Inside Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
Around half-an-hour far from the Parc des Princes, cocooned in a modest hotel for the capital, there is a tip that even when the world changes in the most unmatched ways, there are things that can feel familiar.
Mauricio Pochettino, his assistant Jesus Perez, first-team coach Miguel D’Agostino, goalkeeper master Toni Jimenez and physical fitness coach Sebastiano are now entrusted with turning Paris Saint-Germain into Champions League winners, but their daily preparation in such accommodations is a throwback to their early days at Southampton.
The stakes and the expectations have escalated, however talking method over walks, while having supper together and travelling to and from the stadium in unison is the same.
PSG are leviathans, a contrast to the technical team’s previous experience of turning a finger to chances, constraints and mental barriers at Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham.
Yet, the start to the Pochettino period in Paris has actually not been without trouble: seven gamers, consisting of Neymar who was back in group training on Monday, have been not available due to injury or Covid in the two games played under the new manager in his first week.
Physical fitness levels in general are a cause for worry about the club hardly having a pre-season following the Champions League final, tagging on to the lack of prime psychical conditioning after the worldwide pandemic required the cancellation of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 project.
Less than 24 hours after landing in France, Pochettino was managing his very first training session with the opening task – a 1-1 draw at St Etienne – just three days later on. That was dramatically followed by a 3-0 victory in the house to Brest, which sounds well more comfy that it really was.
Offered the jam-packed schedule, there has not been much time for Pochettino to transplant his tactical ideas on the pitches at Camp des Loges.
Much of this has actually been done by means of video presentations and conferences, while bewaring not to overload players with information. Elevating the intensity, improving the shift game, diligence and discipline without the ball will all be vital.
In his introductory address to the squad, Pochettino emphasised his enthusiasm in working with such a world-class group and help them shatter any ceilings separately and collectively.
The Argentine pledged his personnel would provide the players structure, organisation and support to enhance their talents and satisfy their ambitions, which would need their complete dedication.
Simplifying interaction across the club, particularly around the medical and conditioning spheres, will be among the fast repairs on the program.
There has not been whenever for Pochettino to consider transfers and his concern is to much better comprehend and increase the gamers that are at his disposal, while attempting to include those who have actually been not available as quickly as possible.
Sporting director Leonardo and the recruitment team have been drafting plans for this window and PSG’s interest in Dele Alli was well established before the appointment of the former Spurs supervisor.
Whatever happens in the window, Pochettino has actually a squad flooded with pedigreed stars, which is a change from his norm of discovering and developing them. Early indications are they are onside with his blueprint and share the aim of winning the Champions League under his watch.
Pochettino’s chance to land the first piece of flatware of his managerial career arrives on Wednesday against Marseille in the French Cup, with fellow ex-Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas in the opposition dugout.
A success would relegate the ‘hasn’t won a prize’ talk, however would not make him any better at his task. After all, this is the guy, who working with the most affordable wage spending plan of the leading six and with a net transfer spend of around ₤ 35m, took Tottenham to a Champions League final in 5 years.
PSG are not Spurs and winning is the bare minimum, a non-negotiable. A win on Wednesday would supply an immediate boost, however it does not modify the big image: Pochettino was brought in to turn the club into European champions, to assist them win hearts and be deemed more than a high-end brand name.
On Saturday night, 18 years after wearing the armband for the club and having supervised his very first home as their manager, he took a photo with the banner created by the fan group Collectif Ultras Paris.
“Invite Captain!,” it read. Pochettino has actually constantly been more purchased the state of mind of a club and the state of it when he leaves and so will be working towards making sure there is one thanking him in future too.