After Manchester City – PSG (2-1) – Mauricio Pochettino at PSG: shared weariness, divorce to be worked out

After Manchester City – PSG (2-1) – Mauricio Pochettino at PSG: shared weariness, divorce to be worked out
After Manchester City – PSG (2-1) – Mauricio Pochettino at PSG: shared weariness, divorce to be worked out

He was at the center of all questions. Under the lights of the Etihad Stadium, we expected answers, at least partial. But the day after the collective correction inflicted by Manchester City on PSG on Wednesday (2-1), Mauricio Pochettino as a Parisian coach remains a mystery. Arrived last January, the Argentinian still has not drawn a clear line as to his philosophy in the capital. “We are here to develop the ideas of PSG, not to develop our defined ideas, which would require building with the elements we believe are necessary for these ideas.“, he also conceded to L’Equipe recently.

The implication is heavy with meaning: forget the exciting teams of Espanyol, Southampton or Tottenham passed under its control, you will not see any of that. Here in Paris, the main thing is to win. But on the side of Qatar, the main thing is the image. And, on this point, the shoe pinches.

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“They did not come to look for us to build a project”: but then, what is Pochettino for at PSG?

PSG wins (a lot) but plays (very) badly. PSG dominate L1 but seem in crisis, identity or growth, it depends. PSG has a dream trio whose performance leaves you wondering. PSG are qualified for the European spring but do not know if their coach will decide to spend the winter in England.

Announced with insistence at Manchester United where one imagines him to return in the clothes of Sir Alex Ferguson in the medium term, the Argentinian lets run the rumors of corridor by soft denials (“the players know our situation“, “i don’t want to talk about rumors“). For the rest, these press conferences always remain as smooth, whatever the language chosen, where he takes care not to offend anyone and to systematically emphasize the positive, in a Coué method that begins to weigh.

“In Manchester, we imagine that Pochettino will bring the same philosophy as Sir Alex Ferguson”

Pochettino is not allowed to be Pochettino with PSG

Wednesday, we saw what we expected to see: a team that will certainly be there to play for the win in the last hectometers of the C1 on one side. And, on the other, a stack of offensive stars which unbalances a boat already far from the liner which has been sailing smoothly in recent years. Wednesday, we had the confirmation of a malaise and a marriage destined to fail.

The problem is that Mauricio Pochettino is not allowed to be Pochettino with PSG, brilliantly summed up Thierry Henry for CBS Sports. How to get out of Mbappé, Messi or Neymar? It is not feasible. Suddenly, he brought Di Maria in midfield. The latter too was exposed too much and did not help defensively“.

If you want to win the Champions League, you can’t defend with seven players, continued the top scorer in the history of the Blues. It’s impossible“. “I am very satisfied with all the players“, Pochettino answered at the microphone of RMC, in yet another meaningless speech. Where the former Tottenham had the opportunity to regain control, to assert his truths, at least partially, he preferred leave his trio in the comfort of insufficient services.

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Who to train this PSG?

Married in January, PSG and Pochettino are already thinking of a divorce that looks almost obvious. At the peak of his credit last January, the Argentine knows that his English or Spanish rating could suffer from an ordeal already too long at PSG. Sure of its choice last January, PSG knows that time is running out to find the man able to make Mbappé, Neymar and Messi coexist in the same eleven and the one who will succeed where Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino: live peacefully with the omnipotent Leonardo. Does the rare bird even exist?

From this PSG Pochettino version, we no longer expect much as the axes of progression are difficult to establish without returning to the crux of the problem: this trio and its collective involvement. We are already tired of this PSG Pochettino version, a bit like him in a situation that is repeated game after game, week after week. Pochettino at PSG, it’s only been ten months but it looks like an eternity.

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