The Argentine has big expectations to fulfill at his new club in France.
Mauricio Pochettino has been officially announced as Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)’s new head coach. He replaces the outgoing Thomas Tuchel, who only a few months ago took the side to their first-ever UEFA Champions League final.
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss has signed a two-year deal that will keep him at the club till June 2022. The Argentine was without a club for over a year now after having been sacked by Spurs back in November 2019 and was heavily linked to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.
However, PSG have won the race to Pochettino’s signature, who is also a former player at the club. Pochettino brings a lot of promise to the table, but the task at hand is much strenuous than the job he had back in London with Spurs. Here are the five things Mauricio Pochettino will be expected to do at PSG.
Ensure Ligue 1 success in a comfortable manner
Winning the French Ligue 1 has become the minimum requirement at PSG for the players and the coaching staff. With the amount of money that has been invested into the squad, the least the owners expect is for their club to win the domestic title. The current campaign started in a disappointing manner for PSG, where they still sit in third place after 17 games, albeit by a single point.
Mauricio Pochettino must hit the ground running and find some sense of consistency in the domestic fixtures. It is imperative for the gaffer to ensure league success without too much of a hassle, which will allow the club to focus on European competitions.
Develop young talent at the club
One of the disadvantages of having a star-studded squad full of world class players is the lack of opportunities for young talent at the club. This leads to a stagnation for academy products who would choose to move to a different club for game time. To ensure success for an extended period of time, PSG needs young players to regularly feature in their playing squads.
As of now, only Mitchell Bakker (20) and Colin Dagba (22) are the sole youngsters to get featured, and with all due respects, these players are not considered to be in the ranks of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, or Martin Odegaard. Pochettino needs to pump some young talent in a squad which is full of either players in their prime or players past their prime.
Retain Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
Paris Saint-Germain broke the transfer fees record to secure Neymar from FC Barcelona and also paid a massive amount of money to recruit Kylian Mbappe from AS Monaco. While these two players have had a huge impact because of their obvious quality, lack of European success has become frustrating and the duo are heavily linked with moves away from PSG in every transfer window. While Neymar is constantly linked to a move back to FCB, Mbappe is chased by the likes of Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC.
One of the biggest challenges for the new tactician would be to tie down the duo for a long period of time and get their contracts renewed at the earliest. He must convince them to stay, because if Pochettino is to achieve success at PSG, then Neymar and Mbappe will be central to it.
Build a winning mentality in big games
Over the years, PSG have had the habit of disappointing at a crucial point of their season, leading to failure on European stage and frustration amongst their fans and owners. The players made it a habit of not turning up when it mattered the most, leading to repeated knockout phase eliminations from the Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino has proved to be a head-coach that can motivate his players to play as a unit and stay composed on big occasions. His exploits with Spurs, when they reached the UCL final, defeating Manchester City FC and AFC Ajax with last-minute goals are testament to his skill. The Parisians desperately need that quality of not giving up and turning up on big occasions.
Win the UEFA Champions League
This is the main parameter Mauricio Pochettino will be judged upon at PSG. The UEFA Champions League is the one trophy that has eluded the club and their ambitious owners, who have invested heavily to turn this dream into reality. With such backing, which was not available back in his Spurs days, Pochettino has to deliver.
FC Bayern Munich crushed Thomas Tuchel’s apirations of leading the outfit to their first-ever UCL trophy, after defeating them in the final of the 2019/20 edition. The new gaffer will need to go one step better if he intends to have a long career as PSG’s head-coach.