After weeks of being one of Europe’s worst-kept secrets, it is now official: Mauricio Pochettino is no longer the head coach of Paris Saint-Germain. The French giants have shown the Argentine and sporting director Leonardo the door, with Luis Campos of AS Monaco and Lille OSC fame now shaping the project and Christophe Galtier leading it on the pitch.
“Paris Saint-Germain confirms that Mauricio Pochettino has left the club,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday. “In January 2021, the Argentine coach and his team will join the club. Pochettino, a former captain of the Rouge & Bleus, oversaw 84 competitive games. Paris Saint-Germain won the 2020 Trophée des Champions and 2020/21 Coupe de France during his tenure and the club’s historic 10th Ligue 1 title last April. The club wishes to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their efforts and wishes them the best of luck in the future.”
Galtier, who led Lille OSC to the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title, replaces Pochettino in the French capital after an underwhelming 18-month stint at Parc des Princes with a 50 percent domestic cup success rate despite winning one Championnat, one Coupe de France, and one Trophee des Champions. The 50-year-old South American did manage one UEFA Champions League semifinal out of two, which predecessor Thomas Tuchel can only surpass, but Real Madrid’s recent round-of-16 exit negates that somewhat.
Finally, the ex-PSG captain’s time in France proved to be a false dawn, as the emotional return of a former player who had spoken so highly of him never materialized. However, it was on the pitch that Pochettino was judged and failed to deliver, with his only full season in charge bitterly disappointing despite the presence of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi in his squad.
Paris Saint-Germain confirm that Mauricio Pochettino has ended his role at the Club.
The Club would like to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/Y7ef0qVLVh
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 5, 2022
Because of Murphy’s inability to instil any real identity in this group of players, PSG never felt like a Pochettino team, and he never felt like the best fit. Pochettino should be ready to make his comeback with a reputable club in either England or Spain, where he remains highly regarded, now that he has some crucial silverware on his resume, which was always a long-standing criticism when linked with big roles in the past.
With Erik ten Hag now in charge at Old Trafford and Antonio Conte leading Spurs’ charge for a place in the Champions League, it’s likely that Pochettino will have to be patient and perhaps bide his time. Unai Emery learned the hard way that success after PSG is not always immediate, as he went through a disappointing Arsenal spell before rediscovering himself with Villarreal CF, whom he led to an unlikely Champions League semifinal and UEFA Europa League triumph.
Thomas Tuchel did not waste time in achieving success with Chelsea after taking over one month after leaving PSG, but the German arrived at Stamford Bridge midseason rather than being fired in the summer and played a role in Pochettino’s difficult first half-season. Tuchel and the Blues went on to win the Champions League.
Given how Pochettino’s time at PSG went, prestigious suitors, will not be turned off entirely. It will, however, increase the scrutiny with which he is judged in his next post because it will determine how he is viewed in terms of elite consideration.