The one press conference answer which “contributed significantly” to Pochettino sacking

The final stages of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at Chelsea were very strange to say the least.

On the pitch, things were coming together at last. Results improved significantly from the turn of the year, and the Blues ended the season on an excellent 5 wins in a row. That created a really positive buzz in press conferences, and made it seem impossible that the coach could be fired.

But those improving results came in direct contrast to what was going on behind the scenes, creating a real dissonance. Pochettino kept coming out with strange and ominous quotes just when he should have been at his bubbly best.

It meant that his removal, just 48 hours after his team won their 5th in a row and secured European football, was somehow both surprising and easily predicted at the same time.

Mauricio Pochettino hits back at an interviewer.

The writing on the wall, presser by presser

His comments about this team being “not my team” were those most heavily read into, but according to Sky Sports’ piece today analysing his departure, they weren’t the ones that the sporting directors really took issue with.

Instead, it was earlier comments which had quite squarely been aimed at those above him which it’s claimed “contributed significantly to the Argentine’s downfall.”

“I don’t have the key of the club. I don’t take all the decisions here,” Pochettino said in a press conference in late April.

“If this is not my decision you need to judge me and judge him in his job, no? Because it’s not my direct responsibility,” he continued, leaving it in no doubt who he was talking about.

These are the “veiled” criticisms that Liam Twomey called a “red line” in his piece on the matter. In the end, whether these comments actually lost him his job or whether they simply represented the frustration he felt from knowing it was over is a moot point.

Tags Mauricio Pochettino
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