Mauricio Pochettino’s term as head coach of Paris Saint-Germain came to an end just weeks after he won the Ligue 1 title with the club. his replacement is a bad sign for the former Tottenham Hotspur boss.
Pochettino spent two seasons with the Parisians as a player in the early 2000s and returned as a manager two decades later when he took the job in January 2021. However, the reunion turned out to be far from being as fruitful as initially thought.
The Argentine may have led PSG to the 2021-22 Ligue 1 title, but last season’s embarrassing early Champions League and Coupe de France exits, combined with a perceived lack of credibility and passion for the project, saw Posh’s tenure run dry. frustrating fashion is strange to say after winning the league, but when it comes to PSG, things are different.
The 50-year-old is the sixth head coach hired by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) since they completed their takeover of the French club in the summer of 2011 and literally changed their fortunes. The club has invested an incredible amount of money in transfers over the past decade, peaking in 2017 when Neymar signed for Barcelona for €222m, changing the transfer market forever.
All six managers have managed to secure trophies for PSG, but the ongoing quest for continental dominance in the Champions League will now move into its 12th season with a new boss at the helm.
Here’s a look at each manager who played their part in QSI’s mission to transform PSG from a European underdog into a full-fledged powerhouse with global reach and influence, and a ranking of how successfully all six have accomplished it.
– Lawrence: What went wrong for Poch at PSG? What will happen next?
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6. Antoine Comboire (August 2009 to December 2011)
How did they get the job: A former PSG player for five years in the 1990s, Comboiret was already in charge when QSI completed its takeover in the summer of 2011, having spent the previous two seasons with him. Starting his managerial career at PSG’s B team, Comboiret subsequently had some minor success with Strasbourg and Valenciennes (whom he led to the Ligue 2 title in 2005–06) before taking PSG out of the middle of the table in season 2009–10 (won the Coupe de France at the same time) and finished fourth in the 2010–11 season.
How they did it: Although Comboiret did not necessarily hold the highest profile outside of France, he was given the opportunity to start the 2011-12 season with a team reinforced by several newcomers including Kevin Gameiro, Jeremy Menes and Blaise Matuidi. However, it wasn’t long before things started to falter under him and he left the League Cup (to the newly promoted Dijon) and the Europa League before midway through the campaign. However, his league record was good enough to pass the test, and he did secure PSG’s Ligue 1 lead at the turn of the year, earning them the unofficial ‘winter champions’ title.
How it ended: Alas, getting first place in the New Year wasn’t enough to prevent Comboiret’s short post-takeover reign from coming to an end on December 29, 2011, just five months after the start of the burgeoning PSG project, when eminent successor Carlo Ancelotti set the same date. Kombouar left the club with one trophy (Coupe de France 2009-10) to his name, having only played 28 games as a manager under QSI, with a winning percentage of 60% (W17, D5, L6) in all competitions.
5. Mauricio Pochettino (January 2021 to present)
How did they get the job: Pochettino worked his way up as a manager at Espanyol and Southampton before rising to prominence during a five-year association with Tottenham as the club went from Premier League underdogs to title-chasing Champions League finalists. He never managed to win anything at the Spurs (other than a couple of runners-up medals), but the incredible improvement he saw in North London saw him become one of the most respected and sought-after managers in world football. After a rocky start to the 2019/20 season, Pochettino was sacked by the Spurs in November, leaving his side in 14th place. A long sabbatical followed, during which he was linked to a string of top jobs, but was finally tempted to return to the dugout when PSG knocked on the door in January 2021.
How they did it: While captaining the club as a player, Pochettino thought a lot about returning to Paris, though reality never lived up to the rosy hype. While the Coupe de France and Champions Trophy were won in its first half of the season, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, PSG still suffered disappointment, missing out on the Ligue 1 title after Lille ousted them. one point credits. QSI then made big strides and added Lionel Messi to the PSG squad in the summer of 2021, but Pochettino struggled to find a way to match the seven-time Golden Ball consistently with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. However, this enviable top three was certainly good enough to claim a record 10th Ligue 1 title with four games to go. Undoubtedly the humiliating manner in which PSG were ejected from the Champions League was a big factor in the decision to replace Pochettino as the French giants knocked out Real Madrid in the round of 16 despite being 2-0 up on the sum of two matches in 30 minutes. second match left to play.
How it ended: Whatever the case, it’s not officially over yet, but it’s all settled for Pochettino as the two sides continue to negotiate a severance package. His 18-month tenure should end with 84 games played, three trophies won and a respectable 65% winning percentage (W55, D15, W14). Good on paper; actually less.
4. Carlo Ancelotti (January 2012 to May 2013)
How did they get the job: Ancelotti was already one of the most decorated managers in European football when he was appointed PSG’s first elite manager of the QSI era for the second half of the 2011-12 season. The Italian had successful spells at Juventus and Milan on his resume, and more recently the Italian managed Chelsea, which led him to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009-10, setting records in the process when ” The Blues became the first Premier League team to win the title by scoring over 100 goals in a single season. Ancelotti struggled to repeat these feats in the 2010–11 season but still guided Chelsea to second place but lost his job less than two hours after the club’s last league game of the season (1–0 away loss against Everton “). failed to defend the title.
How they did it: Top of the table on his arrival, PSG finished second in Ligue 1 after a surprise package from Montpellier during the first half of the season with Ancelotti in charge, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France under him. In the summer of 2012, PSG staged a massive transfer boom, attracting such well-known players as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Lucas Moura, Ezequiel Lavezzi and David Beckham to the club. After Ancelotti topped the table at Christmas on goal difference, Ancelotti’s team clinched the club’s first Ligue 1 title in 19 years with one game to go as Ibrahimović also won the Golden Boot with 30 league goals in his first season. PSG also performed well in the Champions League, reaching the quarter-finals where Barcelona beat them on away goals.
How it ended: Given the success and the feeling that PSG had begun to build something special under Ancelotti, the club were shocked when he asked to leave after the penultimate game of the season in order to secure a place at Real Madrid. Having already secured a historic league title, PSG ended the match with a 3-1 away win over Lorient, but the rift between their directors and manager continued until Ancelotti was finally allowed to leave and take his place as José Mourinho’s successor at the Bernabéu . . In total, Ancelotti managed 77 PSG games and ended with a 64% winning percentage (W49, D19, L9) and 153 goals scored.
3. Unai Emery (August 2016 to May 2018)
How did they get the job: After failing in the quarter-finals of the 2015-16 Champions League, PSG decided to make the competition their main focus as a new cycle of Qatar-backed club’s ascension began. In doing so, they turned to coach Emery, a proven track record in Europe who had just won three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla in 2013-16. The pressure was definitely there as Emery was expected to bring the same level of success to PSG instantly in the UEFA main competition, while also continuing the club’s impressive domestic success as a base line.
How they did it: Emery won the domestic treble in his first season (Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, Trophee des Champions) and the national quad in his second, also taking the 2017-18 Ligue 1 title. However, he fell short of expectations in the Champions League as his first foray ended in the round of 16 with the infamous “assembled“: PSG beat Barcelona 4-0 at the Parc des Princes in the first leg, but then suffered a disastrous capitulation and lost 6-1 at the Camp Nou. The following year, Emery’s team lost again in first play-off, this time losing 5:2 on aggregate against eventual winner Real Madrid.
How it ended: Emery may have ended his second season with a Ligue 1 win, but with regular reports of dissent and general dissatisfaction seeping into the dressing room, the manager decided to leave at the end of the season despite having a year to go. work under his contract. His victory…