Two Premier League managers ‘shocked’ as Mauricio Pochettino leaves Chelsea

Two Premier League managers ‘shocked’ as Mauricio Pochettino leaves Chelsea

Gary O’Neil and Rob Edwards have both expressed their ‘shock’ at Mauricio Pochettino’s departure from Chelsea.

The Blues confirmed on Tuesday evening that Pochettino had mutually agreed to leave after just one season at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had been languishing in mid-table for much of the season but an impressive upturn towards the end of the campaign saw the west Londoners finish sixth and qualify for Europe.

There were real signs of improvement at the backend of the season but Chelsea and Pochettino agreed to go separate ways after crunch talks at an end-of-season review.

‘I’m really, really surprised,’ said O’Neil, who led Wolves to two victories over Chelsea this season. ‘I thought they looked like a good side, especially the way they finished the season.

‘You talk about tough jobs and I think about what I walked into at Wolves, but he walked into an incredibly tough changing room with so many new players.

‘To keep them all happy and united was obviously going to take time. It seemed like they started to gain some momentum. Good manager, really good club, special club, one of the biggest in London.

‘I’m sure they will find a good replacement and I expect Chelsea to be very strong next year and I expect Mauricio to find another good job and show what a great manager he is.’

Luton Town boss Edwards added to Sky Sports: ‘I am shocked. They obviously finished the season really strongly and Mauricio’s an amazing manager.

‘I suppose nothing can surprise you in football, especially at this level, but I was shocked when I heard the news.’

Pochettino’s departure from Stamford Bridge at least appears amicable, with the Argentine thanking the owners for giving him the opportunity and insisting Chelsea are ‘well positioned’ to progress next season.

Stamford Bridge sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, meanwhile, said: ‘On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season.

‘He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.’

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