PSG's Pochettino faces the French media as Mourinho takes Tottenham nearer glory

·2-min read

It will be a tale of two managers on Tuesday. Six hours after Mauricio Pochettino finishes his first major press conference in Paris as coach of Paris Saint-Germain, his old club Tottenham Hotspur will play second tier Brentford in London in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.

Jose Mourinho, Pochettino’s replacement at Spurs, described Tuesday night’s match in north London as his biggest game since he took over in November 2019.

“In the perspective of the club chasing silverware for many years, I would say so,” Mourinho added.

"For me every competition is important ... That's my way of looking at things and especially in a club without silverware in, I think, more than one decade. Every competition becomes even more important.”

Glory

It was Pochettino who oversaw Spurs’ most important match in their 138 year history - the 2019 Uefa Champions League final. Liverpool beat them 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano and four months after the defeat, Pochettino was shown the door.

In his five year reign between 2014 and 2019, there were top four finishes and a lost League Cup final in 2015 to Mourinho’s Chelsea.

Since leaving Spurs, Pochettino has been linked with jobs at leading clubs such as Manchester United and Barcelona.

But he has surfaced at PSG as a replacement for Thomas Tuchel who departed four months after leading the club to the Champions League final where they were outmuscled by Bayern Munich.

The German and the Argentine can share the same lament.

But Tuchel sings a more joyous ballad while outlining his CV: the 2017 DFB Pokal, the 2019 and 2020 Ligue 1 championships as well as the 2020 Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue. There are also two French Super Cups to add to the trill.

Challenge

Pochettino owns no such hinterland but will be expected to emulate his predecessor and maintain PSG’s domestic hegemony. The 48-year-old will face a challenge though.

At the half way stage during each season of Tuchel’s reign, PSG were over the hill and far away. The race was for second place. In January 2021, PSG are one point off the top in third.

But should Pochettino be able to galvanize stars such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria, an eighth top flight championship in nine years should follow.

His first test will come at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night by which time Mourinho and many of Pochettino’s former players could be savouring a final against Manchester United or Manchester City.