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What short-term impact could Mauricio Pochettino have on Manchester United?

The Paris Saint-Germain boss is interested in taking over at Old Trafford and that will mean an immediate upturn in fortunes if his spells at former clubs are anything to go by.

Following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, current Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his desire to manage Manchester United.
Pochettino has joined three of the four clubs he has managed with the season already well underway, so we take a look at how his first months in charge took shape at each and what Man United fans could expect from the highly regarded Argentinian in the short term.


Having retired in 2006, Pochettino became Espanyol's third manager of the season in late January 2009 with the team sitting in 18th position, five points adrift of safety.

Pochettino had already earned a huge reputation while playing for the club between 1994 and 2001 and then returning between 2004 and 2006.
Before being appointed, the Argentinian had only just obtained his UEFA Pro Licence and was tasked with saving the club from relegation. However, he would not only achieve that goal but help the club to a mid-table finish in La Liga.
Pochettino made one addition in the remaining days of the transfer window, bringing in striker Ivan Alonso from second-tier side Real Murcia for just over £2millon.
Alonso went on to score some crucial goals for the club, including two against UD Almeria which guaranteed Espanyol's survival.

The highlights of Espanyol's season were two fantastic results against rivals Barcelona, who would go on to win La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey that same campaign. In his first game in charge, Pochettino was able to mastermind a 0-0 draw in the Copa del Rey despite having taken charge of two training sessions.

His philosophy of high pressing and one-on-one defensive cover was already clear to see and it was perfectly executed by his players as they kept a clean sheet against Pep Guardiola's men.
A month later they went one better and defeated Barcelona.
Pochettino said after the game that it was his plan to surprise them and press their opponents high up the field. The 2-1 victory was their first at Camp Nou in 27 years and helped the club grow in confidence and eventually finish in a very respectable 11th place.
Within months of joining, Pochettino had provided the club with stability and had implemented a tactical style that was used by the club's teams from senior down to youth level.
Pochettino also showed a preference for 4-2-3-1 and promoted players from within the club who were on board with his philosophy.


Following on from a three-and-a-half year spell at Espanyol, Pochettino took over from Nigel Adkins at Southampton in 2013. In what was a controversial and risky appointment, he was put in charge of a club that was hungry and ambitious and looking to break into the Premier League top 10.

Again, Pochettino took over in January, with defender Vegard Forren joining on the same day. Though how much of a say the new manager had in his £4million arrival can probably be explained by Forren returning to Molde six months later having failed to make a first-team appearance.
Pochettino had been learning English prior to his appointment by listening to Adele songs and was assisted by an interpreter for interviews in his first months in charge.
It was something that was touched upon by former Saints manager Lawrie McMenemy who gave the new boss a pretty hostile welcome.
McMenemy said: "With due respect to Pochettino, what does he know about our game? What does he know about the Premier League?
"What does he know about the dressing room, does he speak English?

Nevertheless, with his language skills improving, Pochettino guided Southampton away from the relegation zone to finish 14th, with the highlight being back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Chelsea.

He put his faith in youth and 17-year-old Luke Shaw prospered under his guidance, making 25 appearances in his first season as a pro.

The following season after Saints finished eighth, Shaw was off to Manchester United for £30million and Poch was on his way out, too.


Pochettino moved to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2014, signing a five-year contract. For the first time in his managerial career he would have a full pre-season to get his new team ready for the campaign ahead.

He signed six players for around £30million in his first transfer window at White Hart Lane. Of those, Ben Davies and Eric Dier remain on the playing staff, while Michel Vorm is the goalkeeping coach. The other three, DeAndre Yedlin, Federico Fazio and Benjamin Strambouli, made just 33 Premier League appearances for the club.

Outgoing in his first transfer window were Jake Livermore and Michael Dawson who joined Hull City for a combined fee of £14million and Gylfi Sigursson who joined Swansea as part of the deal which saw Davies arrive.

Immediately, Pochettino put his faith in players who had come through the system at Spurs. Harry Kane made his big breakthrough, while other players such as Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Andros Townsend and Danny Rose were given extended runs in the Premier League. Dier and winter signing Dele Alli would also make a case to be included in England's Euro 2016 squad.

As with Espanyol, Pochettino deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation with Christian Eriksen becoming his key creative player.
Pochettino began his tenure at Spurs with just three wins from the first nine league games. However, their next six wins were all by one-goal margins, showing his team could grind out important results.
After a shaky start, it was clear his philosophy was being bought into and results began to pick up, as Spurs climbed from 12th at the start of November to end the season in fifth place.

Paris Saint-Germain

Having spent time at PSG as a player before the Qatari money came in, Pochettino returned to the club in 2021 as manager, following over a year away from the game.

As with Espanyol and Southampton, he joined in January. He did not bring anyone in during the winter transfer window, keeping his powder dry for a summer that would see Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Gini Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos arrive on free transfers.

He did, however, sanction loan moves out for goalkeeper Marcin Bulka and midfielder Bandiougou Fadiga.
He oversaw an eventful first few months at the Parc des Princes. PSG drew 1-1 with Saint Etienne in his first game in charge and followed it up with a 3-0 win against Brest.

He then won his first piece of silverware as a manager just days later as PSG defeated Marseille in the Trophee des Champions 2-1, with Mauro Icardi and Neymar scoring.

In February, PSG defeated Barcelona 4-1 at Camp Nou in his first Champions League game in charge of the club. The win saw them progress to the quarter-finals, where they beat Bayern Munich over two legs before losing to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the last four.

PSG ended the campaign by winning the Coupe de France but recorded a disappointing second-place league finish behind Lille, even after a seven-game unbeaten run to finish the season.
He was linked with a return to Tottenham in the summer but signed a contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain to take him through to the summer of 2023.
And now, it seems Manchester United are interested.
He would certainly provide a quick upturn in results if his early record at his previous clubs is anything to go by and he wouldn't be fazed by taking over a club midway through a season.
The chance to stamp his identity on a club will also appeal.
However, with a league title still missing from his CV, you have to wonder whether he would walk away from the Parc des Princes with PSG nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

READ MORE: Who will be the next British manager to win the Premier League? Moyes, Potter, Gerrard…

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