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Mauricio Pochettino’s 4 options: a great manager without a bench

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The Argentinian manager has been without a job for over a year now although he has received offers recently. Is he waiting for a particular job? Has he not been considered enough for other big teams? Let’s see.

Despite a very sad ending to his time at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s stocks as a manager are still high. He is quite likely the most sought-out manager in the market since, as we speak, he is without a job. The Argentinian’s brand of fast-paced, offensive, and intense football, complemented by his squad-building abilities that led Spurs to a Champions League final in 2019, is enough for a lot of top clubs to set their sights on him.

It will be quite interesting to see Mauricio Pochettino, 48-year old, on the bench of a top club with limitless financial resources to see what he can do with a better budget and an even better squad. But where should he go? The most common rumors are Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester United and PSG, so let’s see on a case-by-case scenario.

Arsenal is in the lower end of the table and Mikel Arteta’s conservative approach to things is becoming even more sterile as every game goes by. The Gunners are in a very dire situation where both the results and the playing style are not good. As a result, a manager like Pochettino, who is very familiar with the English Premier League, could bring the necessary changes for Arsenal. The big issue is that the former Southampton manager is known to be quite loyal. In the past, Pochettino refused Barcelona’s bench due to his connections to their arci-rivals of Espanyol, where he played as a footballer and later coached as a manager. Pochettino may not be willing to land on Arsenal’s bench for this reason.

Real Madrid is putting a lot of pressure on Zinedine Zidane who managed to achieve the qualification for the next round of the Champions League at the very last opportunity. In addition, the team is not performing as expected in La Liga. However, as mentioned in a previous article, there are very little chances that Real Madrid will let Zinedine Zidane go. In any event, should Pochettino become the manager of Los Blancos, the main concern would be related to the well-known explosive Real Madrid’s environment. Mauricio Pochettino has never handled big locker-rooms before, especially the kind that Madrid has, and the lack of silverware in his resume might seem like an issue for a club with such a habit of winning.

PSG was a very interesting shout as he is a former player there and Thomas Tuchel has struggled massively this season. But after pretty much securing their place in the next round of the Champions League by defeating Manchester United last week, Tuchel has saved his job. In addition, PSG is composed of primadonnas as well and handling so many egos may be challenging for every manager. Pochettino may turn down the offer for this reason.

Manchester United seems to be the most fitting destination. Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s CEO, contacted the Argentinian when both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho were sacked. There has been a long-standing interest from that end and it looks like the Red Devils have a lot of respect for the former Tottenham manager. Many of the players that Man Utd has, such as Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes or even Anthony Martial, were transfer targets of Spurs when Pochettino was the manager. The squad is quite young, which is something that the Argentinian manager is known for handling quite well. And that combination of youth and attacking football is one of the key elements in Manchester United’s history.

Ole Solskjaer, current Manchester United coach, is under a lot of pressure after missing the qualification to the first round of the UEFA Champions League. The next week(s) will be crucial for the manager to avoid losing his job. In that case, Manchester United’s board may have already the alternative in mind and the phone of Mauricio Pochettino may ring soon.

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