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Chelsea need to follow Erik ten Hag success path despite Manchester United sack pressure

Last season, Erik ten Hag won the first competitive trophy available to him as Manchester United manager. United's win over Newcastle United at Wembley in February saw Ten Hag make the perfect start to life in England with the Carabao Cup trophy returning to Old Trafford.

The Dutchman arrived at United after success in his homeland with Ajax but moving to such a big club, there were always going to be huge expectations immediately. With the way of modern-day football, managers do not seem to be allowed time to settle in and get used to their surroundings and for the players to start really buying into their ideologies.

No. Supporters want to see results straight away. A season without a trophy – and sometimes even with major honors being won – is viewed as an outright failure.

Is that fair? Absolutely not. But that is a conversation for a different day. Today we are going to speak about Chelsea and their chances of winning this season's Carabao Cup – which would see Mauricio Pochettino replicate what Ten Hag did in his debut campaign.

"We will work hard, play in a way the fans can enjoy football, and the history of Chelsea is to win – but it is important also in the way we are going to build those victories," Pochettino said when appointed as Blues head coach in the summer. He later continued: "I think it is important [the history] and it is a culture of winning.

"In the last 10, 12, 15 years, Chelsea is the greatest team in England. I know very well the Premier League and what the culture of Chelsea means. I think our fans are excited to again be on the road of trying to win."

Pochettino is essentially the man responsible for spearheading Chelsea's much-talked-about long-term project that Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have helped invest over £1billion into since taking over the club way over 12 months ago. Progress needs to be made every season, especially in the Premier League.

The Blues, let's be honest, are not going to get top four this term. The competition is too fierce. Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are looking the most likely at the moment. That could change, of course, but then there's the likes of Newcastle and Brighton to consider and Chelsea don't appear to be there yet.

But in Pochettino's second season, the expectation will be even greater. For him to even get there, though, Chelsea may need to win a cup or at least properly challenge in one of the domestic competitions.

Chelsea, this evening, have a great opportunity – at home to a side mid-table in the Championship – to land themselves in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. Manchester City are already out of the competition, while one of Man United or Newcastle will also be out with those two facing each other tonight.

A proper opportunity presents itself for Pochettino and Chelsea this evening. One that could be crucial in his and the club's plans going forward.

There has been so much talk and debate over Chelsea's long-term project and the mass money spent on a ridiculous amount of transfers. Chelsea, however, do not need to look that far when it comes to a club conducting a massive project in the perfect manner.

Just look at Man City. People forget when Sheik Mansour took over the club all the way back in September 2008, they did not have success right away. In fact, it took years before we started seeing real progress at the Etihad Stadium.

After finishing bang in the middle of the Premier League in the first season, a fifth place finish followed the campaign after. It was in 2010/11 – the third season under the club's new ownership – that they finished in the top four for the first time and even then, they did not seriously challenge for the title.


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