Mauricio Pochettino’s most memorable managerial moments at Southampton, Tottenham and PSG

From making a name for himself with Espanyol and Southampton to becoming a world-class coach with Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino has provided some iconic moments in his managerial career.

Mauricio Pochettino is about to be faced with a tactical conundrum the envy of the soccer world over: how to accommodate Lionel Messi in a Paris Saint-Germain line-up which also contains Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi.

It must seem a far cry from his first game in charge in England which saw his Southampton side lining up with Rickie Lambert, Jason Puncheon and Gaston Ramirez as their attacking threat.

Nevertheless, from that inauspicious start - Saints drew 0-0 with Everton - Pochettino has gone on to forge a reputation as one of the leading coaches in world soccer.

Now head coach of PSG, nothing less than a clean sweep of trophies, culminating in the Champions League, will satisfy his paymasters in the French capital - especially with Messi now on board.

Here, Planet Sport looks back at the iconic moments that led to the Argentine taking charge at the Parc des Princes.

Espanyol exploits

Mauricio Pochettino Espanyol manager Apr 2009

Pochettino stepped into management in the second half of the 2008/09 season at Espanyol.

With the task of saving his former club from relegation, Pochettino was thrown straight in at the deep end with a match against Barcelona only a day after his appointment.

Despite his inexperience, Pochettino inspired his new side to an impressive draw against the Spanish giants in the Copa del Rey fixture and would go on to guide Espanyol to a comfortable mid-table finish.

Their upturn in form featured another impressive display against their fierce rivals Barcelona.

In what was an historic win for Espanyol, Pochettino guided his side to a 2-1 victory against a formidable Pep Guardiola team including Xavi, Iniesta and Thierry Henry.

It was Espanyol's first league win at Camp Nou in 27 years.

Southampton stardom

Following on from an impressive start to life as a head coach with Espanyol, Pochettino was unveiled as the new manager of English side Southampton in January 2013, replacing Nigel Adkins.

It was this move that would allow Pochettino to showcase his abilities as a coach in the toughest league of them all.

It wouldn't take long for Pochettino to make an impact in the Premier League, recording his first win for the club against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

It didn't stop there either as the Saints would also go on to beat Liverpool and Chelsea in the space of a few weeks.

Mirroring his introduction at Espanyol, Pochettino would go on to steer Southampton safely away from the drop zone.

The following season - his first full campaign in charge of the club, Pochettino would inspire Southampton to one of their most successful Premier League campaigns in recent times as they finished eighth.

Southampton would also record their highest ever Premier League points tally.

Although the Argentinian didn't stay at the club for long, he had certainly made a lasting impact and it would prove a turning point in his career.

Developing stars

Mauricio Pochettino Harry Kane Nov17

After impressing at Southampton, Pochettino was appointed as the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur.

During his time at Southampton, Pochettino had worked with young stars such as Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana who would go on to make moves to Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively.

A number of Southampton's side under Pochettino would also go on to represent England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with Shaw, Lallana and Rickie Lambert all featuring.

However, it was at Tottenham that Pochettino's ability to develop youngsters truly came to the fore.

Pochettino would be instrumental in the emergence of Dele Alli and Eric Dier was also one of the inspirations behind the rise of Harry Kane.

It was in Pochettino's first season in charge of the club that Kane would get an extended run in the side, finishing it as the PFA Young Player of the Year.

With Pochettino's guidance, Kane clinched the Premier League's top Golden Boot in the following two seasons, as well as becoming an international regular.

Kane would go on to cement himself as one of the best strikers in world soccer.

Battle of the Bridge

Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham v Chelsea Battle of the Bridge Cesar Azpilicueta May16

There's no question that Pochettino has had a positive influence on a host of players, but his managerial career hasn't been without its uglier moments.

When Tottenham faced Chelsea in 2016 they knew that anything other than a win at Stamford Bridge would hand the title to Leicester City.

However, with calm heads called for, Pochettino set his side up for a war.

Keen to get in the faces of their derby rivals, Tottenham flew at their opponents, literally, with challenges reigning in thick and fast.

It was only a matter of time before a brawl erupted, with Pochettino very much at the heart of it.

Players and members of the backroom staff tussled near the dugouts as tempered flared. Pochettino was initially trying to drag his players away from the brawl but ended up getting caught up right in the thick of it.

The animosity continued throughout the game as the record for the highest number of yellow cards in a single Premier League fixture was surpassed.

Tottenham were handed a record nine yellow cards and it was Leicester who were celebrating at the final whistle after the match ended in a 2-2 draw - and another brawl, of course.

Tempers flared

Mauricio Pochettino Mike Reid confrontation Tottenham Burnley Feb 2019

In comparison to the likes of Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, Pochettino isn't known for sudden outbursts or his temper getting the better of him. However, there has been the odd time he has lost his composure.

One of these occasions was when he clashed with referee Mike Dean after the full-time whistle confirmed a 2-1 defeat to Burnley.

Looking to close the gap on leaders Manchester City to take points, Spurs had been clear favourites going into the clash at Turf Moor.

However, Ashley Barnes' late winner secured all three points for the home side and Pochettino stormed towards Dean at the final whistle, squaring up to him in the process.

It was reported that the Spurs boss was unhappy with the decision to award Burnley a corner for their opening goal when he felt the decision should have gone the other way. The Argentinian was also unhappy with the amount of fouls the Burnley side had got away with.

Despite having to be dragged away from the match official, Pochettino carried on the confrontation into the tunnel.

This angry outburst ultimately cost the Spurs head coach as he was handed a two-match ban, as well as a £10,000 fine for his actions.

Pochettino was starting to show that he wasn't always the nice guy after all.

That Champions League comeback

Mauricio Pochettino Ben Davies Tottenham beat Ajax in Champions League May19

Despite not picking up any silverware during his spell as Tottenham boss, Pochettino still played a huge part in their growth as a club and was to thank for some of their most iconic games in recent history.

One of the most memorable moments came in their semi-final second leg fixture away to Ajax in the UEFA Champions League.

Spurs had made it through to the last four of Europe's elite competition for the first time in over 50 years thanks to a thrilling victory over Manchester City.

However, Tottenham looked as though they would be heading out of the competition once again following a 1-0 home defeat in the first leg.

A 2-0 half-time deficit in the second leg made the task of reaching the final look almost impossible.

Tottenham needed three goals to progress and that was without Ajax adding to their tally.

Whatever Pochettino said to his squad at half-time had the desired effect as Tottenham emerged a different animal in the second half.

They scored twice inside the first 15 minutes to put them only a goal away from the final.

Ajax looked to have weathered the storm but with only seconds left, Tottenham winger Lucas Moura completed his hat-trick to send Spurs through to their first ever Champions League final.

It was one of the most astonishing comebacks in Champions League history.

First taste of silverware

Pochettino was appointed as the new head coach of Paris Saint-Germain in January 2021, 14 months on from his sacking at Tottenham.

And it didn't take the Argentinian long to finally win his first piece of silverware, as only two weeks into his new role, PSG had secured the Trophee des Champions courtesy of a 2-1 win over Marseille.

Unfortunately, both the league and Champions League trophies eluded him, with Lille pipping them to Ligue 1 and Manchester City defeating them in the last four in Europe.

However, with Lionel Messi now at his disposal, few will be betting against Pochettino leading PSG to Champions League glory come May.

READ MORE: Ten of the best: Lionel Messi's most iconic moments at Barcelona