In the event of elimination against Bayern Munich, Mauricio Pochettino would not have escaped it: his responsibility would have been engaged.
Installed on the bench of PSG since January, he has had plenty of time to make his mark, although he disputes it.
“You really have to start from scratch, with a pre-season.
And there, OK, we can be judged, the Argentinian told Le Parisien on April 2.
But, at this stage, if we win the Champions League, the Coupe de France, Ligue 1, our influence will be minimal.
As in the event that we do not gain anything.
I say it frankly.
It will be thanks to the players above all.
Also thanks to the club, the previous staff and the sports management who created this group.
The success observed in the Champions League against Barcelona and Bayern Munich owes a lot to the former coach of Tottenham.
On and off the pitch, he corrected, improved, changed Thomas Tuchel's PSG to shape this team which now arouses a form of fear in Europe.
More turned towards Mbappé
Internally, Pochettino judged that Kylian Mbappé was not served enough or highlighted, that the team did not play enough on his qualities.
With this in mind and in the absence of Neymar, hit in the ankle when the coach landed, he brought Marco Verratti closer to the world champion to supply him with good balls.
Like many others before him, the Argentinian technician felt that the game revolved too much around Neymar, as solar as he was eclipsed, the Brazilian rarely managing to register in the long term because of his numerous suspensions or injuries.
The most spectacular result of this readjustment came in Barcelona (1-4), another night without the No.10.
It wasn't the first time that Bondy's crack had played without the Brazilian but he had perhaps never been so good with Paris.
It is his masterpiece, with a hat-trick, but also the leg of the coach.
And as Mbappé was once again stratospheric in Munich (3-2), where he scored a double, and very inspired on the return despite the defeat (1-0), the thesis of coincidence does not work.
If the attacker makes his best matches in his Parisian history, which began in 2017, the coach's desire to seek him out faster, more often, more in space by sucking up the opponent, by accepting to undergo his control of the ball. , on the left as on the right in this famous free position which he likes on the front of the attack, it is his success but also the fruit of the instructions of Pochettino.
A team at work
With Pochettino, the Parisians do not work more than with Thomas Tuchel but work more than with Thomas Tuchel.
We explain ourselves.
There were two periods with the German coach: the beginning and the end.
When he took the reins of PSG in the summer of 2018, the entire workforce was on deck, meeting the coach's requirements.
All new, all beautiful.
After the Champions League final in August 2020, Tuchel never managed to re-mobilize his troop.
Some had taken liberties, contenting themselves with the minimum in the Lodge camp.
The coach himself sometimes seemed to come to terms with this slackening.
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His dismissal is also attributable to this neglect on both sides.
Pochettino has put order in this area and everyone has found the hard pleasure of the exhausting sessions.
As at the beginning of Tuchel's mandate.
This taste of sweat seems to benefit everyone, especially players who like high workloads like Idrissa Gueye, overpowered for a few weeks.
A software change
The Argentine has brought calm to the club, crossed by the conflict between Tuchel and Leonardo, the sports director, on the recruitment policy;
Tuchel and the wider medical sector on injuries and athletic preparation.
At PSG, Pochettino is not complaining (for the moment) about anything.
Above all, it does not broadcast the same message, neither internally nor externally.
If a major player is absent - like Neymar and Angel Di Maria in Barcelona - he applies himself to finding other solutions without making a mountain.
“My staff and I are always positive, it's our way of being.
There must be an energetic force in this club that allows the group to get by and be competitive despite the absences.
If it is not yet the case, we must take the players towards that ”, he commented again in our columns at the moment of explaining his method.
Where his predecessor had grown weary of injuries, or even using it as an excuse, the new boss on the bench tries to trivialize the event, to make a lack of Neymar, suffering from his adductors, a twist. .
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This strategy has a goal that works at least in a few big matches including the European Cup: the team is stronger than the rest. It is thanks to the collective that the individualities will shine in a moment when we only see Mbappé, Neymar, Gueye, Danilo Pereira or even Abdou Diallo. Even those without rank benefit from it. In return, he particularly asks his attackers to make efforts in the defensive withdrawal that they were not doing, more or less well. Against Bayern Munich, Di Maria, Neymar and Mbappé were rarely stripped. The success of the business should encourage them to start over. This is good: there is a Champions League final to be fetched in early May.