Pochettino failing to manage superstars in Paris?

Rassiq Aziz Kabir | Wednesday, 10 November 2021

When Mauricio Pochettino arrived in PSG last year, the season was already halfway through. 

PSG had just got rid of Thomas Tuchel, who later went on to win the Champions League with Chelsea and hired Pochettino who was supposed to take the team to the further stages of the Champions League, if not win the whole thing.

But to say Pochettino has been a massive failure so far is quite an understatement. The French side failed to win Ligue 1, a competition which is often criticised as a one-horse league due to PSG's absolute difference in quality with all other sides.

The 2020-2021 transfer window has been hailed by the experts as the most remarkable in the history of football and PSG had been the team most active in the market. 

After acquiring the likes of Messi, Ramos, Donnarumma, Wijnaldum for free and acquiring Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan, PSG undoubtedly are the most star-studded team in Europe.

The front trio of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar has been described to have the potential to eclipse all renowned attacking combinations in the history of football. But they have not been particularly impressive so far other than some occasional glimpses of brilliance. 

Neither the defence and midfield with stars like Veratti, Marquinhos, Wijnaldum have lived up to the level so far.

Pochettino's side seems to be a dysfunctional machine, which if well oiled can potentially be one of the greatest XIs in the history of football. He is yet to decide on a fixed system as the team has played with a lot of different formations and there has been a fair share of dressing room issues as well.

As Tuchel confirmed in an interview a few days earlier, managing PSG requires dealing with a lot of egos. And Pochettino seems to be struggling at that. There have been countless rumours about dressing room strifes, and a lot of them are true. 

With the Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid transfer saga ongoing all summer and a completely unfamiliar atmosphere for Messi after his shock exit from Barcelona, PSG are having a hard time. 

The attacking trio has not particularly been keen on tracking back which has affected PSG's pressing game overall. 

Also despite the star-studded eleven, PSG lacks a proper holding midfielder with Marco Veratti being the only person keeping things going in the middle of the park.

Mauricio Pochettino does not really have a good track record when it comes to managing stars. 

So, this whole thing might be a completely new circumstance for him. With the bigger part of the season still remaining, it would be quite interesting to see how things turn out for him in the end.

Rassiq Aziz Kabir is a student of Economics at the University of Dhaka.

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