Pochettino highlights Chelsea's 'big improvement' on his watch

AFP , Tuesday 4 Jun 2024

Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea had shown a "big improvement" during his single season as manager in his first public comments since his Stamford Bridge exit.

FILE - Chelsea's former head coach Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday, April 20, 2024. Photo: AP


The Argentine left the club by mutual consent last month despite a strong end to a turbulent season in which they spent much of the campaign languishing in mid-table in the Premier League.

The Blues won their final five games to finish sixth and earn a place in the UEFA Conference League, also reaching the final of the League Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

On Monday, Chelsea appointed Leicester boss Enzo Maresca as Pochettino's successor on a five-year deal.

Addressing the club's ownership and supporters via social media, Pochettino, 52, he said he had worked hard to "give you a Chelsea you can be proud of".

The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss said the team had progressed after finishing a lowly 12th in the Premier League in the 2022/23 season.

"I am so pleased with the level the team reached and the way the players and staff have all worked so hard to increase their standards, they deserve great credit and I hope you felt that too in how they performed on the pitch," Pochettino said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

"We know there have been ups and downs but we always believed in this team and that we would arrive at a consistent level.

"I believe the experiences of this season and big improvement we saw, I hope will only make the players stronger for the future. It has been a pleasure to work with them all and we appreciate the strong bonds we created in this last year together."

Pochettino said he would return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the annual Soccer Aid celebrity charity match to raise funds for UNICEF, where he will manage a World XI against an England team.

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