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Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is firmly on the hot seat following a Carabao Cup Final loss. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Blue bottle jobs

Following Gary Neville’s “bottle job” comments, sportsbooks believe manager Mauricio Pochettino is on an increasingly hot seat at Chelsea.

The Argentine oversaw a 1-0 loss to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday, a match that his side seemed totally in charge of at the end of the 90 minutes, but were then dominated in during the added half-hour before falling to Virgil van Dijk in the 118th minutes.

oddsmakers have Pochettino at +500 to be the next manager fired

With just 13 matches left to prove himself in the Premier League, oddsmakers have Pochettino at +500 to be the next manager fired, second only to Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.

Pochettino odds for the sack

Chelsea’s lavish spending spree on young talents has been well documented since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over in West London. But the results expected of a billion-dollar-plus cash splash have not coalesced—not in any way.

Sunday was a gentle reminder of the instability that the Blues are battling. After seizing control from a tired Liverpool that had three teenagers on the pitch at the end of extra time, Pochettino made the costly decision to play for penalties (which he admitted after the match).

Klopp’s kids against the blue billion-pound bottle jobs.”

Sky Sports’ and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville summed up the match by saying “[It was Jurgen] Klopp’s kids against the blue billion-pound bottle jobs.”

Although Chelsea still finished the match with a younger squad on average, it also was a far more expensive amalgamation of players. 

The loss meant that Chelsea still has not won a trophy since Roman Abramovich left the club. They are also just 11th in the table, three points ahead of Fulham and one behind West Ham. 

European qualification was supposedly a “must” for Pocehttino this season, both for the reputation of the club and to balance a budget that is glowing red, but according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Chelsea is -390 to miss out on the top six for the second straight season.

What’s in store?

Short of a miracle turnaround in form, Chelsea’s last chance to qualify for Europe could come in the FA Cup. They face a fifth-round tie with rivals Leeds on Wednesday in what could be decisive times for Chelsea’s fifth manager of the past year and a half.

A loss would almost assuredly put Pochettino even closer to Kompany (+300 next manager to be sacked) in odds. However, a future without the 51-year-old may not be as bright as many supporters would hope.

Every manager will be in trouble with this team.”

According to the Daily Telegraph’s Matt Law, an associate of an anonymous top coach supposedly linked with succeeding Pochettino at Chelsea commented: “Every manager will be in trouble with this team.”

Hansi Flick (+100), the former German national coach, is the favorite to take the reins at Chelsea if Pochettino is dismissed. Girona (third in LaLiga) manager Michel Sanchez (+140) is next, followed by club legend Jose Mourinho (+200), Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi (+450), and Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez (+500).

Chelsea is a -220 favorite to defeat Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday. A draw to determine their potential opponent in the quarterfinal will take place shortly before the match. 

Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United are still alive in the competition and could await the Blues.

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