Meet the staff Mauricio Pochettino will bring with him to Chelsea
Meet the backroom staff Mauricio Pochettino will bring with him to Chelsea: The assistant who convinced the Argentine to move to England, an Olympic champion, and his son who works as a sports scientist!
- Former Tottenham boss Pochettino is expected to become Chelsea manager
- The Argentine will be joined by his trusted coaching team at Stamford Bridge
- Mail Sport looks at the backroom staff who will support Pochettino at Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino’s impending arrival as Chelsea manager will see the Argentine become the fourth man to lead the Blues in Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali’s still fledging tenure as co-controlling owners.
The former Tottenham and PSG boss will take over Chelsea with the club at a low ebb, with the prospect of a first bottom half finish in the Premier League since 1996.
Pochettino will face a significant in-tray, including managing the bloated squad which contributed to Graham Potter’s departure last month, with interim Frank Lampard also unable to get a tune out of the club’s big-money arrivals.
The 51-year-old will be able to count on his long-standing coaching team to help him pick through the issues and seek to make Chelsea capable of challenging for the Premier League and European honours again.
Mail Sport takes a look at Pochettino’s trusted staff that will help him establish a new era at Stamford Bridge.
Mauricio Pochettino, right, is set to be joined by his trusted coaching team at Chelsea
Assistant Jesus Perez, left, is once again expected to be a key part of Pochettino’s set-up
Jesus Perez – Assistant manager
Pochettino has described Perez as being ‘an extension of myself’, with the Spaniard considered the person the Argentine trusts the most, alongside his wife Karina. The pair have been cited by Pochettino as the people who ‘keep order in my life’.
Perez and Karina were the driving force behind Pochettino’s decision to accept the Southampton job back in 2013, despite his initial reservations over his inability to speak English at the time. Pochettino has since joked that Perez had a vested interest due to being able to speak English himself.
The Spaniard had been a late arrival to Pochettino’s set-up having been appointed as an under-21 coach at Espanyol by the club’s sporting director Ramon Planes in 2010. Despite initial caution, Perez was integrated into Pochettino’s inner circle due to being the only person at Espanyol at the time who could work on prototype match analysis software.
Perez is best known for being the fitness expert on Pochettino’s staff. His work led to both Southampton and Tottenham becoming considered among the Premier League’s fittest teams during their tenure. The gruelling fitness regime overseen by Perez was also viewed as helping Luke Shaw and Harry Kane’s development.
Pochettino’s right-hand man followed the Argentine to PSG after serving alongside him at Espanyol, Southampton and Spurs. During their time in North London, Perez was known for attending press conferences alongside Pochettino due to his better grasp of English, with the Spaniard a quiet but constant presence.
Perez had a rare moment in the spotlight in early 2021 when he briefly had to take charge of PSG matches after Pochettino had tested positive for COVID-19.
Pochettino has previously described his right hand man Perez as an ‘extension of himself’
Perez convinced Pochettino to join Southampton and oversees the first team fitness regime
Miguel D’Agostino – Assistant manager
The relationship between Pochettino and D’Agostino, known as Miki, goes back to their time as team-mates at Newell’s Old Boys in the early 1990s. The two centre backs formed a close friendship at the club while playing under Marcelo Bielsa.
D’Agostino later had spells in Chile, Ecuador, France, Mexico and Spain during his playing career, before retiring in 2003.
His early coaching career included roles at Canet-en-Rousillon, Brest and Dubai CSC, before he began scouting for Pochettino’s Espanyol in 2009.
D’Agostino then became a full-time part of the set-up, with the Argentine filming training sessions and overseeing analysis.
In his 2017 book Brave New World, Pochettino told the story of how D’Agostino nearly drowned after being thrown overboard on a rafting trip, where the coaching staff were accompanied by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Miguel D’Agostino, left, played alongside Pochettino when the pair were at Newell’s Old Boys
Toni Jimenez – Goalkeeper coach
Arguably the highlight of Jimenez’s playing career came early on, with the goalkeeper having been selected as part of Spain’s squad for the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, despite having been yet to play in the top flight.
Jimenez played all of Spain’s matches at the tournament after seeing off competition from future Real Madrid and Valencia goalkeeper Santiago Canizares. The hosts, whose squad included Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, claimed Olympic gold with a 3-2 win against Poland at the Nou Camp.
While Jimenez would only go on to play three times for Spain’s senior national team, he enjoyed a strong career at club level by playing for Rayo Vallecano, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol.
Jimenez became Pochettino’s team-mate during his second spell at Espanyol, before ending his playing career in 2004. Having initially worked as a director at the club, Jimenez formed part of Pochettino’s set-up with the pair having completed their coaching badges together.
Spurs captain Hugo Lloris revealed the role Jimenez and Pochettino had on his game back in 2017.
‘When I first met Toni and Mauricio, I started spending more time in the gym and looking after my body, developing more muscle and improving my technique,’ Lloris sad. ‘I spend a lot of time with him and with Toni looking at videos and they showed me what they expected from me.
‘The first few weeks, you wonder if what they are trying to do will work but after you start to notice at training and later in the game and then you think, “Okay, maybe they’re right”.’
Toni Jimenez, centre of the bottom row, won gold with Spain at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris praised Jimenez for improving his technique and fitness
Sebastiano Pochettino – Sport scientist and fitness coach
Sebastiano, the oldest of Pochettino’s two sons, has been the newest addition to the coaching set-up.
He initially started working for Tottenham in 2016 as a sport science assistant, before being promoted to the first team’s sport scientist and fitness coach. His promotion made him the youngest sports scientist in the Premier League at the age of 22.
Pochettino then held the same role at PSG and looks likely to do the same at Chelsea.
His initial appointment to Tottenham’s coaching staff in 2016 came as he received a first class honours degree from Southampton Solent University in Applied Sports Science, while he worked at the university as a strength and conditioning coach.
Pochettino later completed a Masters in the ‘Integrative Biology of the Adaptations to Exercise for Health and Performance’ at Paris-Saclay University.
The fluent English, French and Spanish speaker has said he specialises in providing injury prevention and strength and conditioning sessions.
Mauricio Pochettino dismissed suggestions of nepotism back in 2017, insisting that players trusted his son and suggested he could one day work for another manager.
Sebastiano Pochettino served as a fitness coach and sports scientist at Tottenham and PSG
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