15/03/2022; 5:45 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Paris Saint-Germain are still reeling from that magical night at the Santiago Bernabeu. The rage is high, and the pain is much for the Parisians. PSG have always dreamed of holding aloft the trophy with the big ears. The dominance of Ligue 1 is complete, but it is winning in Europe that has caused them sleepless nights.
It is the reason the Qatari based club has spent humongous amounts of money to bring the best talents to Paris. Despite spending vast amounts, they came short of the quarter-finals this year.
When the magic of the Bernabeu took hold, the legs of the oil-rich club felt heavy, and they could only limp across the line, not battered worse than they already were. With only Ligue 1 to play for, a title already in the bag, heads will roll in the summer, and rumours are already rife about those who will walk the plank.
The big question surrounding PSG, and the elephant in the room, is what is wrong with the club? It is known within football circles that the club is not professionally run. The whims and caprices of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi take precedence over everything.
Despite assembling, perhaps, the most talented players on the planet, they have failed to reach their true potential. So, the question arises - is it a mental block?
The hammer should fall this summer, with departures expected. Top on the list is the manager Mauricio Pochettino. The club is already drawing up a list of managers to replace the Argentine.
Pochettino is seen in some quarters as a serial bottler, and his time at PSG might have come to an end. The assignment was clear - he was to deliver the UEFA Champions League. It is the title that the Qatari based club has craved, but at the first knockout round, they were bundled out like gatecrashers at an exclusive party.
Once again, PSG will start all over again, which begs the question - who will replace Pochettino?
The pickings in Europe are not very wide, and PSG will struggle to find a name with pedigree. The club has tried known names, but the best they achieved is finishing as losing finalists. Perhaps, instead of looking for managers that can weave magic, PSG should focus on reworking its structure to allow managers more freedom and power to impose their style and mentality on the team.
Several names have popped up to replace Mauricio Pochettino. As per L’Equipe cited by Marca, PSG have a nine-man shortlist that includes Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte. The Italian gaffer is having a torrid time at Tottenham. The upheaval in Paris that saw their fans boo the team in their last game should see Pochettino see out the season.
Other managers on the list are former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, but reports suggest the Frenchman seems uninterested in the role.
Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus is also on the list alongside Erik Ten Hag (Ajax), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) and Simone Inzaghi (Inter Milan). L'Equipe also report that Spezia boss Thiago Motta is also on the shortlist.
PSG expects whoever takes over from Pochettino to deliver instant success, especially in the Champions League.