The huge task ahead of Chelsea’s new boss, Mauricio Pochettino is by no means easy. With 14 Premier League defeats, a -5 goal difference, three different managers, level on points with Crystal Palace and only became mathematically safe from Premier League relegation at the start of May.
It’s fair to say the 2022/23 season has been a horrid one for Chelsea Football Club.
However, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel of terrible football for Chelsea fans: the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as the new manager.
As the Chelsea boss settles for the task ahead of next season, her are seven urgent issues he needs to fix at Stamford Bridge.
1. Mason Mount contract situation: Mount needs to stay. There are plenty of Chelsea players that we’d expect to benefit from having Poch as their manager, but none would likely benefit more than Mount.
The England international is the archetypal all-action creative midfielder that Pochettino loves, so ensuring that he puts pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge needs to be one of the first things Poch does at the club.
2. Develop young centre-backs: There’s very few positives to take from the 2022/23 season for Chelsea, however Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile looking legit is one of the them.
Pochettino has to cultivate their talents and give them consistent first-team football in order to make Chelsea less-reliant on a 38-year-old Thiago Silva and a bad Kalidou Koulibaly.
Levi Colwill is also expected to return following a fine loan at Brighton.
3. Improve Reece James’ form: It’s been a disappointing season for Reece James.
The wing-back has spent a lot of time on the sidelines with injuries, and the rest on the pitch underperforming.
Next season, Poch will be hellbent on getting more out of the England star and, judging by his record improving full-backs throughout his career (Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, etc.), we’re backing him to do just that.
4. Sign a striker: It’s rather astonishing that Chelsea have managed to spend roughly a gazillion pounds on new players and still don’t have a striker.
So this summer, guess what Pochettino has to do? That’s right, sign a striker. A world class one, preferably.
5. Build the midfield around Enzo Fernandez: For a British record signing, Enzo Fernandez hasn’t been the real game-changer Chelsea were hoping for him to be early in his Premier League career.
That’s not his fault, though. That’s the fault of the two managers who he’s been tasked with listening to since joining the club.
Fellow Argentine Poch should build the midfield around Enzo moving forward, providing him with a defensive midfielder to do the dirty work behind him and a willing runner in front to find with his wonderful passing range.
6. Trim the squad: 37 first-team players is too many first-team players. Pochettino needs to be ruthless and get rid of at least 10 members of the first-team squad ASAP.
7. Make watching Chelsea fun again: Chelsea games this season have had the same entertainment value as pulling your own toenails off with a pair of pliers.
In other words, it’s not been a fun experience. Absolute baseline for Pochettino is to make the match-going experience actually enjoyable for Chelsea fans once again. Even if they don’t challenge for the Premier League title, Chelsea simply being fun will be a massive step in the right direction.