The arrival of Lionel Messi to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) may have been considered as a masterstroke from the owner of the club, Nasser Al-Khelaifi. However, his coming to Paris may be bad news to manager, Mauricio Pochettino if he fails to lead the team to Champions League success this season.
No doubt, Messi joining PSG has brought some element of relief for fans, players, and the technical crew at the club considering his wealth of experience and what he will add to the team. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner won four Champions League titles while at Barcelona, as well as 10 La Liga titles. He recently led Argentina to win the 2021 Copa America title and has scored 682 goals in all competitions.
However, PSG’s biggest questions will be, can Pochettino truly lead Paris to the promised land? Will he be able to manage the players at his disposal and transform them into a powerful force to reckon with in Europe?
Most certainly, winning the Ligue 1 title and all domestic trophies in France will be expected from the club going by the array of stars at Pochettino’s disposal. There should be no contest in this regard even though some teams such as Lille, Lyon, and Marseille will want to give them a run for their money.
This season could well prove Pochettino’s managerial credibility if he wants to remain as the manager of PSG knowing fully well that some coaches in Europe have been sacked due to their inability to win major titles despite spending big in the transfer market.
Recall that the Argentine tactician during his managerial career at Tottenham failed to win a trophy despite spending five years on the job. He joined PSG mid-season in January 2021 but failed to lead the team to win the Ligue 1, Champions League, and just recently the Trophee des Champions – France’s Super Cup. The only trophy he won was the Coup de France, where he defeated Monaco 2-0 in the final.
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Flashback to the 2009–10 season, when Real Madrid under the tutelage of Manuel Pellegrini had galacticos of stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Kaka, Álvaro Arbeloa, to mention a few, finished the season without a trophy. The result of the campaign saw Pelligrini been sacked as manager and Jose Mourinho appointed as his replacement.
Also, Frank Lampard shot himself in the foot when he spent around £200m on players such as Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Timo Werner, Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech, and Malanga Sarr in the 2020 summer but also failed to utilize them properly. The result was an abrupt end to his fairy-tale return to Stamford Bridge.
It is believed that Pochettino will be under immense pressure to get the result as quickly as possible in order to relieve himself of any sort of pressure. He’s blessed with many qualities in the squad such as Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Danilo Pereira, Neymar, Di Maria, and Mbappe.
His hands are full and will definitely not be forgiven if the team fails to lift the elusive trophy the club has been craving for years. Dominating the French League will not be counted as a success by the club owners this season.
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