Clock Ticks Down For Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain

As was the case with Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel before him, a failure to deliver the Champion’s League title looks set to spell the end for Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain.
With reports widely circulating that the Argentinian’s time in charge at the Parc des Princes may now be drawing to an and.

A move to grab the sporting headlines, but one which will come as a surprise to no one. Rumors have after all been circulating for some time now that the ex-Tottenham bosses’ lack of European success – despite having an ever-expanding cast of superstars at his disposal – would ultimately see powerful Qatar-backed owners look elsewhere.

Whilst not yet confirmed, it seems only a matter of time until official confirmation is announced, and fans taking advantage of the best betting offers UK may already be looking to speculate on who the next manager may be.

Domestic Success, Champion’s League Elusive
Pochettino’s 18-month spell in Paris can’t be written off as a total failure, with the 50-year-old having led the side to a comfortable Ligue 1 success and added the Coupe de France and Trophée des Champions to the trophy cabinet. There are nevertheless a couple of areas in which Pochettino could reasonably be said to have fallen short of his employers’ lofty expectations.

Firstly, whilst dominant in the French competitions, Pochettino’s overall win rate of 65.48% falls some way below the figures set by his predecessors; Unai Emery registering a 76.30% win rate, and Thomas Tuchel only a little behind at 74.80%. And with the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and of course Lionel Messi having joined the club under Pochettino, this drop-off is a little hard to justify.

And then of course was the failure to meet the number one objective of winning the Champion’s League. Losing both legs of the semi-final to Manchester City in 2021, PSG then made it no further than the Last 16 in 2022 – coughing up a first-leg advantage to lose to eventual champions Real Madrid. If it wasn’t already, Pochettino’s fate seem sealed from that moment.

Who Next for the Hotseat
Should Pochettino depart as expected, the focus will immediately turn to his successor. And despite the huge pressure that comes with the job, there are few managers in world football who will be able to resist the allure of working with such a talented squad of players. Early reports however suggest that this race may come down to just two men: Zinedine Zidane and Christophe Galtier.

Zidane of course needs very little introduction as one of the greatest French midfielders of all time, and a man who continues to be revered around the footballing world. Brilliant as a player, Zidane is in the midst of compiling a hugely impressive managerial record. During two spells in charge at Spanish giants Real Madrid, Zidane led the side to the La Liga title on two occasions, but possibly more importantly in the eyes of the PSG decision-makers, also lifted the Champion’s League Trophy not once, not twice, but three times. Should Zidane be inclined to take on this challenge, he would most likely be the number one candidate.

Christophe Galtier meanwhile may not be so high-profile as Zidane (few in the footballing world are), but he does boast a compelling managerial CV of his own. Despite never having been granted the resources available at the very biggest clubs, Galtier has achieved success in each of his three managerial appointments to date. Lifting the Coupe de la Ligue with Saint-Étienne, he then stunned French Football when winning the 2020/21 Ligue 1 title with Lille. Currently, in charge at Nice, his first season at the helm saw the 57-year-old guide The Eagles to an unexpected European qualifying position, increasing the value of his stock-still further.

Zidane, Gaultier or perhaps José Mourinho?

Whoever is next in line will likely know that; unless able to win Europe’s biggest club competition – their stay in the French capital may well be short-lived!

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