Mauricio Pochettino is already a fans favourite to be the next Manchester United manager if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves his position in the near future.
The Argentine has been relatively successful in his tenures at Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain including reaching the UEFA Champions League with Spurs, beating Erik Ten Hag’s Ajax to get to the final.
At 49, Pochettino is in his prime and has all the attributes needed to become a United manager, whether that be his tactical nous or his faith in youth.
We think he ticks all the boxes, so our Manchester United Fan Brand Editor, Mike Parrott, alongside writers, Omar Garrick and Casey Evans, have listed three things we’d see if Mauricio Pochettino became the next Manchester United manager.
Casey Evans says… He’ll make use of the academy
Despite my issues with any Pochettino’s potential appointment if United were to part ways with Solskjaer (the fact he’s only won one trophy despite multiple chances to do so at Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St Germain being my major gripe) there is evidence to suggest that he would definitely make use of the academy and younger players.
When he was at Tottenham he said he felt it was a duty to develop English talent to say thank you to the country for welcoming him. He said in an interview; “I feel when I arrived in Spain and now in England in which way can we say ‘thank you’ to the country that opened the door when I didn’t speak English.
“And how people treated me and my family and my staff which was really well. It’s a way to say thank you to the Premier League and the people who trust in you.”
A number of the young players he developed during his time at the club went on to make an impact in the Premier League and some have even played in the national team.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks (ok this one is pretty bad but he still plays for Tottenham so you have to really count it), Eric Dier, Ryan Sessegnon and Kyle Walker-Peters are all examples of varying quality, but it at least shows he is willing to give them a chance.
Mauricio Pochettino helped Harry Kane take his game to a whole new level at Tottenham (Image: TF-Images/Getty Images) It has always been a priority for United to aid the development of their academy players, and under Pochettino you would be sure Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay and a number of up-and-coming players would get the coaching they need.
Omar Garrick says… A pressing team
I’m going to be honest here. I wanted Mauricio Pochettino to replace Jose Mourinho when United sacked the Portuguese coach in 2018. At the time, Spurs’ former manager was performing really well and I thought he was the perfect choice for the club.
Let’s be real here. Spurs wouldn’t have Antonio Conte if it wasn’t for Mauricio Pochettino. He put that club on the map because they weren’t what they are now about 10 years ago! He finished second once and got to a Champions League final in 2019 – some going for a team that didn’t have a big net spend.
This season, he’s currently 10 points clear at the top of the table and hasn’t lost a match in the UEFA Champions League. But still, he’s received criticism.
To be honest with you, I think managing PSG is a whole different spectacle, so it’s hard to judge how well a manager is doing. Do you remember Thomas Tuchel’s team? He has done so well with them, but was criticised for his tactics and eventually sacked. I don’t remember anyone thinking he would do incredibly well at Chelsea, but he went on to win the Champions League.
Is Pochettino my favoured candidate for the job? No, Erik ten Hag is mine. However, I think the Argentine would be my second preference as I don’t think Brendan Rodgers works at United.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 30: Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United talks to Mauricio Pochettino manager of Southampton prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on January 30, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) Pochettino would bring a pressing style with him and has said in the past that he’s been influenced by the philosophy of Marcelo Bielsa. He also has Premier League experience and I think a lot of United fans would love him as manager, once he’s in the job.
The 49-year-old also has admirers, including Sir Alex Ferguson, who publicly praised him in April 2016.
He said: “Well the manager has been fantastic.
“They [Spurs] have a bad record of managers, there is no doubt about that.
“They have had so many over the years, but this lad has composure. You never see him ruffled and the way his team play is a testimony to the work he is doing.
“The most important thing for English football is how many English and young players are in his team.
“He understands the advantage of playing young people. They won’t let you down and they have been fantastic.”
Pochettino would bring a philosophy to Old Trafford that fans would find entertaining and that’s what United need. An identity. He’s not my favourite choice, but I’d be happy with his appointment.
Mike Parrott says… Floor-raiser
As stated by the other writers above, Mauricio Pochettino brings quite a few variables to a club that inevitably raises the floor of the team as a whole. The pressing system and use of the youth academy are well-known, but his development of players, or to put it better, raising the floors of their talent is a big achievement of Pochettino’s.
When he first took over as manager of Tottenham, no one expected Kyle Walker to become the most expensive full-back in the world, and rightfully live up to that price tag, which he obviously has.
No one expected that he could replace Walker with a right-back from Burnley, and arguably do better in the form of Kieran Trippier for 20% of the price.
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Pochettino has developed players and not just youth players. The usage of Mousa Dembele, Lucas Moura, the aforementioned Walker and Trippier, as well as Ben Davies, and Toby Alderweireld were even more examples of Pochettino’s ability to push a player to their next level.
Of course, the likes of Brendan Rodgers can do this as well, but it’s yet just another trait that makes these managers eerily similar. Both managers would be great United managers, and Pochettino being able to use the youth academy, incorporate a pressing system, and push players to the next levels are three great reasons and three things that will definitely happen if he became Manchester United manager.
Is Pochettino the right man for United? Follow the United On My Mind team on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.