The time has come to take stock at Paris Saint-Germain. And unsurprisingly, all eyes are on the coach. In this lively season, the Rouge-et-Bleu started hostilities with Thomas Tuchel before replacing the German with Mauricio Pochettino at Christmas. On paper, the German and the Argentine have each played half of the season. What then for the former Ile-de-France defender returned to the club?
As a reminder, the latter had tried to cut short any criticism by saying that he and his staff could not be judged until next season. “We have arrived in the middle of a project that is not ours. It’s different to arrive like Thomas Tuchel or Unai Emery at the start of the season, with the possibility of establishing a pre-season strategy, of being able to change things. From that moment, next year, they will be able to judge me ”.
Except that at PSG, five months of competition are enough for a first assessment to be drawn up, especially since the game of comparison with that of Tuchel is natural. When it comes to domestic trophies, Pochettino has won the Coupe de France, like Tuchel. In the league, at the accounting level, Pochettino took 47 points, against 35 for Tuchel, but the first has 21 matches on the clock, against 17 for his predecessor. In terms of defeats, no jealousy (4 each). But the South American was ultimately unable to keep the title.
Pochettino still asks not to be judged
In the Champions League, Paris did not reach the final like last year, but the course of the Rouge-et-Bleu was undoubtedly more captivating, unlike the table of the Final 8 judged without enormous difficulties before the final (Atalanta in quarter, RB Leipzig in half). After a chaotic group phase, but marked by a great success in Manchester, Kylian Mbappé’s partners made the big game against FC Barcelona and against the defending champion, Bayern Munich. The failure against City is disappointing, but Paris confirmed that it knew how to show character against the European tenors with a little more regularity.
On the other hand, when it comes to the game, the Pochettino leg is still pending. The red-and-blue team has changed its configuration with the 4-2-3-1 installed by the Argentinian, but nothing to improve the game of a formation still so dependent on the bursts of Neymar and by Mbappé. Moreover, when the two stars are caught in a pincer movement, the collective rarely responds. Faced with all these observations, Pochettino has not changed his posture so far. For him, the time to take stock will ring at the end of next season, his first played entirely in Paris.
“It’s been less than five months. Lots of positive things, lots of things that need to be improved. I remain with this impression of not being satisfied with not having won the championship despite a good run in the Champions League and victory in the Champions Trophy and the Coupe de France. But still with this feeling of dissatisfaction. I think we have to work a lot, and realize that here, in a team like Paris, the requirements are enormous. It doesn’t matter what I said. Whether you judge me on that or not, that leaves me indifferent. For me, a coach and his technical staff must be judged on a season from the start. But I understand football is like that and we took our responsibility from our first day. Let everyone make their own conclusions, I gladly accept them ”.