Mauricio Pochettino appointed as new PSG manager after Tuchel's sacking
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have appointed former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager on Saturday following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
The 48-year-old Argentine has signed a contract until June 30, 2022, with an option for an additional year.
“I am really happy and honoured to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain," Pochettino told the club's official website.
“I would like to thank the club's management for the trust they have placed in me. As you know, this club has always held a special place in my heart. I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.
"I return to the club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and am eager to work with some of the world’s most talented players. This team has fantastic potential and my staff and I will do everything we can to get the best for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions.
"We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”
Pochettino will take his first training session on Sunday ahead of his first game in charge, a trip to 14th-placed Saint-Étienne on Wednesday when the league resumes following the winter break.
Constantly linked with Manchester United, Pochettino spent two years of his playing career at PSG, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001. He has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham in November 2019.
As for Tuchel, he joined PSG at the beginning of the 2018-19 season and guided the team to two back-to-back league titles coupled with one Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue in 2020. He also took the team to the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League final, but lost to eventual champions Bayern Munich.
The surprising decision of sacking Tuchel was taken a night after PSG had thrashed Strasbourg 4-0 in the league. As things stand, the defending champions sit third in the Ligue 1 table with 35 points, only a point behind leaders Lyon. The team has lost four of their 17 games already this season, which is one more than they lost in the entire 2019-20 Ligue 1 season.
According to reports, there were tensions between Tuchel and PSG club management involving club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo, as the Paris hierarchy were unhappy with his style of play. They had suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Lyon on December 13 before playing a dull goalless draw at Lille on Sunday. In the Champions League, they lost to Manchester United and RB Leipzig but managed to qualify for the Round of 16 of Europe's elite football competition.
Back in October, Tuchel had criticized Leonardo by saying, "We lose too many players on free transfers. It is too, too much. We cannot ask this squad the same thing as we did last season."
Leonardo responded to him the very day. "I didn't like his comments, the club didn't like them either."
"We have to understand the moment we are going through. If someone is not happy, it is easy -- we can talk. But if you decide to stay, you have to respect the people above you."
The likes of Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Edinson Cavani (Manchester United), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund) and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Bayern Munich) all left PSG during last summer on a free transfer.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter/ PSG_English