Is Mauricio Pochettino Manchester United’s replacement for Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer?
Mauricio Pochettino has been a free-agent since he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspurs in November 2019. With Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer unable to find consistency, Alley Sport asks, “is Pochettino Manchester United’s rightful heir to the throne”?
Ole’s inconsistency at Manchester United
Next month, it will be 2 years since Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer was appointed as Manchester United’s ‘caretaker’ manager. In that time, he has managed 101 matches and won 56 out of them, a record better than that of Jurgen Klopp’s first 100 games in-charge at Liverpool.
Despite the statistics, it has been inconsistency that has plagued the Norwegian’s time at Manchester United. The past fortnight is an evidence of that. Manchester United secured famous wins over Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig in Europe, but followed it up with humiliating defeats to Arsenal, and then Istanbul Besaksehir.
On top of that, Ole has never landed any silverware for the Manchester club. His last trophy as a manager was the Norwegian Football Cup, some 7 years back. United have also had a dismal start to the Premier League season which sees them sit 15th on the table. All these factors have combined to cause an upheaval amongst the United fanbase, who now want a ‘seasoned’, world-class manager managing them.
But, is Pochettino Manchester United’s man?
One name linked to United amidst this sage is that of Argentine Mauricio Pochettino. His time at Spurs saw him transform the club from a mid-table to a team that could challenge for trophies. United fans are hoping that, if appointed, Pochettino could carry out a similar process at Old Trafford and lift the club from mid-table obscurity to being top-2 regulars.
While it looks rosy on paper, the hard statistics tell a different story, one which would make a very hard read for Manchester United fans. Pochettino has never won a trophy in his 10-year-career as a manager. This includes his time in La Liga with Espanyol, and the Premier League with Southampton, and Tottenham Hotspurs. When he has come to winning a trophy, his team has choked up on the big stage; whether it was the League title against Leicester, Champions League knockout tie with Juventus or a European final with Liverpool.
Pochettino does have the experience, having managed more than 500 games in his managerial career. But, his PPG (Points Per Game) of 1.61 is significantly lower than Solsjkaer’s 1.85 at United. Plus, the rebuilding phase which Pochettino carried at out Spurs would test the United fans’ already flimsy patience levels. Manchester United have been the type of club to consider a season a ‘failure’ if they did not bring home at least one trophy, and the fans have grown accustomed to it.
Also, a squad which values at over a billion pounds will be hard to take apart and reassemble. If it was to be done, Pochettino would probably be fired by the club before he could start a revolution at United like he did at Spurs. The Manchester club simply does not have patience and does not compromise if it comes at the cost of not winning silverware.
The final verdict: Is the move worth it?
In short, no. If United are to replace Ole, they must do so with a proven manager who knows how to win silverware. The gap between setting up a team capable of winning silverware, and a team that actually goes on to win silverware, is wider than what most people think.
In an interview with talkSPORT, ex-Spurs player Darren Bent shared a similar view:
“When I look at elite managers that are out there: I look at [Jurgen] Klopp, [Pep] Guardiola and even [Carlo] Ancelotti]. I can’t put Pochettino into that bracket yet. I know he’s been at Spurs, but he didn’t win anything.”
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer is not doing a ‘world class’ job at Manchester United, and his spell there has proved that he is not the man to take United back to their glory days. But the chance of that man being Pochettino is very tiny as well. If United are to shake up things, a manager like Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann (whose lack of trophies till now can compensated by his exciting and proven philosophy) or Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti would better suit them.
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