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Chelsea’s 4-2 defeat at home to Wolves brought further scrutiny on manager Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues’ expensively-assembled squad.
It was Pochettino’s 31st game in charge, the same number Graham Potter was given before he was sacked last season, and here we look at the Argentinian’s record with the club.
Potter was sacked after just over six months in charge and a record reading won 12, drew eight, lost 11 in all competitions.
Pochettino is two wins better off, showing at least some progress, but with the same number of losses.
With the £1bn of transfer expenditure since the club were taken over by Todd Boehly’s Clearlake consortium, Chelsea could reasonably have expected to turn the ship around somewhat quicker – though Pochettino does at least have an upcoming Carabao Cup final to point to as the club chase a first trophy since 2021.
The comparison to their previous 31 games immediately before his appointment is more favourable to Pochettino, owing to a feeble finish to last season under the caretaker management of Frank Lampard.
Lampard’s spell began with another defeat to Wolves as he won only one and lost eight of 11 games. Throw in a draw with Liverpool under caretaker Bruno Saltor and the final 19 games of Potter’s reign – won five, drew five, lost nine – and Chelsea’s record in that stretch consists of just six wins, eight draws and 17 defeats.
Pochettino has also improved their goalscoring record, with 54 goals in his time in charge for an average of 1.74 per game. Potter’s teams scored just 33, barely a goal a game. At the other end of the pitch, though, things have been more problematic…
Feel the fours
The Wolves game followed immediately on from a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool last Wednesday.
That is the second time under Pochettino that they have conceded four in back-to-back games, having done so in November against Manchester City – albeit in a 4-4 draw – and Newcastle.
That means they have suffered twice in the space of the last 17 games a fate that had never previously befallen them in the Premier League era, the most recent example coming in the old First Division in December 1989 when they lost 5-2 to Wimbledon, 4-2 to QPR and 5-2 to Liverpool in successive games.
The last week’s double setback has left Pochettino’s defence with a record of 43 goals conceded in 31 games, 1.39 per game, compared to exactly a goal a game under Potter.
Matheus Cunha also became only the fourth visiting player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, following former Arsenal forwards Nwankwo Kanu in 1999 and Robin van Persie in 2011 as well as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero in 2016.