Pochettino’s secret weapon in talks about his future is the same thing he was mocked for in January

We’ve almost reached the end of the season, meaning there’s enough stats accumulated to really learn some lessons about what went right and what went wrong for Chelsea this season.

About midway through the campaign, when things just felt like they wouldn’t stop going against us, Mauricio Pochettino complained in a press conference that the “data” said his team should be much higher in the table. As always in this situation, his comments were derided. But as the season has progressed, the truth of his (ill advised but correct) statement has become clear.

The underlying numbers showed we had good xG, meaning we were creating good chances. All we needed was for some of our players to start taking advantage of them. Since January that has happened more and more, and while we’ve still had some stinkers in the mix, overall we look better and better.

The Premier League website’s piece on the subject drills into this much more.

The numbers behind a strong 2024 so far

The piece points out that on the 4th of October we were 4th in expected points, through December and February that dropped only to 5th, and now is up to 4th again, after a run that’s seen us lose just one of our last 12 games.

The problem has been struggling to make up for a slow start to the season and a dip in the middle when injuries really had us stretched. But the evidence is there in the numbers that Pochettino was right – the team just weren’t quite getting the breaks that their play deserved, and a few things breaking a different way for us could have seen us competing much higher up the table all year.

Given the manager mentioned it in public, you can be sure he will be mentioning it in private when he has an assessment over his future from the sporting directors in a couple of weeks.

Tags Mauricio Pochettino

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