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Mark Goldbridge: Chelsea’s & Newcastle’s Differing Problems

Chelsea and Newcastle: Crisis Points and Future Prospects

The recent FA Cup Final has dramatically reshaped the futures of several Premier League clubs, particularly Chelsea and Newcastle. As Mark Goldbridge discusses on the “That’s Football” podcast, the implications for these clubs are profound, with managerial decisions and ownership strategies under intense scrutiny.

Chelsea’s Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Chelsea’s situation is particularly turbulent. According to Mark Goldbridge, the club’s ownership under Todd Boehly is seeking a “dynamic, forward-thinking, and progressive coach.” The shortlist includes names like De Zerbi, Thomas Frank, and Kieran McKenna. However, the underlying issue is Chelsea’s preference for a coach who will comply with the board’s decisions rather than exerting control.

Goldbridge highlights, “Chelsea want a puppet. They don’t want Tuchel, they don’t want Pochettino, and they don’t want Zidane because they’re managers with personalities who will want to have a say in how the club is run.” This approach is starkly different from successful clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City, where managers are integral to the club’s identity and decision-making processes.

The sacking of Pochettino epitomises Chelsea’s current crisis. Goldbridge notes, “Under Pochettino, they were finding some momentum. Now, they’re going for someone inexperienced and asking fans to be patient again. Are Chelsea fans ready to start at ground zero once more?” This strategy places the club in a precarious position, with fans growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of stability and clear direction.

Newcastle’s Unexpected Setback

Newcastle’s crisis, while different, is equally concerning. The club’s rapid ascent under Eddie Howe and the new Saudi ownership saw them qualify for the Champions League, only to face a significant setback by failing to secure European football for the next season. Goldbridge explains, “Losing the Conference League spot is a big blow. Newcastle went from fighting relegation to the Champions League and now find themselves out of Europe.”

Despite this setback, Newcastle’s ownership model is considered more sustainable and aligned with long-term success compared to Chelsea’s. Goldbridge praises Newcastle’s approach, saying, “They have the right ownership, the right manager, the right fans, and the right ideas. Their crisis is more about managing expectations and financial limitations.”

The challenge for Newcastle now is to maintain their trajectory without the benefit of European competition. Goldbridge suggests, “Newcastle need to replicate what they did the season they got top four without European football. They’re an energetic side and could benefit from focusing on domestic competitions.”

Future Prospects and Stability

Looking ahead, the key for both clubs lies in stability and strategic planning. Chelsea must resolve their managerial approach, fostering a more collaborative environment that values the manager’s input. Goldbridge warns, “Fans need to wake up to what’s happening at Chelsea. Managers are becoming puppets, blamed for decisions made in the boardroom.”

For Newcastle, the focus should be on solidifying their squad and making strategic investments to build on their recent successes. The absence of midweek European fixtures could be an advantage, allowing them to concentrate on the Premier League and domestic cups.

Goldbridge concludes with a broader reflection on the state of football management, “The clubs that will do well next year are those with stability. Newcastle, Villa, Spurs, Arsenal, and Man City all have this. Manchester United could join this group if they keep Ten Hag. Constant change breeds instability, as seen with Chelsea and, potentially, United.”

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