Christmas cheer was seemingly few and far between in the French capital this morning as Thomas Tuchel was reportedly relieved of his duties by PSG.
The German led the Parisian giants to the Champions League final earlier in 2020 but a string of poor results in the new season has led the PSG board to act early. Whilst Tuchel’s contract was up at the end of the 2020/21 season, his sacking will have come as a shock to many in the game and attention now turns as to who will be selected to replace him at the helm.
Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino’s name has been banded around as the early front runner to take over at Le Parc des Princes.
Following an impressive spell in the Premier League with both Southampton and Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s managerial stock could not be higher. At Spurs, he transformed the squad, integrating the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli and turning them into a side that consistently challenges for trophies in English football.
His run to the Champions League final in charge to Tottenham in 2019 has gone down in the folklore of the club and the groundwork he put in is still being enjoyed by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham today. Whilst his tenure in charge of the club came to an end in the Autumn of 2019, he was rumoured to be the first choice by the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United–should they have opted to change their manager so far this term.
Return of the Poch
Whilst he has become better known for his stellar managerial career in recent years, Pochettino spent 2 full seasons at PSG between 2001 and 2003. The no nonsense central defender was revered by clubs all over Europe and his impact at the club was marked, as PSG won the UEFA Intertoto Club in 2001.
Many criticisms levelled at PSG centre round their lack of success prior to the Qatari Sports Investment and the potential appointment of Pochettino is sure to hold some romantic association with the PSG faithful.
Big name, big egos
With PSG sat only one point behind Lille and Lyon in the French Ligue 1 table and with PSG also comfortably through to the last 16 of the Champions League, Tuchel was somewhat hoisted by his own petard in being sacked. Pochettino shouldn’t have too much of a rebuilding job on his hands in terms of PSG’s performance this season, more telling perhaps could be how he deals with the big names in the squad.
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr are the two most expensive players in world football history and managing their performances and egos will be the ultimate challenge for the Argentine. If he can get everybody on board and can start playing the football he displayed at Tottenham and Southampton, PSG could be a team going places in 2021.