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Chelsea and Tottenham manager search: Mauricio Pochettino the best pick according to data analysis study

Carteret Analytics' manager rating is used by football club decision-makers to assess ability, quality and potential of prospective appointments; it is usually confidential information but here we can share their study into the best candidates for the vacancies at Chelsea and Tottenham...

Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Mauricio Pochettino should be 'top of the list' for recruitment teams at Chelsea and Tottenham, says a data study

London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham are on the hunt for a new long-term manager - and, according to a data analysis team's in-depth study, it is Mauricio Pochettino they should prioritise appointing.

With Graham Potter and Antonio Conte recently dismissed, Chelsea are being led by Frank Lampard until the end of the season, with Cristian Stellini fulfilling the same role at Spurs.

Both clubs have been linked with a range of different managers - but the numbers point towards Pochettino as the best option, according to this team's deep dive into the data.

Carteret Analytics combine raw manager data with their own bespoke algorithms to come up with the Carteret Manager Rating - a tool used by football club decision-makers to assess the ability, quality and potential of prospective managerial appointments.

The complex analysis draws on managers' performances over the past six seasons and is then weighted against expectations, strength of opposition sides and various other factors, such as styles and formations.

It is usually confidential information to assist football club leaders but they produced a bespoke insight for Sky Sports on a number of big-name managers connected with the posts at Tottenham and Chelsea.

As well as Pochettino, these included, out-of-work Luis Enrique, Zinedine Zidane, Julian Nagelsmann and Brendan Rodgers, Roma boss Jose Mourinho, plus Conte and Potter - for comparison purposes - and former Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, who has joined Bayern Munich after being linked with Spurs.

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"In pure objective terms, if the recruitment teams at Chelsea and Tottenham want the best head coach from this list then the quantitative analysis suggests that Pochettino should be top of their list," was the conclusion from Carteret Analytics.

Why Pochettino stands out

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Former Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino sat down with Kaveh Solhekol in Qatar to talk about Harry Kane and his potential return to football management

"Pochettino offers better performance levels across a number of metrics than Conte and Potter, which suggests he would be a significant step up for both Tottenham and Chelsea," say Carteret Analytics.

The Argentine is praised for his quick transitional play, shot creation ratio and the shot conversion rating of his teams. "Pochettino's teams are incisive at periods within a match and this achieves exceptional results," Carteret Analytics add.

The former Paris Saint-Germain head coach is also noted for his "excellent football intelligence", scoring highly for 'strategic intelligence' - which reflects how a manager sets up his team - and 'tactical command' - which is focused on the success of in-game changes.

His 'normalised Carteret manager rating' score is below Tuchel's and Conte's - with his recent absence from the game since leaving PSG in the summer of 2022 playing a part in that. But with Tuchel now at Bayern and Conte seemingly set for a return to Italy, Pochettino looks like a prime candidate for the roles at either former club Spurs or capital rivals Chelsea.

High-class alternatives - but with question marks

Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique
Image: Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique scored highly in the study, too

The report also scores Luis Enrique, Nagelsmann and Zidane highly - but notes caveats for all three men, which could affect their potential appointments.

Nagelsmann has the best 'strategic intelligence' rating by a distance. He is the manager which, according to the data, sets his teams up most effectively to win the next match.

The German has the highest possession stats in the study - "and he is exceptionally good at creating key match events or goals from the exceptionally high levels of possession," say Carteret Analytics.

However, his patient build-up play from deep has been vulnerable on occasions, with his team giving up good chances to the opposition - and has not always been popular with fans.

The possession of Luis Enrique's teams tends to be higher up the pitch. The Spaniard is second to Nagelsmann for setting up a team and tops him for in-game changes. He also has the highest 'attacking coefficient'.

However, with no work at club level since 2017, Luis Enrique's normalised overall rating (which takes into account such absences) is knocked down. "That is an exceptionally long time in club football, with a huge number of changes in style, philosophy and analytics in the intervening years," notes the report.

Zidane has also been out of the club game for some time, having not worked since leaving Real Madrid in 2021 - but his normalised rating remains comparable to Pochettino and Conte, and is slightly lower than Tuchel. Like Luis Enrique, his attacking football scores highly.

Among the other coaches, the study supports the view Conte still has what it takes to succeed at a club over a short period of time with his defensive approach, but Mourinho is suggested to be on the decline, while Rodgers and then Potter rank substantially behind the other coaches on the list across most metrics.

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