Poch Strain: Mauricio Pochettino can pressure gamers to carry out or die no matter their star standing


Mauricio Pochettino (Reuters Image)

The very urban Mauricio Pochettino made an appearance on Sky Sports Monday night speaking on a range of topics. A year after being fired from Tottenham Hotspur, the 48-year-old Argentine appeared publicly on a British television station.

Timing was important. At a time when Ole Gunnar Solskjær is walking a tightrope at Manchester United, Pochettino's appearance on an immensely popular football show likely meant something if you want to read between the lines. For the past 12 months it had been kind of low.

Pochettino was asked about his next job. "I don't know. I won't close a door. I learned when I was really, really young (Pochettino's former coach) that Jorge Griffa said, 'Mauricio, football will determine your path". And I'm waiting for to find the right project for us that is the right way, ”he replied.

He added: "My energy is full, I would like to take part in the game, but at the same time I have to understand that right now is a good moment to wait for. You have to wait for the right project and for sure football will be bring what football wants and we have to be open and accept or not.

Will the likely United job be the right project for him? The question has to be asked because the club is currently in a football chaos. Without a Director of Football (DoF), there seems to be no direction in terms of transfer strategy. The club chased Jadon Sancho in the closing season but made panic buying on the deadline, including 33-year-old Edinson Cavani. Fans and experts alike had been looking for a center-back, but the club's recruiting team, and especially vice chairman Ed Woodward, showed little intention of filling the void. United at the moment is a collection of overpaid, average players who have already thrown two big-name managers – Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – under the bus. Solskjær will most likely be the third.

Solskjær finished his 100th responsible game at United last Sunday. He went to the game and carried the positive vibes of two very notable performances in the Champions League – beating Paris Saint-Germain away and beating RB Leipzig at home. In a mindless challenge from Paul Pogba, United suffered a penalty and lost the match. The team actually didn't show up for the game. Your football was uninspiring. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tactically outwitted Solskjær. Three days later, United suffered one of the greatest humiliations of all time when they lost to Istanbul Basaksehir in a Champions League game. All the positive results they had achieved by beating PSG and Leipzig went down the drain.

United had their worst start in the English top division since 1973/74 when they were relegated. This season they are in 15th place after six games in the Premier League, without a home win and with only seven points. You have already conceded 13 goals and only scored nine. Solskjær was good at finishing third in the Premier League last season. But after losing to Istanbul Basaksehir, his position has likely become untenable. Does he have the personality to turn things around? Will another Premier League club hire him when he's available? Unlikely. Solskjær is not an elite manager, but a drop from Cardiff City. He managed to keep the harmony in the locker room. But United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and deserves an elite manager.

Pochettino has had a trophyless career as a manager so far. On the other hand, he led the club in his five and a half years at Spurs to the Champions League final, the League Cup final and two FA Cup semi-finals as well as four top 4 placements in the Premier League. That seriously exceeded the weight of the club.

At Spurs, Pochettino never had the money to buy star players. He developed the young players at his disposal, from Harry Kane to Dele Alli. As the head coach of Espanyol between 2009 and 2013, he debuted 20 academics. Pochettino has an excellent team of coaches, an area where United under Solskjær was found to be deficient.

United have reportedly tracked down Pochettino's agents. Maybe it's more than that. He had an offer from Barcelona last year but turned it down. While the theater is on, he could be waiting for the job at United.

It's almost impossible for any coach / manager to turn down United. This is arguably the greatest job in football. But Pochettino wouldn't be able to revive United either if he didn't have an appropriate football structure. United's tragedy at the moment contrasts with Macbeth's final act. Macbeth had everything but one fatal mistake, ambition. United has it all, but their hierarchy reeks of a lack of real ambition. United's problems go deeper than Solskjær's.

When an investment banker is responsible for a club's player transfers, their recruiting process is bound to be shoddy. If Pochettino arrives, he will have to ask for a DoF and at least £ 200million in recruiting players before signing on the dotted line. For example, if someone like Luis Campos, the DoF of French club Lille, were in charge of transfers at United, £ 80million for Harry Maguire would likely never have happened. P.S. Pochettino's arrival could force certain players to perform or die regardless of their star status. Your vacation could be over.

Get live stock quotes from BSE, NSE, the US market and the latest net asset value, portfolio of mutual funds, calculate your taxes with the Income Tax Calculator and know the top gainers, top losers and best equity funds in the market. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now in the telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay up to date with the latest news and updates from Biz.


Steven Gregory