Chelsea stars await ‘gruelling’ start with Pochettino as contract details emerge

Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard reviews Forest draw

Chelsea players are reportedly set for a ‘gruelling start’ under Mauricio Pochettino, who has agreed terms to replace Frank Lampard at the end of the season. The Argentine has been tipped to give his new squad a rude awakening when he finally takes the reins, following a dreadful first full season under the ownership of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

Despite the squad being boosted by successive big-spending transfer windows, Chelsea have rattled through no less than four different managers this campaign, while they are almost certain to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Lampard will remain in temporary charge until the summer, and having conducted a painstaking process to appoint Graham Potter’s permanent successor, Boehly and co have reportedly landed on former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino.

According to Sky Sports, the 51-year-old will arrive in London this week to sign a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

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Pochettino has been out of work since PSG replaced him with Christophe Galtier last July. With everything now in place, the Argentine will supposedly be in the dugout for Chelsea’s first game of next season.

He is also planning to bring his long-serving backroom team to Stamford Bridge. Pochettino and his colleagues reportedly discuss every job offer, and having waited patiently for the right opportunity to come along, they will soon get stuck into an underperforming squad in west London.

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The report adds that Chelsea’s players are set for a tough start, with Pochettino virtually certain to demand a significantly better work ethic in training and on the pitch. The Blues’ season has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks, with Lampard overseeing just one win in eight matches since returning to the dugout.

Wolves, Brentford and Brighton have all got the better of Chelsea down the home stretch and Lampard’s side once again put on a disappointing show at the weekend, drawing 2-2 at home to relegation strugglers Nottingham Forest.

After the match, in which Raheem Sterling scored both of Chelsea’s goals, Lampard singled out the former Manchester City winger for having a ‘killer’ instinct that is lacking elsewhere in the side.

“If you’re going to win games when you have 76 per cent possession, you need to be killers at the top end of the pitch, and Raheem is proven to be that. At the moment we don’t have enough of that.”

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