Mauricio Pochettino or Erik ten Hag? Who is the best option for Man United?

The duo are battling it out at the head of the betting to replace Ralf Rangnick but how do their managerial records stack up?

It is looking increasingly likely that interim boss Ralf Rangnick will not be in charge of Manchester United next season, with Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag heading the betting to replace him.

Rangnick and new chief Richard Arnold are reportedly keen for Ten Hag to be handed the role. However the players are firmly in the Pochettino camp.

Planet Sport compares the two.

Managerial journeys

erik ten Hag Bayern Munich II Jun13

Dutchman Ten Hag started his managerial career in 2012, spending a season with the Go Ahead Eagles in the Netherlands' second tier.

He then left for his only venture outside his homeland, managing Bayern Munich's second team. He then spent two-and-a-half years at Eredivisie side Utrecht, where he was sporting director as well as coach, leading them to the Europa League qualifiers in his second season.

At the end of 2017, Ten Hag was appointed Ajax manager.

Mauricio Pochettino managed Espanyol in Spain for three years, having ended his playing days there.

He then spent over six-and-a-half years in the Premier League with Southampton and Tottenham.

A year out of the game followed his departure from Tottenham and he was appointed PSG manager at the start of 2021. However, rumours continue to swirl that this could be his first and last full season in Paris.

Titles won

Erik ten Hag Dutch Cup Ajax May19

Erik ten Hag has won five titles since joining Dutch giants Ajax. He won the Eredivisie title in both 2018/19 and 2020/21, going on to win the Dutch Cup in both seasons. In 2019, he led Ajax to the Dutch Super Cup.

Individually, he has won the Dutch Coach of the Year twice, at Utrecht and again at Ajax.

His rival for the United job, Pochettino, has only won two trophies as a manager, both since he took over at PSG. He has lifted the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions.

While at Tottenham, Pochettino lost in the finals of both the League Cup and Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino Erik ten Hag Tottenham Ajax May19

In that Champions League run, Pochettino's Spurs knocked out Ten Hag's Ajax in the 2019 semi-final, the only time the two have met in a managerial arena.

Ajax took the initiative in the first leg, winning 1-0 away from home. The second leg had everything as Spurs pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in Champions League history. Lucas Moura proved the hero for Pochettino's side, scoring a hat-trick as Spurs came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 on the night. His third goal, coming in the 96th minute, sent Spurs through to the final on away goals.

However, Tottenham came up short in the showpiece, going down to Liverpool.

This season

Manchester City PSG Kyle Walker Lionel Messi Nov21

Both managers boast superb records this season.

Interestingly, Pochettino's PSG have lost four games this season and all have come in different competitions - Champions League, Trophee des Champions, Ligue 1 and Coupe de France.

Their loss in the Champions League came at the hands of Pep Guardiola's Man City but PSG still advanced from their group as runners-up.

They then went on to beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

In Ligue 1, PSG sit 13 points clear of second-placed Marseille, with a defeat to Rennes their only major blip.

Ten Hag has overseen one less loss than Pochettino, while his team came through their Champions League group with a 100% record.

They boast a goal difference of +64 in the league, have won 9-0 once and 5-0 on NINE occasions already this campaign.

Two of Ajax's defeats this season have been in the league - against Ten Hag's former club Utrecht and also AZ Alkmaar. Nevertheless, after 22 matches, they hold a five-point cushion over traditional title rivals PSV.

Overall managerial records

Erik ten Hag, Ajax manager, Newcastle United link

Ten Hag

Games managed: 421

Won: 272

Drawn: 69

Lost: 80

Win Percentage: 64.6%

Goals scored: 1003

Goals scored per game: 2.38

Goals conceded: 440

Goals conceded per game: 1.05

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, 20 November 2021


Games managed: 583

Won: 284

Drawn: 126

Lost: 173

Win percentage: 48.7%

Goals scored: 988

Goals scored per game: 1.70

Goals conceded: 682

Goals conceded per game: 1.17

Who would be the better fit for Manchester United?

Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Nov19

Pochettino has almost seven years of Premier League managerial experience under his belt.

Although he struggled to grasp the language when he first arrived in the country, the Argentine's English was fluent well before his stint at Tottenham came to an end.

In 256 Premier League matches he collected 457 points, averaging an impressive 1.79 points per match.

But for all the plaudits Tottenham won for their transformation under Pochettino, they failed to deliver a trophy. He was unable to push them on to the next level and would arguably take over a Manchester United side in a similar predicament. And, while United have money to spend, they are not blessed with the same riches he enjoys in Paris.

Ten Hag has shown that he can win trophies at Ajax and has overachieved in European competition with the Dutch giants, guiding them to their first Champions League semi-final since 1997.

He was reportedly close to joining Pochettino's former club Tottenham in the summer but has yet to manage in England, so there are risks attached. Will he be able to get his ideas across in a language that isn't his first? And will his ideas and style of play prove effective in a much more competitive league than the Eredivisie?

Having gone nine years without a Premier League title, United desperately need to find the right answers.

READ MORE: Ronaldo not as good at heading as you may think - in fact he’s among the Premier League’s bottom ten

Latest news