A look at Mauricio Pochettino’s wait for a first trophy in English football

By Sports Desk January 24, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino endured a rocky start to life as Chelsea boss but has now guided the Blues to the Carabao Cup final as he looks to end his wait for a first trophy in English football.

The Argentinian has managed almost 400 games in England across spells with Southampton, Tottenham and now Chelsea but has yet to lift silverware in this country.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Pochettino has fared in his quest for trophies.



Having taken over during the previous campaign with Saints already out of both domestic competitions, Pochettino’s early involvement in the League Cup and FA Cup was brought to a close by Sunderland. The Black Cats won 2-1 in a fourth-round League Cup tie at the Stadium of Light before claiming a 1-0 victory in the FA Cup fifth round.



While a 2-1 fourth-round FA cup defeat at home to Leicester and a 3-1 aggregate loss to Fiorentina in the last 32 of the Europa League hardly set the pulses racing in Pochettino’s first season at Spurs, he did almost start life in north London with a trophy. Home wins over Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Newcastle took Tottenham into a League Cup semi-final against Sheffield United, with a 3-2 aggregate success setting up a Wembley final against Chelsea, who ran out 2-0 winners.


Pochettino suffered from second-season syndrome in the cup competitions, losing 2-1 to neighbours Arsenal in the third round of the League Cup and slipping to a fifth-round exit in the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. Achieving European qualification in his first campaign at the helm also led to little as Spurs were thrashed 5-1 on aggregate by Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last 16.


A 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the fourth round of the League Cup was forgivable, but, having ensured a return to Champions League football, Pochettino’s Spurs were knocked out in the group stage and then slumped to a 3-2 aggregate loss to Gent in the Europa League last 32. There was some comfort from an FA Cup run that included wins over Aston Villa, Wycombe, Fulham and Millwall before Chelsea ran out 4-2 victors in a semi-final clash at Wembley.


There was another fourth-round League Cup exit – this time in a 3-2 loss to West Ham – but this season saw Spurs top their Champions League group before agonisingly losing 4-3 on aggregate to Juventus in the last 16. There was more Wembley misery in the FA Cup as Spurs reached the semi-final for a second successive season, only to lose 2-1 to Manchester United, having taken the lead through Dele Alli.


A forgettable FA Cup campaign ended with a 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace in round four, but even a penalty shootout loss to Chelsea in the League Cup semi-final was not the heartbreaking moment of Pochettino’s final full season in charge. Having secured memorable late wins over Manchester City and Ajax to reach the Champions League final, Spurs were second best as an early Mohamed Salah penalty and a Divock Origi goal saw Liverpool win 2-0 in Madrid.



Having won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France at Paris St Germain, Pochettino returned to England when he was appointed Chelsea boss last summer. While results in the Premier League have been mixed, the 51-year-old saw his side beat AFC Wimbledon, Brighton, Blackburn and Newcastle in the Carabao Cup before recovering from a 1-0 loss at Middlesbrough in the semi-final first leg to thrash the Sky Bet Championship side 6-1 on Tuesday night and reach Wembley – where either Fulham or Liverpool await.

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