Connect with us

Uncategorized

Manchester United manager hunt: Why Mauricio Pochettino might be willing to leave PSG for an England return

Published

on


Paris Saint-Germain are top of Ligue 1 and 11 points clear of second-placed OGC Nice while also maintaining second place in UEFA Champions League Group A, four points clear of Club Brugge in third with just two games left. But, despite that favorable outlook, PSG’s head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has found himself under increasing scrutiny in Paris. And now, with Manchester United looking for a new manager, the unsettled marriage between Pochettino and the club he returned to coach has taken center stage.

The Argentine tactician is almost one year into his Parc des Princes return after replacing Thomas Tuchel last midseason. This summer he was gifted Lionel Messi, reuniting arguably the best player in the world with Neymar. Throw Kylian Mbappe into the mix and that is three of the best players in the game — if not the three best attackers — but they are struggling to convince so far this season as they headline a ludicrously star-studded squad. 

The wins have come, but they have often been ugly, ground-out affairs, rather than the virtuoso performances you would be entitled to expect from such headline names. Across Europe’s big five leagues, PSG are only seventh when it comes to goal scored at 2.2 per game, and perhaps of greater concern, they are 10th in expected goals created at 1.9 per match. This attack simply is not creating the kind of chances you would hope for.

Advertisement

Another part of the issue is that Pochettino’s performances have not matched his dominant defensive days as a player which saw him appointed captain. The team allows a goal per match, only the 10th-best mark across Europe’s big five leagues, equal to their xG total which is 14th-best. For an ex-player turned head coach who was supposed to foster the same sort of closeness he enjoyed with Tottenham Hotspur, his team remains significantly worse than the pricey sum of its glittering parts.

So why is the 49-year-old finding his big return to Paris so tough then? Six things to examine:

1. Troublesome times

PSG had issues before Pochettino returned. Tuchel, who went on to win the Champions League with Chelsea last season, was struggling to get his message across to the players by the end of his time in charge, notably after Champions League heartbreak against Bayern Munich in Portugal.

Losses to Lens, Olympique de Marseille, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais all happened on the German’s watch, while further points were dropped against the likes of Girondins de Bordeaux and eventual French champions Lille OSC before his Christmas departure.

Since leaving, Tuchel has made it clear that he felt the atmosphere at PSG was challenging, and he much prefers his new home. “At PSG, I felt I was the Minister for Sport,” Tuchel told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I had to also manage family members and friends of the stars. At Chelsea, I work much more calmly.”

Advertisement

Pochettino’s arrival slowed that negative tide, and he has taken issue with Tuchel’s characterization of what PSG is like, but there were still defeats to FC Lorient, Monaco, FC Nantes, and Lille as well as draws with AS Saint-Etienne and Stade Rennais so whatever funk had set in under Tuchel last campaign never truly went away.

2. Predictable Poch

One of the reasons for that perhaps owes to the fact that Pochettino tried nothing new with PSG once he arrived. Instead, he fell back on methods that had served him well at Spurs, rather than looking for innovative new approaches with a different set of players in Paris.

The 4-2-3-1 formation quickly became a staple despite the lack of a natural playmaker to occupy the middle slot in the trio behind the striker. Marco Verratti was shoehorned into that role, when available, despite serving the team better centrally because of workmanlike midfield alternatives.

Verratti’s influence has remained critical even as Pochettino has often moved to a different shape now with a 4-3-3. That is a challenge given the little Italian playmaker’s crippling fragility. Pochettino’s struggle to find alternatives is clear, however, and he has had difficulty in accommodating Angel Di Maria in attack, a possible solution to the lack of chance creation, on top of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe.

3. Identity issues

Old problems from earlier in his coaching career have also come back to haunt Pochettino. The open defense which PSG are displaying was also a regular issue with Spurs, but more worryingly, there are no longer any clear indications that this is even his patented team.

Advertisement

The trademark pressing from the front is non-existent because out of the fantastic four attacking talents, only Di Maria is really prepared to try to help defensively and is finding it increasingly tough to do so at 33 years of age.

Also worth considering is how Pochettino’s tactical approach has not really changed over time, and pressing soccer is nothing new. Therefore, it’s possible many teams are simply equipped to deal with it much better than before.

4. Relentless rumors

Influencing Pochettino’s situation in Paris even more is the fact that he is in France with his coaching staff only and has been incessantly linked with a Premier League return since taking up the post, particularly last summer when Spurs’ heavy-handed search for a manager reached desperate levels.

