Paul Merson advises Man Utd against appointing Mauricio Pochettino as their next manager; “PSG have appointed him to win the Champions League, but I don’t give PSG a chance of doing it this year so I’m not sure what the obsession is with Pochettino”
Football Expert & Columnist
Wednesday 16 February 2022 13:21, UK
Paul Merson does not think Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is the right man to bring trophies back to Manchester United, claiming the club should look closer to home for their next appointment.
Merson says United shouldn’t waste any time in finding their next permanent manager, claiming they should go for Brendan Rodgers or Graham Potter now rather than wait until the summer.
Pochettino has been linked with the Old Trafford post, with the former Tottenham boss tasked with winning the Champions League at Paris Saint-Germain – a target Merson does not feel is achievable this season.
Read on for the Magic Man’s column in full…
I don’t understand why Manchester United would be waiting for Mauricio Pochettino. I don’t get it. If Pochettino doesn’t win the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain, why would they be going in for him?
You’ve got to remember he failed to win the French league last year, too. That’s virtually impossible to do. Everybody keeps saying they need to go out and get Pochettino but I don’t understand why.
It does my head in. It’s all I ever hear. What did he do? He got Tottenham to the final of the Champions League and his side finished third one year in the Premier League.
PSG have appointed him to win the Champions League, but I don’t give PSG a chance of doing it this year so I’m not sure what the obsession is with Pochettino.
United haven’t won a trophy for five years. How many managers have they had? Two? Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick’s not the manager, he’s just a stopgap.
We’re still bought by an exotic name. Rangnick was at Schalke and RB Leipzig but at United he has to work with big players. They’re thinking, ‘what have you won?’ He’s won nothing.
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Is someone going to come in around June and figure out that the side needs one or two players and everything will be fixed? It’s going to take more than that to get them up alongside Manchester City and Liverpool.
It’s phenomenal what’s going on at United. Why are they waiting to appoint a manager? It should be done now.
Football is all about timing. If Leicester were second in the Premier League right now and still in the cups, Brendan Rodgers would be the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next manager of Man Utd.
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If I was in charge at United, I’d be going for Rodgers or Graham Potter now. People are still caught up on the Pochettino of seven years ago. If that’s the case, why isn’t everyone going for Claudio Ranieri again?
He won the league in 2016, Pochettino didn’t. He took Tottenham as far as he could, and then you’ve got someone like Rodgers who has done a far better job than what Pochettino did.
He only lost the league at Liverpool because of a slip. Now, he doesn’t even get a mention.
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I find it shocking that some people are even talking about Brendan Rodgers being under pressure.
For me, there shouldn’t be any pressure on Rodgers at Leicester. Let’s put it in perspective: before the draw with West Ham, and even now, they’re in the top six for goals scored in the league.
They’ve hardly ever had their back four available – James Justin, Ricardo Pereira, Wesley Fofana and Jonny Evans. I can’t remember the last time they all played together.
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They were a good four, and let’s be honest the back-up isn’t good enough. They’re not like Manchester City. It’s come back to bite them but they’ve punched well above their weight the last couple of years.
They’ve won the FA Cup and it’s gone down to the last day of the season when they’ve missed out on the Champions League the last couple of years. This year, they’ve had injuries.
Leicester would be losing Rodgers at their own peril. He’s one of the best about as he improves players. They just haven’t had the players and have been picking Wilfred Ndidi at centre-half.
It’s like Chelsea playing Jorginho or N’Golo Kante in defence. You might get away with it for 10 minutes, but for entire football matches? I’m fully in Rodgers’ camp. I think he’s a phenomenal manager.
People are still calling for Pochettino at Man Utd and for Rodgers to be sacked at Leicester. The world has gone mad.
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It’s a massive blow for Newcastle to be losing Kieran Trippier but they’ve now got to kick on. His two goals have been massive but it’s also his experience on the pitch and in the dressing room.
I can’t really express just how big a blow losing Trippier is for Newcastle.
He’s an international who has played in big games over his career so he’ll be a miss. He’s the type of player who wouldn’t let things get slack now all of a sudden they’ve got a few points on the board.
Credit where credit is due, winning three games on the trot is some going when you’re virtually bottom of the league.
If Arsenal did that, it’s a result. If West Ham were to do that now, they’ve got every chance of playing Champions League football next year. The Premier League is hard, so to win three straight games is impressive.
I’d like to know the last time a bottom three team won three on the trot at this stage of the season. It’s a hard thing to do.
There’s a long way to go. I was shocked by Watford’s performance last weekend against Brighton. It was really poor. They got battered and I’d fancied Watford having watched them at Burnley.
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I’ve watched Burnley the last couple of games against Man Utd and Liverpool and I’m thinking they’re not out of it either. They were creating chances against their back fours so they’ll create them against the lesser teams.
Burnley are dangerous as they’ve got nothing to lose. They’re like a tennis player who is 5-4 down and aren’t serving. They just swing the racket!
It’s the same with some of the teams down there now. They’ll start swinging. They’ve got nothing to lose and that’s where these teams become very dangerous.
Norwich got beat 4-0 by Man City but I thought there were times in the opening 20 minutes where they caused City major problems so there’s a long way to go.
Winning three on the trot has created a bit of a gap, but we’ve seen how things can change so quickly and there’s a lot of matches still to play. If Newcastle only win one game between now and the end of the season, they’re getting relegated.
© 2022 Sky UK

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