Pochettino’s job under threat as Guardiola’s Man City lay siege. On January 2,2021, Mauricio Pochettino was appointed head coach of Paris Saint-Germain on an 18-month contract, replacing Thomas Tuchel who was fired after a run of poor results.
Pochettino’s arrival was greeted with expectations of a trophy-laden run at the French club following his remarkable managerial career at Tottenham where his most memorable achievement was a runner-up finish in the 2019 champions league cup, the club’s first European cup final in history.
The former Tottenham and Southampton boss’ stay at PSG has however fallen short of expectations with a series of see-saw results which saw the team lose the French Ligue 1 trophy to Lille Olympique Sporting Club, a trophy the Paris based team had hitherto won three consecutive times.
Worse still, the team failed to improve on its final place finish the previous season as they were knocked out in the Semi Final stage by a Guardiola-led Manchester city. His only notable moment of cheer was a less significant Coupe de France win against Monaco.
The current PSG team, packed with a star-studded list of players including; Lionel Messi, Neymar Júnior, Kylian Mbappé, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Keylor Navas, Ángel di María, Marquinhos (captain) and others, is valued at an estimated €939 million and considered one of the most expensive squads in the world.
Powered with a remarkable line up which is rated by football pundits as one of the most complete teams in the world, the 2021/22 football season has been dubbed as a ‘no-excuse’ period for Pochetino to fire up the team to remarkable titles, particularly the UEFA champions league which has eluded the football club founded in August 12 1970.
The 2021/22 season has thus far seen Pochetino lead the team to consecutive victories in the domestic league with the team poised to reclaim the trophy but the champions league proves to be a “must-win” goal for the manager and failure to deliver could likely result in his exit.
Placed in Group A of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League alongside English league champions, Manchester City; Belgian champions, Club Brugge; and RB Leipzig runners up in the German Bundesliga, qualification to the next stage is definitely not a walk in the park for the team.
PSG’s first game against Club Brugge was way below expectation as a lacklustre performance saw the team struggle to a 1-1 draw despite fielding its top players. This has drawn a lot of criticisms from fans and pundits, placing Pochettino’s job on the line.
The team’s next game against group leaders, Manchester City at Le Parc des Princes is set to be one of Pochetinno’s biggest test and a draw or worse still, a defeat,could lead to the termination of his position,a situation better left imagined than experienced for the 49-year old manager.