The English press is sure of it. Erik ten Hag will be Manchester United’s new manager. A hell of a snub for Mauricio Pochettino, his main competitor in the race for the Mancunian bench. For a long time, the Argentinian technician was considered the big favorite. With his experiences in the Premier League at Southampton and Tottenham, he had a good popularity rating with English leaders. Last November, moreover, Pochettino was approached by Man U to take over from Ole Gunnar Soskjaer, sacked.
From priority to plan B
But the residents of Old Trafford had thrown in the towel since it seemed difficult or even impossible to poach the native of Murphy, still under contract and launched in his season with Paris Saint-Germain. And if Ralf Rangnick was appointed to take over, Manchester United still had Mauricio Pochettino in mind for next season. But gradually, the situation changed. In just five months, the 52-year-old technician went from first choice to plan B in the minds of Mancunian decision-makers.
For the Telegram, which devotes a long article to the subject this Thursday, two reasons explain this. The first is that Manchester United have changed general manager. Ed Woodward, who campaigned for Pochettino for a long time, has been replaced by Richard Arnold. The latter, who consulted complete files on each candidate on the bench before meeting them, was obviously more convinced by Ten Hag. Although the latter is new to the Premier League, this did not scare Arnold at all.
His failures with PSG have cooled MU
The second reason given by the Telegram is the terrible elimination of PSG in the Champions League against Real Madrid, after a victory in the first leg. Doubts have thus arisen as to his ability to handle the pressure in a very big club with stars. His punctual failures with the capital club have visibly troubled the leaders of Man Utd, who do not want to be wrong and who believe that despite his very interesting profile, Pochettino is currently on a downward slope. So many reasons that convinced the English to bet on another colt.
However, Paris Saint-Germain, who saw the approach of MU with a good eye, would not have been a brake on the departure of Pochettino, who should not be maintained beyond the season. The capital club, which must pay 20 million euros in the event of the dismissal of the staff, would not have demanded a large financial compensation to get rid of the Argentinian. A technician who, just two weeks ago, was still very close to Manchester. Which had also put the Ten Hag clan under pressure. Doubled in the home stretch, Mauricio Pochettino, under contract until 2023, lost big in a few months.