Manchester United links have resurfaced with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under increased pressure while former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is reportedly open to coaching PSG if the chance arises and not even an additional year of contract signed this summer has silenced the rumors of a departure.

The possibility has even raised that the man from Murphy might not last a full calendar year in the role and all this without even mentioning the ongoing speculation over whether these are Mbappe’s final few months with the club and the ongoing pursuit from Real Madrid.

Advertisement

5. Squad shuffle

Pochettino also inherited a makeshift Parisien squad with loan pair Moise Kean and Alessandro Florenzi which has changed beyond recognition after Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Nuno Mendes’ arrivals over the summer.

The legendary Spanish defender Ramos is yet to feature due to injury which underlines how this is an entirely new group of players which must generate its own chemistry and South American international call-ups regularly ruling key men out of Ligue 1 games and creating tension with federations does not help. 

Messi, for example, once again went off to Argentina this international break, despite his injury struggles, and started and featured in the Albiceleste’s match against Brazil. Even Leandro Paredes, injured since the previous internationals and unable to feature for PSG, was once again called up by coach Lionel Scaloni to the irritation of PSG sporting director Leonardo.

“Just landed in Paris with immense joy at having achieved our goal of reaching the World Cup in Qatar,” wrote Messi on Instagram. “It is certainly the icing on the cake for a very special year with the national team. Thank you, again, for the love you always show us. God willing, we will meet again in January. Now, it is time to change course as I still really want to keep fighting to achieve the goals we have set here at PSG and stay focused to work to achieve it. We have one month and a half left of 2021 and I would like to end this year in the best possible fashion with more good times in France.”

While Messi’s renewed commitment will be welcomed after recent criticism, being in mid-November without Pochettino able to field what he feels to be his strongest XI from a full-strength squad is hardly ideal. It also contributes to the confusion surrounding this team’s identity while the potential is obvious for all to see.

Advertisement

6. Unhappy union

All of this has created an underwhelming homecoming for Pochettino with fans frustrated by the poor quality of soccer on offer and the lack of a strong rapport with the supporters which is only made worse by the fact that the ex-Spurs manager rarely communicates in French.

Pochettino was expected to tighten the links between the club and the fanbase, particularly those who remember his time as a player, with few elite European clubs able to boast a head coach who played a significant role for their club.

Yet for PSG, it is turning into a case of be careful what you wish for which appears destined to end in dissatisfaction on all sides unless Pochettino and his superstar squad can abruptly arrest this slide once key figures like Verratti and potentially Ramos are fit and available again.

