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5 reasons why Mauricio Pochettino is the wrong man for Manchester United

Mauricio Pochettino looks increasingly likely to be named Manchester United's next manager.
Mauricio Pochettino looks increasingly likely to be named Manchester United's next manager.
Parimal
ANALYST

Despite taking a remarkably long time to pull the trigger on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United may not need to wait too long for a replacement.

The Red Devils have been linked with a host of names ranging from German tactician Ralf Rangnick to serial winner Zinedine Zidane. However, it looks increasingly likely that a familiar name - Mauricio Pochettino - could take up the role as Manchester United's next manager.


Manchester United have always admired Mauricio Pochettino

In a surprising twist, Mauricio Pochettino of PSG has become the frontrunner to take up the reins at Old Trafford. On paper, it looks like a dream fit. Manchester United have had their eyes on the Argentinian coach since 2016, when he shared a very public lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson. The admiration is mutual, with Pochettino reportedly a huge fan of The Red Devils' legendary coach.

With a solid track record in English football and a desire to be part of a long-term project, Manchester United and Mauricio Pochettino could be the perfect marriage. However, there are reasons for The Red Devils to be cautious before appointing the current PSG boss as their next head coach.

There are convincing reasons why Pochettino should be named the next Manchester United manager. However, the flip side is also true. Pochettino may not be the man Manchester United are looking for. On that note, here are five reasons why that could be the case:


#5 Mauricio Pochettino's trophy haul doesn't inspire confidence

Mauricio Pochettino (left) couldn't get past Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League final.
Mauricio Pochettino (left) couldn't get past Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League final.

Mauricio Pochettino's biggest criticism is that his teams have faltered at the business end of tournaments.

Despite building an excellent squad at Tottenham Hotspur, his team had no silverware to show for that. Pochettino's Spurs side finished second in the 2016-17 Premier League, and lost to Liverpool in an all-English 2019 Champions League final.

Tottenham record in their last 6 semi-finals:2010 FAC - Portsmouth โŒ2012 FAC - @ChelseaFC โŒ2015 LC - Sheffield Utd โœ…2017 FAC - @ChelseaFC โŒ2018 FAC - Man Utd โŒ2019 LC - @ChelseaFC โŒ#CHETOT https://t.co/fgwkaRDBpY

Pochettino lost three of his four semi-finals with Spurs, including the final of the Carabao Cup in his first season with the club. His first trophy came with PSG earlier this year, 12 years after his managerial debut.

It throws up memories of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose failure to win a trophy in nearly three years with Manchester United played a huge role in his sacking. The Red Devils struggled in the later stages of tournaments under the Norwegian, losing the 2021 Europa League final along with four other semi-final defeats.


#4 Pochettino's recent track record as manager

Could Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham collapse worry Manchester United?
Could Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham collapse worry Manchester United?

Despite five stable and excellent seasons with Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino's reign in London fell apart rather abruptly.

Spurs' run to the 2019 Champions League final often masks the fact that they were in proper relegation form in the Premier League for large swathes. They lost an alarming eight of their last 12 league games, winning only twice in the final third of the season.

Their wretched form continued the following campaign, as Spurs won just three of their first 12 league games to languish in 14th place, and Pochettino was fired.

Tottenham have sacked head coach Mauricio Pochettino after five years at the club bbc.in/2pBYgUA https://t.co/855rawWDlQ

More recently, his PSG side lost the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title to Lille. However, it is unfair to place all the blame on Pochettino for that, as he came in midway through the season after Thomas Tuchel endured a wretched start to the campaign.

PSG have recovered this campaign, and are currently 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1. But their impressive league form has been accompanied by criticism about a lack of defined style or structure and a reliance on moments of individual brilliance.

There's a perception that, post the 2019 Champions League final defeat, Pochettino's last 18 months as a manager with Spurs and PSG have not been up to scratch. That is something United will need to be wary of before appointing him as their next manager.

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Edited by Bhargav
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