The era of Mauricio Pochettino at PSG started with a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at Saint-Étienne.
Idrissa Gueye’s slip allowed Romain Hamouma to give Les Verts an early lead before Moise Kean equalized a few minutes later thanks to Marco Verratti’s clever back-pass. With PSG unexpectedly strong at times and both teams coming close to a victory, the second half evolved into a tense, open and even game. Pochettino’s challenge is probably greater than many expected, faced with an open Ligue 1, an unstable Lyon, uncertainties in the transfer market, a hectic fixture list and a squad without an identity. Pochettino would have to contend with numerous demands in Paris, unlike his good days at Tottenham and Southampton. Although Spurs and Saints’ intense style was celebrated as both clubs punched above their weight, in France, Pochettino would not have the same luxury. PSG wants Ligue 1 to win.
Given the tough competition this season, winning the league title can only be brushed off by the public, the board and the fans.
All was done without much hassle by Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Thomas Tuchel. In the sometimes complicated world of PSG politics, Pochettino will dig into it. His dismissal was effectively led by Tuchel’s mismanagement of his relationship with sporting director Leonardo and club bosses. “Am I still a manager or am I a politician in sport, a minister of sport?” Tuchel asked the day before his dismissal. I love the game, basically, and as a manager, I can get the satisfaction in several ways…. I just love soccer.
And it’s not all about soccer in a club like this. Pochettino is likely to be more friendly than Tuchel, whose repeated outbursts over recruitment have irritated the PSG leadership, but he may also be driven to distraction. The French press has long speculated that Leonardo wanted to employ Massimiliano Allegri, the former Juventus boss, as the successor of Tuchel. This week, however, Le Parisien reported that it was the Emir of Qatar who named Pochettino as the new coach of the club.
Leonardo started as Tuchel’s ally, carefully handling Neymar’s proposed move back to Barcelona and playing bad cop on squad discipline, but the two were ultimately pushed apart by their public differences over transfers. The relationship management of Pochettino will also be checked by a group of players who, amid alleged frustrations with Tuchel’s consideration for the South American contingent of the squad, were much happier under him than they were under Emery or Blanc – as illustrated on Instagram by Kylian Mbappé’s thank-you message to Tuchel. “It’s the law of soccer, unfortunately,” Mbappé wrote. No one is going to forget your time here. You wrote a great part of the history of the club, and I say thank you, coach. “No one will forget your time here. You wrote a wonderful part of the club’s history and I say thank you, coach. ” Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris told L’Équipe in 2017, “As soon as I met him… a bond of trust was born,” “In November 2019, when Pochettino was sacked by Spurs, Harry Kane wrote on social media, “Gaffer.
I will always be grateful to you for helping me fulfill my dreams. Over the last five and a half years, we have had some incredible moments that I will never forget. You were not just my boss, but also my friend, and I thank you for that friendship. “Mauricio Pochettino leaves open the opportunity to join PSG with Lionel MessiRead moreEven if Pochettino is able to tame off-field forces and rally his rally.” The only real assignment for Pochettino is to mold a team capable of beating European rivals over two legs in knockout games.
In a decade of Qatari management, in the final stages of the competition, PSG has never defeated a real European heavyweight.
During that time, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City were all undefeated in the knockout rounds against PSG.
If PSG is to be considered one of Europe’s strongest teams, Pochettino needs to improve that. He will be faced with many of the same obstacles as Tuchel. PSG is facing a hectic sequence of matches. Unlike Lyon, Marseille and Rennes, their title rivals, they have European obligations to think about,