require.config({"baseUrl":"https://sportsfly.cbsistatic.com/fly-0109/bundles/sportsmediajs/js-build","config":{"version":{"fly/components/accordion":"1.0","fly/components/alert":"1.0","fly/components/base":"1.0","fly/components/carousel":"1.0","fly/components/dropdown":"1.0","fly/components/fixate":"1.0","fly/components/form-validate":"1.0","fly/components/image-gallery":"1.0","fly/components/iframe-messenger":"1.0","fly/components/load-more":"1.0","fly/components/load-more-article":"1.0","fly/components/load-more-scroll":"1.0","fly/components/loading":"1.0","fly/components/modal":"1.0","fly/components/modal-iframe":"1.0","fly/components/network-bar":"1.0","fly/components/poll":"1.0","fly/components/search-player":"1.0","fly/components/social-button":"1.0","fly/components/social-counts":"1.0","fly/components/social-links":"1.0","fly/components/tabs":"1.0","fly/components/video":"1.0","fly/libs/easy-xdm":"2.4.17.1","fly/libs/jquery.cookie":"1.2","fly/libs/jquery.throttle-debounce":"1.1","fly/libs/jquery.widget":"1.9.2","fly/libs/omniture.s-code":"1.0","fly/utils/jquery-mobile-init":"1.0","fly/libs/jquery.mobile":"1.3.2","fly/libs/backbone":"1.0.0","fly/libs/underscore":"1.5.1","fly/libs/jquery.easing":"1.3","fly/managers/ad":"2.0","fly/managers/components":"1.0","fly/managers/cookie":"1.0","fly/managers/debug":"1.0","fly/managers/geo":"1.0","fly/managers/gpt":"4.3","fly/managers/history":"2.0","fly/managers/madison":"1.0","fly/managers/social-authentication":"1.0","fly/utils/data-prefix":"1.0","fly/utils/data-selector":"1.0","fly/utils/function-natives":"1.0","fly/utils/guid":"1.0","fly/utils/log":"1.0","fly/utils/object-helper":"1.0","fly/utils/string-helper":"1.0","fly/utils/string-vars":"1.0","fly/utils/url-helper":"1.0","libs/jshashtable":"2.1","libs/select2":"3.5.1","libs/jsonp":"2.4.0","libs/jquery/mobile":"1.4.5","libs/modernizr.custom":"2.6.2","libs/velocity":"1.2.2","libs/dataTables":"1.10.6","libs/dataTables.fixedColumns":"3.0.4","libs/dataTables.fixedHeader":"2.1.2","libs/dateformat":"1.0.3","libs/waypoints/infinite":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/inview":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/jquery.waypoints":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/sticky":"3.1.1","libs/jquery/dotdotdot":"1.6.1","libs/jquery/flexslider":"2.1","libs/jquery/lazyload":"1.9.3","libs/jquery/maskedinput":"1.3.1","libs/jquery/marquee":"1.3.1","libs/jquery/numberformatter":"1.2.3","libs/jquery/placeholder":"0.2.4","libs/jquery/scrollbar":"0.1.6","libs/jquery/tablesorter":"2.0.5","libs/jquery/touchswipe":"1.6.18","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.core":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.draggable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.mouse":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.position":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.slider":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.sortable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.touch-punch":"0.2.3","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.autocomplete":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.accordion":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tabs":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.menu":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.dialog":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.resizable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.button":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tooltip":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.effects":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.datepicker":"1.11.4"}},"shim":{"liveconnection/managers/connection":{"deps":["liveconnection/libs/sockjs-0.3.4"]},"liveconnection/libs/sockjs-0.3.4":{"exports":"SockJS"},"libs/setValueFromArray":{"exports":"set"},"libs/getValueFromArray":{"exports":"get"},"fly/libs/jquery.mobile-1.3.2":["version!fly/utils/jquery-mobile-init"],"libs/backbone.marionette":{"deps":["jquery","version!fly/libs/underscore","version!fly/libs/backbone"],"exports":"Marionette"},"fly/libs/underscore-1.5.1":{"exports":"_"},"fly/libs/backbone-1.0.0":{"deps":["version!fly/libs/underscore","jquery"],"exports":"Backbone"},"libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tabs-1.11.4":["jquery","version!libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.core","version!fly/libs/jquery.widget"],"libs/jquery/flexslider-2.1":["jquery"],"libs/dataTables.fixedColumns-3.0.4":["jquery","version!libs/dataTables"],"libs/dataTables.fixedHeader-2.1.2":["jquery","version!libs/dataTables"],"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/app/VideoPlayer/AdobePass-min.js":["https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/util/Utils-min.js"]},"map":{"*":{"adobe-pass":"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/app/VideoPlayer/AdobePass-min.js","facebook":"https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js","facebook-debug":"https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all/debug.js","google":"https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js","google-platform":"https://apis.google.com/js/client:platform.js","google-csa":"https://www.google.com/adsense/search/async-ads.js","google-javascript-api":"https://www.google.com/jsapi","google-client-api":"https://apis.google.com/js/api:client.js","gpt":"https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js","newsroom":"https://c2.taboola.com/nr/cbsinteractive-cbssports/newsroom.js","recaptcha":"https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=loadRecaptcha&render=explicit","recaptcha_ajax":"https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api/js/recaptcha_ajax.js","supreme-golf":"https://sgapps-staging.supremegolf.com/search/assets/js/bundle.js","taboola":"https://cdn.taboola.com/libtrc/cbsinteractive-cbssports/loader.js","twitter":"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js","video-avia":"https://vidtech.cbsinteractive.com/avia-js/1.9.0/player/avia.min.js","video-avia-cvui":"https://vidtech.cbsinteractive.com/avia-js/1.9.0/legacy/cvui/cvui.min.js","video-cvp":"https://vidtech.cbsinteractive.com/cvp/1.2.2/cvp.min.js","video-cvui":"https://vidtech.cbsinteractive.com/cvp/1.2.2/cvui.min.js","video-ima3":"https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/sdkloader/ima3.js","video-ima3-dai":"https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/sdkloader/ima3_dai.js","video-utils":"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/util/Utils-min.js","video-vast-tracking":"https://vidtech.cbsinteractive.com/sb55/vast-js/vtg-vast-client.js"}},"waitSeconds":300});





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Uncategorized

How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

Published

on



Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

Advertisement

A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

Advertisement

The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

Advertisement

The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

Advertisement

Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending