to have been in touch with Pochettino, with Chelsea needing an overhaul this summer as a return to the Champions League appears a distant prospect at present. Co-owner Todd Boehly has spent £600 million this season since arriving as the club's new majority shareholder and there will need to be some important decisions made with a bloated squad currently on the books.

As many as nine players are expected to leave, with the financial realities of their failure to qualify for Champions League football are laid bare. In terms of arrivals, there is also the burden of FFP regulations to manage following an unprecedented spending spree during the 2022/23 season.

Now let us see what Mauricio Pochettino needs to change at Chelsea:

1. Improve fitness levels

Chelsea's fitness levels were criticised by Lampard upon his arrival in April, with a poor run of results in the closing months of the season coming as a result. This may have been as a result of a disjointed pre season and a relentless run of games in a season which included the World Cup.

Hiring Pochettino now gives the Argentine the chance to plan a full pre season, with his chance to have assessed the club's situation during the intervening period between his arrival being first reported over two weeks ago and its announcement this week.

Mauricio Pochettino is known to be a demanding coach, with his difficulties at PSG being partly blamed on the squad's superstars not buying into his methods. However, he will return with players such as Raheem Sterling and Thiago Silva hoped to be relied upon to set standards for the new head coach as he looks to build a strong, pressing team such as the one he moulded at Tottenham.

2. Mauricio Pochettino needs to find a regular system

Chelsea have played a range of systems this season, with regular switches between a back three and back four underlining a chaotic campaign for the club. Graham Potter was known in particular for switching up his teams, making selections based on each opponent rather than his team's own strengths.

Mauricio Pochettino was known for playing a 4-2-3-1 at Spurs during his early years, also deploying 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 with the team lining up differently whether they were attacking or defending.

He will now need to make a decision on which players he can work with moving forward, with plenty of tactical choices available to him given the wide variety in his squad.

3. Get the best out of Mykhaylo Mudryk

Mykhaylo Mudryk is likely to face a fight for his place next season | Mauricio Pochettino | Sportz Point

Mykhaylo Mudryk is likely to face a fight for his place next season ( Image- Getty Images)

One player who will need to prove he has a future is Mudryk, with the Ukrainian's big-money move so far having failed to live up to expectations. He has not yet scored a goal, with only flashes of his Shakhtar Donetsk form on display since his January arrival at the club.

The £62million transfer has up to £25million in add-ons included and the winger will have to be given time to prove himself, with an eight-and-a-half year contract to fulfil. He has time on his side, but with Pochettino expected to favour Sterling's experience on the left-wing he may have to fight for his place.

The 22-year-old remains raw, but if Poch can push the Ukrainian in the same way he elevated Heung Min Son to becoming an elite player then he could be richly rewarded.

4. Resolve Romelu Lukaku's future is key for Mauricio Pochettino

Lukaku will return from Inter this summer, with the 30-year-old having an unclear future at Stamford Bridge given the acrimonious nature of his time with the club last season. A rift was believed to exist between the Belgian and former manager Tuchel, but the German's exit could pave the way for Lukaku to return.

Tuchel struggled to fit the Belgian into his system, but could be offered a reprieve by Mauricio Pochettino amid the club's goalscoring issues this season. The lack of a striker has been stark, with just 38 goals scored in the league this season.

Following his departure, Lukaku had done little to prove the doubters wrong during his struggles to find form and fitness in the months surrounding the World Cup. However, a hat-trick for Belgium against Sweden in March has triggered a return to form and he has since scored nine goals for Inter, looking fitter than previously to help Simone Inzaghi's side to win the Coppa Italia and reach the Champions League final.

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