John Obi Mikel believes Mauricio Pochettino would’ve been SACKED in Roman Abramovich era

Chelsea news- Former Blues star predicts manager Mauricio Pochettino would not have survived as the boss if Roman Abramovich was still at the helm

Mauricio Pochettino: Time running out at Chelsea?
Mauricio Pochettino: Time running out at Chelsea? / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has struggled to bring out the best from the players at Stamford Bridge since taking charge last summer, and despite spending heavily on transfers, the Premier League giants have failed to challenge the elites in the league.

Chelsea succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, who fielded several academy players in the final of the Carabao Cup, that has garnered huge criticism of Pochettino’s tactical approach for the entirety of 120 minutes, ending as second best.

Former Blues stalwart, John Obi Mikel, has weighed in on the 52-year-old's tenure at Chelsea, expressing a belief in the manager's potential but acknowledged a demanding nature for a club of the stature as Chelsea.

Chelsea Expectation: A Familiar Pressure

Mikel, who won 10 major titles during his decade-long stint with the Blues, emphasized on the club’s relentless pursuit of success. He was present at the Wembley Stadium last Sunday, witnessing the action unfold in the League Cup final.

He is of the opinion that time is of the essence as every minute counts at Chelsea and although patience is needed for the individual stars to come together as a unit, performances and results will be the ultimate talking point at the end.

Speaking to Evening Standard, the 36-year-old said:

"Some of the criticism has been over the top, but we went through the same thing playing for Chelsea when we were not winning, getting criticised and watching managers losing their jobs."

"This is Chelsea. You have to win. You have to win games and trophies. Yes, we’ve given them time, but they have had time to start gelling, coming together, and playing much better."

Abramovich's Shadow: Swift Decisions of the Past

Drawing a parallel to the Roman Abramovich era, Mikel speculated on the outcome if the former owner was still in charge. The Russian billionaire was known to be ruthless in his decision-making in terms of managerial appointments as his 19-year spell at the London club saw 13 managers in charge, winning 18 major trophies.

Mikel made a bold prediction that the current boss would not have survived under the former regime.

"I defend the players and coach. They have to be given time, but how much time? This is Chelsea FC,"

continued the ex-Nigerian international

"If this was the [Roman] Abramovich era, he would have lost his job, but I hope the new owners give Poch time. Let’s see where we finish at the end of the season."

"The final would have given him breathing space but now we need a run of winning games to see where we end up finishing. Then it will be up to the owners to make a decision."

Pochettino's Lifeline: The Need for Results

While defending Pochettino and the players, Mikel asserted that a balance between patience and results is required. He expressed hope that the new owners would grant the Argentine manager the time needed but emphasized the significance of a winning streak to secure his future.

He ended by saying:

"Of course, top four is out of reach. If we qualify for the Europa League, I would see that as a major improvement, but to get there, we have to improve and go on a run of winning games."

"The Europa League would be a massive achievement and we can build on that. The final was a massive disappointment."

Chelsea are currently 11th in the league standings and with just 13 matches left in the season, Pochettino has a tough job for the remainder of the campaign to secure European football next season.

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