The former Tottenham and Southampton manager faces of all sorts of challenges in his new job in Paris
The Mauricio Pochettino era at PSG began with a 1-1 draw in Saint-Étienne on Wednesday night. A slip from Idrissa Gueye allowed Romain Hamouma to dink Les Verts into an early lead before Moise Kean, thanks to a smart reverse ball from Marco Verratti, equalised a few minutes later. The second half was a thrilling, open and even affair and, with PSG surprisingly porous at times, both sides came close to a winner. Faced with an open Ligue 1, a freewheeling and unerring Lyon, uncertainty in the transfer market, a hectic schedule and a side lacking an identity, Pochettino’s challenge may be greater than many expected.
Unlike his successful spells with Tottenham and Southampton, Pochettino will have to deal with different expectations in Paris. Whereas Spurs and Saints’ intense style drew praise as both clubs punched above their weight, Pochettino will not be afforded the same luxury in France. PSG must win Ligue 1. Despite this season’s competitiveness, winning the league title traditionally draws little more than a collective shrug from the press, board and fans. Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Thomas Tuchel all did it without much fuss.