Dimitar Berbatov believes that Chelsea will sack Mauricio Pochettino if the Blues are beaten by Aston Villa in their FA Cup fourth round replay. Pochettino’s future at Stamford Bridge has been called into question over the last few weeks, with Chelsea struggling to make progress despite spending hundreds of millions of pounds in recent transfer windows.
The Argentine boss is under growing pressure following heavy defeats to Liverpool and Wolves, leading to speculation that he could be sacked after less than one season in west London. Berbatov has suggested that Pochettino could even receive his marching orders in the next few days if Chelsea lose to Aston Villa in Wednesday’s FA Cup showdown.
Speaking to Betfair, Berbatov said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea sacked Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea have spent so much money on players. They have good players in the team but obviously it’s not working out.
“The last game against Wolves, when Chelsea lost 4-2 at Stamford Bridge, was a prime example of the chaos that’s happening on the pitch. You can see Chelsea are lost, at times, and don’t know what to do. Of course, you can’t get rid of the whole team.
“The manager is always the first to go. Pochettino always tried to say that Chelsea was a long-term project, but in modern football, the owners of clubs don’t have that patience. If Chelsea lose the next game, I think Pochettino will get sacked.”
Chelsea’s owners have arguably been more responsible than Pochettino for the club’s recent shortcomings, having signed a host of unproven young players on lucrative eight-year contracts. However, as Berbatov says, the manager usually pays the price and it remains to be seen if that will be the case if Chelsea lose at Villa Park.
Pochettino was quizzed on his future ahead of the match and insisted that it will take more time for Chelsea to see the fruits of his labour, saying: “We need time and people need to understand why we need time. It’s about creating a team. It’s like building a house. You need to be sure of all the steps you take.
“We are building from zero. Always it takes time. Look at the project of Manchester City or Liverpool. It’s always about time and a very clear leadership like Pep [Guardiola] or Jurgen [Klopp]. It’s so clear from there you build these projects.”