If Mauricio Pochettino is hired as Manchester United’s next permanent manager this summer, he has already provided an insight into his thinking.
The Argentine is one of the frontrunners for the job, along with Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, and he has long had supporters inside the Old Trafford boardroom.
Pochettino is presently in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, who face Real Madrid in a key Champions League last-16 second-leg clash in the Spanish capital on Wednesday.
If PSG is eliminated at this level, the pressure on Pochettino in Paris would intensify, but a successful run in Europe might compel United to pay a considerable sum in compensation if they want to hire the 50-year-old this summer. During an interview with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport’s Between the Lines series, Pochettino gave United an early glimpse into how he will tackle the task at Old Trafford.
Pochettino was asked about his strategy to coming into a new club after his success at Tottenham, and he said that he would aim to build around the “culture” of his new team.
“When you arrive at a new club, for me, it’s about agreeing on things and trying to figure out the best strategy to get where you want to go, but always building knowing the culture of the club, knowing how the fans love football, knowing the history of the club, all of this is really important,” he said.
“It’s necessary to transmit your thoughts, stick to your ideas, and try to execute your ideas, but as a coaching staff, we arrive at a club like Tottenham respecting the club’s history, the tastes of the supporters, and the culture.”
“That is the most crucial thing for me to start building what you want.” After that, you can change small things to feel like you’re a part of history and philosophy, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is to design a philosophy together when you arrive rather than trying to arrive and change everything and saying, “This is the main idea, and if you don’t stick with it, it’s impossible to win.”
Pochettino was considered the favorite to take over at United in the summer of 2019, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s excellent stint as caretaker earned the Norwegian a three-year contract.
Pochettino left Tottenham in November 2019 and was out of job for more than a year before being hired by Paris St-Germain in January 2021. This season, they hold a 13-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1, but they haven’t always been convincing, and they were beaten for the third time at the weekend, as well as being knocked out of the Coupe de France.
During the interview, Pochettino referred to the Premier League as “the best league in the world,” but he admits that the level of Ligue 1 has surprised him during his time at PSG.