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John Obi Mikel faults Chelsea’s sack of Mauricio Pochettino

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By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has expressed his disagreement with the club’s decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino.

Despite leading Chelsea to qualification for the UEFA Europa Conference League, Pochettino was dismissed at the end of the 2023/2024 season. Championship-winning coach Enzo Maresca has since taken over the reins.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Mikel recounted the challenging circumstances Pochettino faced upon joining Chelsea. He acknowledged the Argentine manager’s efforts and the progress made under his leadership.

“It was a difficult job for Poch to come into,” Mikel said. “I think Poch has done a great job considering where he took the team from. We finished the season well and in Europe, but the owners decided to make a change. They know best. All we have to do is keep supporting the team like we do.”

Mikel, who won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, expressed his optimism about Chelsea’s future under the new ownership. He believes Todd Boehly and the new management are committed to restoring the club’s former glory.

“I think Todd Boehly will bring Chelsea back to the glory days. They are ready to spend and buy good players for the club,” Mikel stated. “The new manager has to find ways to make sure the team starts playing as a team. I think when you look toward the end of the season you can feel like the players are getting more comfortable and beginning to find their feet.”

Reflecting on Chelsea’s potential, Mikel remains hopeful for the upcoming season. He believes that with the right management and player acquisitions, Chelsea can return to being title contenders.

“Sometimes it takes some time when it comes to big clubs like Chelsea, but I think towards the end of the season we saw a bit more performances like before. Hopefully, next season, we will be up there challenging for the title,” he concluded.

During his time at Chelsea, Mikel enjoyed a successful career, winning numerous titles including the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Europa League.

His insights into the club’s dynamics and his support for the new direction reflect his enduring connection to Chelsea.