The Chelsea hierarchy were left frustrated by the disappointing 4-1 defeat to Newcastle United at the weekend, though Fabrizio Romano has stated that they remain behind current manager Mauricio Pochettino.
After a troublesome start, things have started to look up for Chelsea lately. They beat London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on November 6 – albeit with the help of two Spurs red cards – before drawing 4-4 with title favourites Manchester City in one of the Premier League’s most memorable games in their next outing.
Chelsea were hoping to build on those recent results and performances by picking up three points against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday. However, it was a day to forget for Pochettino and his team.
Newcastle took the lead early on through Alexander Isak, but Raheem Sterling dragged Chelsea level with an excellent free-kick in the 23rd minute.
After going into the break at 1-1, Jamaal Lascelles restored Newcastle’s lead in the 60th minute by heading home from an Anthony Gordon cross. Joelinton then pounced on a Thiago Silva mistake to make it 3-1, before Blues captain Reece James picked up a second yellow card for bringing Gordon down.
And Chelsea’s day went from bad to worse when Gordon slotted past Robert Sanchez in the 83rd minute to round off Newcastle’s 4-1 victory.
Pochettino, who was watching in the stands after picking up a one-match touchline ban, will have been infuriated by Lascelles being given a free header for his goal. Silva was also uncharacteristically sloppy when Joelinton stole from him.
And James, who is still getting used to his role as captain, showed naivety when kicking the ball away for his first yellow card.
Mauricio Pochettino safe as Chelsea manager – for now
Pochettino described Chelsea’s performance as the worst of the season, and it has led to fresh talk that his job could come under pressure. After all, Chelsea axed Graham Potter, having previously placed their trust in him to lead their long-term project.
Romano has now provided his information on Pochettino via his Daily Briefing for CaughtOffside. The trusted journalist states that Chelsea officials still feel the Argentine is ‘the right man for this project’, and they know it’s going to ‘take time’ to get the club back where it belongs.
‘Nothing has changed’ for the Chelsea board, as they are still backing Pochettino at this moment in time.
Although, Romano adds that those above Pochettino ‘are not happy’ with how Chelsea performed against Newcastle, with the ‘same mistakes’ coming back to bite them once again. This is something Pochettino will have to rectify if he is to remain in charge of Chelsea for the long run.
On Monday, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed that Pochettino could be sacked if Chelsea do not manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League. They currently sit in 10th spot.
Chelsea have an interesting run of fixtures coming up. They host Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, before travelling to Man Utd on Wednesday. After that, the West London outfit will come up against relegation-threatened Everton and Sheffield United.