HomeSportsChelsea WhatsApp groups 'in crisis' as players left shocked by Mauricio Pochettino's...

Chelsea WhatsApp groups ‘in crisis’ as players left shocked by Mauricio Pochettino’s departure

Cole Palmer enjoyed a memorable season under Mauricio Pochettino – Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Chelsea players were left shocked after Mauricio Pochettino left the club by mutual consent on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry, who still works at the club’s academy, also broke through ranks to share his frustration.

Telegraph Sports announced the news exclusively on Tuesday evening shortly before 7pm, ahead of Chelsea’s announcement, leading to disbelief among the squad. It is understood that players’ WhatsApp groups ‘collapsed’ and agents quickly tried to verify the news for their clients.

Pochettino was a popular figure among the players, while his staff, especially assistant Jesus Perez, was well-liked and respected. Players had received no indications from Pochettino that he might leave Chelsea following the last-day victory over Bournemouth that secured European qualification.

They had assumed that the encouraging end to the season would be enough to secure Pochettino’s future as head coach beyond this season.

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A source said this Telegraph Sports: “The players couldn’t believe it. They had no idea until the news broke and it started circulating in their WhatsApp groups. Most of them really liked Poch, so they were quite upset.

Chelsea WhatsApp groups 'in crisis' as players left shocked by Mauricio Pochettino's departureChelsea WhatsApp groups 'in crisis' as players left shocked by Mauricio Pochettino's departure
Moises Caicedo wished Mauricio Pochettino all the best in the future – Instagram/Moises Caicedo

Nicolas Jackson was one of the first Chelsea players to publicly share their emotions over Pochettino’s departure on social media. Jackson first posted a photo of the pair together on Instagram alongside a few “facepalm” emojis, before later writing, “I love you, coach.” I wish we could stay together more. But may God continue to bless you and your family.

“Thank you for the advice and support. You are a real lion and fighter. I wish you all the best.”

Terry posted on Instagram saying he was sad to see Pochettino, Perez and his son Sebastiano leave Chelsea. He added: “I just hope we don’t sign or sell any players until we get a manager in.”

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Cole Palmer, who scored 22 Premier League goals under Pochettino as the club recovered to finish in the European places, wrote: “Gaffer, thank you for everything you have done for me and for making my dreams come true. All the best.”

Chelsea’s record signing Moises Caicedo, who scored from the halfway line in Pochettino’s last game in charge, posted a photo of himself with the Argentine, along with the message: “Sir! It was a pleasure,” followed by a crying emoji. He added: “I wish you all the best for the future. What a person and what a coach.”

Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness, Girona’s Michel, Brighton’s target Kieran McKenna of Ipswich Town and Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca are all among the names being considered to replace Pochettino at Chelsea.

Thomas Frank is another option Chelsea will have on their list of candidates and the Brentford manager hinted he would consider leaving the Gtech Community Stadium if a good offer came along.

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Frank is also a potential candidate for Manchester United and in an interview with the Daily Mail he said: “Do we want to win titles? Yes, that would be nice, but it’s not a matter of do or die. I still think it is possible to win a cup and that is the goal, to get as far as possible.

“If one day a big club comes knocking on my door, I’ll have to think about it, but it’s not something I’m chasing.”

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