Best Chelsea managers - how does Mauricio Pochettino compare?

  • Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino parted ways after 2023/24 season
  • The Blues had just found form prior to the former Spurs manager's exit
  • How does the Argentine compare to other recent Chelsea bosses?
Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea after just one season
Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea after just one season / Copa/GettyImages

Just as Chelsea looked to have found their feet, figured out their best team and some of their expensive signings began to gel, they pressed the self-destruct button.

Todd Boehly pulled off another masterstroke only two days after the final game of the Premier League season, dismissing manager Mauricio Pochettino after just a single campaign. While the Argentine technically left by mutual consent, there's no doubting Chelsea were happy to let him depart.

While Chelsea's season was far from convincing, largely down to the acquisition of a gazillion unpolished talents during last summer's transfer window, they managed to qualify for European football after an impressive late surge, while also reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup and final of the Carabao Cup.

The Blues also had to contend with dozens of long-term injuries to key starters throughout the season and positive results didn't always follow competent performances. Despite some dark moments, there were usually mitigating circumstances.

But were Chelsea right to part ways with Pochettino? Let's take a look at how he compares to other Stamford Bridge bosses during their first seasons in west London.

Trophy count

Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea couldn't manage any silverware under Pochettino / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Unfortunately, there would be no first piece of English silverware for Pochettino during his stint at Chelsea. The capital side reached the Carabao Cup final in February, a game they agonisingly lost 1-0 to Liverpool after extra-time, while they suffered another frustrating 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Compared to Chelsea's last three managers - Frank Lampard, Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel - Pochettino hasn't done too badly.

Of course, Tuchel won the Champions League during his first season in charge - having only joined the Blues several months before the final - while he also reached the FA Cup final, losing 1-0 to Leicester City. In his first full season, he won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup but lost both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals to Liverpool on penalties.

Under Lampard, Chelsea also made the FA Cup final during his debut campaign but lost 2-1 to Arsenal. Graham Potter didn't even last a full season at Stamford Bridge but failed to reach the latter stages of any of the competitions he participated in.

When compared to Jose Mourinho - arguably Chelsea's greatest manager of all-time - things are not quite as promising. The Portuguese guided the Blues to the Premier League title and League Cup and quickly transformed the London club, but no future Chelsea manager should realistically be compared to his achievements.

Win percentage and points total

Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea's early season struggles were costly / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Looking specifically at the Premier League, Pochettino's time at the helm was far from flawless. Chelsea won just 47.4% of their league matches under his guidance, finishing with a points total of 63. A late run of five straight victories boosted the Blues' tally.

Lampard accumulated more points and had a greater win percentage than Pochettino during his first season in charge, winning 52.6% of his games and managing a total of 66 points. However, the difference between the two coaches was just two wins and three points.

Potter only oversaw 22 Premier League matches with Chelsea and could only secure victory in seven of them. He won just 31.8% of his league games in charge. In Tuchel's first full season at Stamford Bridge, the Blues finished with 74 points - 11 more than Pochettino - and a 55.3% win ratio.

Naturally, Mourinho outdid all of the aforementioned Chelsea bosses by some margin, finishing his debut campaign with 95 points. He was victorious in 76.3% of his league matches, losing just once - Pochettino lost 11 times during the 2023/24 Premier League season.

Goals scored and conceded

Chelsea underperformed in both halves / DARREN STAPLES/GettyImages

Chelsea actually finished the season with a respectable +14 goal difference, scoring 77 times and conceding on 63 occasions. They netted more than Tottenham and Aston Villa above them, although they should have scored 81 times according to their expected goals tally.

The Blues finished the 2019/20 season under Lampard with a marginally better goal difference of +15. They scored 69 under their former midfielder but conceded 54 times. As for Potter, Chelsea scored just 21 times in 22 league games on his watch, conceding the exact same amount.

Tuchel's 2021/22 Chelsea actually scored one fewer than Pochettino's side despite finishing with 11 more points, but their defensive record was far superior. Over the course of the Premier League campaign, they conceded just 33 times - 30 fewer than Chelsea during the 2023/24 season.

Somewhat surprisingly, Pochettino's side scored five more than Mourinho's all-conquering 2004/05 team, but a defence led by John Terry conceded on just 15 occasions in 38 matches - a Premier League record that still stands today.

Has Mauricio Pochettino underachieved?

Compared to recent Chelsea managers, Pochettino's debut season can be considered average. The late rally helped save what would have otherwise been a disastrous campaign, but improving performances and a more consistent and well-oiled team hinted at greater success next season.

While the South American certainly didn't enjoy a good campaign by Chelsea's lofty standards, many of the issues his side faced were out of his control. A young and inexperienced squad was always going to be difficult to manage, with recent managers also finding the Chelsea setup behind the scenes to be a hindrance rather than an aid.