Pochettino watch: United linked boss' man-management skills praised by PSG star
Manchester United are still undecided who will be the club’s next manager, Mauricio Pochettino or Erik Ten Hag.
The Guardian reports United have reached out to make contact with both managers. Ten Hag is the more exciting choice, as more of an unknown quantity in English football, although you could argue Pochettino’s experience in the Premier League gives him an advantage too.
Pochettino’s future may rely directly on the result on Wednesday night’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Real Madrid.
If PSG relinquish their 1-0 lead and crash out, the French side probably won’t be able to get him out the door quick enough.
Part of the reason Pochettino was regarded as a good, strong manager at Tottenham was his ability to work with and improve players. This is a manager who was able to get a team with Eric Dier and Dele Alli to the Champions League final.
United defender Luke Shaw has previously talked up his man-management skills, quoted by The Mirror talking about how he gave him plenty of belief during their time together at Southampton.
Current PSG star Danilo has now been talking Pochettino up too, in an interview with France Bleu.
The Portugal international had a tough time under previous boss Thomas Tuchel, and credits Pochettino with the turnaround which has seen him score five goals this season.
Danilo said: “I came here to Paris to play midfield. Afterwards, things changed. I played a lot of games as a central defender and there, for the adaptation, it was a bit difficult. Afterwards, things changed again, and the coach changed too, and that gave me a lot of confidence. Pochettino gave me a lot of confidence to progress.”
Further praising Pochettino, Danilo went into more detail about how the manager helped him on a day to day basis.
The PSG star explained: “He’s a coach who likes to talk, not just about games or training. He likes to talk about everything. About life, everyday life. It meant a lot to me. helped me because I needed to express a little bit what I had inside me. He helped me a lot with that.”
He went onto add the tactical and practical work Pochettino has implemented at PSG to help the side improve as a team.
Danilo said: “It’s something we’ve been working on since Pochettino’s arrival. We’ve been working on defensive things a lot, but also offensively for midfielders and defenders, with a lot of shots as well. I think the goals for midfielders and defenders defenders are due to that. We work a lot here, and it shows more and more.”
A strong candidate
Ten Hag may be the more exciting choice, but if Manchester United plump for Mauricio Pochettino, there is no reason for fans to feel despondent.
Pochettino is a good coach, who players clearly enjoy playing for. It is unlikely the Glazers present a huge sum of £200 million to go and spend this summer, so it is important United’s next boss can help some of the current players to improve and build upon their potential.
Pochettino’s ability to do this could be invaluable, and if he can help lift the likes of Marcus Rashford out of the doldrums, he could be a very smart hire, if he is chosen.