Mauricio Pochettino faces an uphill task with PSG after returning from sabbatical


Just a yr after being proven the door at Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino is again within the mixture of issues after Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain introduced his appointment as the pinnacle coach of the membership on Saturday.

Joining his former membership the place he had spent two-and-a-half seasons as a participant between 2001 and 2003, the Argentine will probably be tasked with what his predecessor, Thomas Tuchel, failed to realize — convey the elusive UEFA Champions League trophy to Parc des Princes for the primary time within the membership’s 50-year existence. Keeping that in thoughts, Pochettino instantly vowed “to win with style”.

“PSG are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so it’s not only important to win but to win with style,” the 48-year-old informed the membership’s web site after filling within the void that Tuchel’s abrupt sacking on December 24 had left. “I return to the club with a lot of ambition and humility… and will do my utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”

So what’s the precise place that Pochettino finds himself in?

Owing to a lacklustre begin to the season, PSG are at present in an unprecedented third place in Ligue 1 with 35 factors from 17 matches. The Parisians are nonetheless only a level off the highest spot however it’s their worst return at this stage because the 2013/14 season. Having misplaced 4 instances within the league this season, they’ve already misplaced extra matches than in the entire of the final marketing campaign.

In Europe, Pochettino may have the task of plotting the downfall of Barcelona in a UEFA Champions League last-16 tie at Camp Nou on February 16, with the return leg on March 6. Considering his feat of main Tottenham Hotspur to their first-ever look within the competitors’s last, PSG may be stated to be in trusted arms.

Mauricio Pochettino performed as a defender for PSG throughout his enjoying profession. (Twitter/@PSG_English)

Before spending the final yr avoiding managerial rumours, indulging in punditry, and holding Zoom conferences with Argentine coaches, Pochettino stored himself busy with the job of reworking Tottenham Hotspur right into a drive to be reckoned with. During his five-and-a-half-year keep in London, he led the membership to 2 Premier League title races and turned it right into a UEFA Champions League common.

Prior to all the popularity, Pochettino’s story of ascension started again in 2009 when he was appointed because the supervisor of La Liga facet Espanyol, the place he as soon as used to play as a hard-tackling defender below the steerage of Marcelo Bielsa.

Over the years, he has fine-tuned his Bielsa-inspired ideas — utilizing a diamond within the defensive third whereas having possession and instructing his entrance 4 to stay slim in the course of the off-the-ball urgent. He additionally successfully makes use of his fullbacks to change play very often to create extra angles to progress the ball additional up the pitch. With the plethora of expertise accessible to him at PSG, he’ll most definitely take advantage of it in his most popular 4-2-3-1 system.

Apart from having world-class forwards in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and an environment friendly midfield operator in Marco Verratti, he may have below his wing a number of compatriots to rely on resembling Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria, and Leandro Paredes. Adding to that, the presence of ball-playing defenders like Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe will assist Pochettino to stay to his normal buildup course of.

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With the switch window open, he can even be eager to herald new faces like Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen and even Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli. Whether or not Pochettino will use his Argentine ties to herald six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi on the finish of the continuing season stays to be seen.

The son of a farmer from the agricultural village of Murphy, Pochettino is a stickler for element, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an engaging model, man-management abilities, and recognition amongst the Parisians from his enjoying days, makes him a probably ideally suited match as the brand new occupant of the PSG dugout.

Now, Pochettino is because of meet with his squad at PSG’s first post-Christmas coaching session on Sunday forward of their journey to Saint-Etienne on Wednesday. Then, PSG host Brest subsequent Saturday earlier than the Trophee des Champions in opposition to Marseille on January 13. Can he settle in earlier than the flurry of matches? Only time will inform.


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