Biggest argument for Pochettino is disproved by Klopp and Guardiola
Manchester United’s decision to hire a new manager is still open-ended between two top candidates, Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino.
Andy Mitten reported for The National this week that United’s hiring process has involved the club speaking to ex-players to gather their views.
This is one area in which Pochettino may have the edge. Wayne Rooney added his voice to backing of the PSG manager this week, joining Gary Neville and Nicky Butt in support of the Argentine.
In some areas Pochettino and Ten Hag are similar. Both managers like to play an aggressive style of football and have been proven to bring through young players, a key attribute for any future Manchester United boss.
The one argument commonly brought out in favour of Pochettino is one Wayne Rooney used, citing his Premier League experience.
It’s black and white. Pochettino has years of experience managing in the Premier League between 2013 and 2019 with Southampton and Tottenham.
Erik ten Hag has never managed in the Premier League. So this is why some feel Pochettino has somewhat of an edge s as a proven commodity in English football.
Argument has already been disproved
If United were looking at Pochettino’s experience in the Premier League as a decisive factor, they should not be. There is no supportive evidence this would actually help.
Jose Mourinho had won the Premier League three times in two separate spells with Chelsea in when he was hired, and he failed to do so with United. Pochettino does not even have this winning experience in the bank, he just has experience of competing.
The real supportive evidence for Ten Hag, rather than Pochettino, comes from United’s rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola had no experience in the Premier League before they were hired by their clubs, and they have both gone onto win the title.
Neither of them did it in their first season in England either, taking differing lengths of time to adjust, while the clubs stuck with them and helped them build the teams they wanted in the styles they wanted.
It won’t be an overnight transformation for whoever comes in at United, and it could take two or three transfer windows for the team to start being competitive again.
But they have proven that clubs do not need to search for managers ‘with experience in the Premier League’ to be successful, and nor should United make it a prerequisite, or a top ranked attribute.
The best managers will learn on the job and adapt, with patience and support behind them.