Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to become the new manager of Paris St Germain, according to widespread reports. But why could this be good news for Manchester United?
Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal as Paris Saint-Germain head coach has paved the way for the Argentine’s appointment, whose opening match in charge will be a trip to Saint-Etienne on January 6th when Ligue 1 resumes after its winter break.
He will have several compatriots, such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, in his squad and is already being rumoured to be planning to reunite with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen from his time at Spurs.
That time ended just over a year ago when he was sacked by Daniel Levy and it is fair to say that since that time, his name has been persistently linked with Manchester United.
Every time the Red Devils have gone on a bad run or suffered a bad defeat, Pochettino’s face has been in the papers and many have called for him to be brought in to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United manager.
Indeed, there have been no other obvious candidates waiting in the wings other than perhaps Max Allegri, who has also now been out of work for over a year following his dismissal by Juventus.
The fact is that the removal of Pochettino from the picture at Old Trafford casts a completely different light on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position at the club, and one that could be a huge benefit going forward.
Solskjaer has endured the last twelve months with the spectre of Poch looming over him, knowing that this better-credentialled Ferrari of a manager wanted his job – a job he got with a Lada reputation.
This must have been unsettling for the Norwegian, but also potentially disruptive for the dressing room. Discipline would be hard and doubts would creep in when it was perceived that his position was precarious and that, to some extent, he was living on borrowed time.
Taking Pochettino out of the equation suddenly strengthens and elevates Solskjaer’s position immensely from a psychological point of view. He is now the man. He is no longer the longest serving caretaker manager in history. It now feels as if he is there by right and for the long term regardless of the results of the next few games.
It has been widely reported that Solskjaer is well-liked by the squad but there has been a sense that it is a ‘matey’ kind of liking rather than a respectful one for the boss. When his job has appeared to be on the line, the team has seemed to pull together and put in a good performance to save their pal, rather than work their backsides off for him week-in, week-out because they know that their future depends on impressing him.
That now might change and that can only be good for Manchester United.
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