Lionel Messi ‘doubts about PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical skills’
Lionel Messi ‘has doubts about Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical skills’, with his PSG game plan deemed ‘too restrictive’ – and players fear the ex-Tottenham boss is too soft after he let them party after the Ballon d’Or -gain
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino is under even more pressure, with Lionel Messi’s entourage reportedly doubting his tactical acumen and believing his game plan is ‘too restrictive’.
Pochettino, 49, has struggled to impress in the hot seat at the Parc des Princes, despite having a star-studded squad at his disposal – and superstar Messi’s mixed form following his arrival from Barcelona has further questions raise about his future.
Indeed, Messi has scored just one goal in Ligue 1 this season and his side is now privately targeting the coach as the team failed to take the division by storm, according to L’Equipe In France.
Despite PSG currently leading the pack with 11 points, it has been heavily criticized for their poor, uninspiring performance. They recently had to settle for a draw against Lens and Nice, with Giorginio Wijnaldum scoring late in the second clash.
A ravishing attacking trident from Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar often failed to click and Pochettino continues to search for his ideal line-up, having not played the same starting squad more than once this season.
Neymar has been ruled out with a long-term injury, but there is confusion over where Mbappe and Messi will be deployed. As a result, and Pochettino’s shortcomings, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s entourage is now harboring doubts.
The team’s playing style has also been labeled ‘restrictive’ – and their inability to transition to counter-attacks and get the most out of their talented attackers is another reason former Tottenham boss Pochettino is under scrutiny.
There are also concerns in the PSG dressing room that their manager is not being tough enough. Pochettino, as he has done throughout his time in the dugout, has taken a down-to-earth and understanding approach to his players.
The same report claims that he is “daily striving” to avoid arguing and to show “consideration.” It has also been pointed out that he regularly defends his squad at press conferences, despite their disappointing form.
During the early stages of his tenure, he was fondly spoken of by stars and compared to Thomas Tuchel, before his stint soured and he was fired. However, the approach also has its limitations.
Sources close to the club have told L’Equipe that Pochettino has ‘lost the honour’ in parts of his squad because of his approach.
Messi’s recent Ballon d’Or win was celebrated with a party on November 29, but the festivities started just two days before the tie against Nice.
It is also not the first time that Pochettino and his coaches have been lenient. The same outlet adds that Pochettino has been conciliatory several times over the past year with questionable behavior from his players.
The new storm comes just a few weeks later sports post revealed that Pochettino was open to take the job at Manchester United midway through the season, before Ralf Rangnick was handed the reins of a six-month contract.
It is clear that he is not satisfied with life in Paris and that he has struggled with the big egos in his ranks, including Messi, Mbappe and Neymar.
According to TelefootUnited would have brought in Pochettino if two terms had been met.
They reported that PSG would have allowed the tactician to leave if United made £17million buying him out of his contract – which runs until June 2023.
And it was also said that PSG would not have approved his departure until Zinedine Zidane was ready to step in and put pen to paper to be his successor.
PSG will face Club Brugge in the Champions League tomorrow, although they are four points behind Manchester City and now unable to top Group A.