Have PSG’s 17 minutes of madness cost Mauricio Pochettino the Man United job?

Mauricio Pochettino’s name has been linked with the Manchester United job for so long that as his Paris Saint-Germain side bowed out dramatically in Madrid on Wednesday, thoughts turned to the influence of the defeat on the future of the Old Trafford hotseat rather than the French club’s future.

Don't Miss Any Football Moment... Join Us. Now Join Us Now

Since the German was granted the position until the end of the season in November, Pochettino has been the favorite to succeed interim manager Ralf Rangnick, with Ajax manager Erik ten Hag his major competition.

After sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, United inquired about Pochettino’s availability with PSG, but were advised that the club would not allow the manager to go in the middle of the season.

After being dissatisfied at PSG for some time, the former Tottenham manager is said to be looking for a return to the Premier League, and it was thought that he would join United at the end of the season, perhaps even after winning the Champions League.

Last month, Sportsmail reported that United’s players prefer Pochettino to Ten Hag taking over at the end of the season. Ten Hag has been brushing up on his English in the hopes of earning the job.

The seismic result on Wednesday night, on the other hand, will have been a big blow to Pochettino’s ego.

Pochettino watched in disbelief as Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick in just 17 minutes to send PSG crashing out. Having dominated the last-16 tie from kick-off in Paris until half-time in Madrid, with the 2-0 aggregate scoreline flattering Real if anything, Pochettino watched in disbelief as a catalogue of defensive howlers saw Karim Benzema score a hat-trick in just 17.

Pochettino was helpless. After Benzema’s first goal, he brought in Idrissa Gueye to try to stop the bleeding, but it had no effect. Then he brought on Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler in the hopes of getting an equalizer, but they had little effect.

Nasser El-Khelaifi, PSG’s Qatari president, was said to be furious after the match, directing his rage at Dutch referee Danny Makkelie and his team for the perceived injustice of Real’s first goal, when Benzema was adjudged not to have fouled goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as he gave the ball away in his own box.

Pochettino also criticized the authorities, but once El-indignation Khelaifi’s at the officials has gone, he and sporting director Leonardo will be the long-term victims of El-rage. Khelaifi’s Following the incident, Le Parisien reported that both will be fired.

Although Benzema could have been sanctioned, that does not excuse PSG’s kamikaze defending for all three of the veteran striker’s well-taken goals. It may be argued that the manager bears responsibility for this. However, United legend Rio Ferdinand does not agree to this viewpoint.

On Wednesday night, while working as a pundit for BT Sport, Ferdinand was quick to point out that PSG’s troubles are systemic, not the fault of Pochettino or any of his predecessors.

‘This isn’t simply a one-season episode; this is something that happens year after year,’ he explained. ‘[It is a] dysfunctional team,’ I believe that sums up their style of play fairly well. So I don’t believe you can blame Pochettino too much when this happens season after season.’

Pochettino has struggled to accommodate superstar ‘passengers’ Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe in the same team, according to Ferdinand.

‘Each of those guys is someone you would probably allow to be a passenger on a one-time basis on your team, and you all work for that individual,’ he continued. ‘ It’s nearly hard to execute it at the highest level with three of them. In the French league, you can do anything and get away with it, as they do every year when they win the championship.

‘However, at this level, carrying three players who aren’t capable of working at the intensity required to win a competition like the Champions League is really difficult.’

Ferdinand’s opinion could explain why Pochettino’s chances of landing the United job were lowered following PSG’s defeat. The defeat appears to be more damaging to the club and the players than to the manager.

However, there is a word of caution. Manchester United may not be the job for Pochettino if he wants to avoid a club with systemic issues, where managers struggle to have an impression on a playing squad full of enormous egos.

For More Update, Join Us on Telegram Now Join Us Now

Clement Bright Ansah


Related Articles

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: