Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival will transform Manchester United winger according to tactics explained – Omar Garrick
Judging by the recent reports that have been circulating since Manchester United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mauricio Pochettino appears destined to take the Norwegian back at Old Trafford.
Pochettino, 49, has been touted as a potential successor to Solskjaer, having many admirers in the Manchester United hierarchy.
MEN understand United are confident to hire the Argentine and Paris Saint-Germain would demand Â£ 10million in compensation for his services. Pochettino would like to join United immediately.
There is no doubt that he would be a significant improvement on the club’s current setup. While at Spurs they managed to find themselves in a Premier League title race and reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2019 – a feat for a side that spent Â£ 90million.
But what is Pochettino’s philosophy? Will he win anything at United?
It got us thinking, so we’ll explain Mauricio Pochettino’s tactics and what he will do to improve Manchester United.
Pochettino was a disciple of Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa as the 66-year-old nurtured him during his time at Argentina club Newell’s Old Boys.
Bielsa has been regularly described by Pochettino as his “father of football”, due to the education he provided him with tactics and how to play football.
As we’ve seen with Leeds de Bielsa, it’s a pressing team that’s quick in the transition, and Pochettino has tried to establish it with every club he’s managed. Of course he has his own tactics, but pushing high and catching the ball quickly is fundamental to his team’s performance.
Former Southampton striker Rickie Lambert once said ‘he broke me ‘ asked about Pochettino’s famous intensive running workouts.
This is exactly the sort of thing United need. Too often no one has insisted on getting the ball back fast enough, but with Pochettino behind the wheel, they will certainly have to run to earn a place in the starting XI.
Throughout his managerial career, Pochettino has shown he has a couple of tricks up his sleeve with tactics.
Primarily, his teams took the form of a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, with a narrow frontline (more like inside forwards), so full-backs can bombard forward to provide the necessary width. This creates an expansive style of football, with creativity coming from broad areas.
However, during his time at Spurs and PSG, Pochettino adopted a three-behind system, deploying a 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 against teams lined up in similar systems. This shows that he is tactically flexible and ready to adapt, depending on the opposition.
United players will certainly be able to adapt, used to 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-1-2 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
England international Jadon Sancho is a player who will certainly improve because of the way Pochettino uses his wingers. The striker was signed by Borussia Dortmund in the summer and has struggled to secure consistent playing time. During his time in Germany however, he regularly landed spaces in the middle or on the left channel, despite playing as a right winger.
Sancho could benefit from more overlap in a Pochettino system. It will come either from Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot, as his relationship with former Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi has helped get the most out of the skillful 21-year-old.
Emphasis on youth play
This is an essential characteristic necessary for any Manchester United manager, as it is anchored in the heart of the club and of ‘The United Way’.
Pochettino is suitable for United because of his history of playing and trusting young players. At Southampton, he made local players Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Callum Chambers key players on his squad.
Shaw’s rise to St. Mary’s was one of the reasons United decided to pay him Â£ 30million in 2014, and he has already spoken about his excellent relationship with Pochettino;
In 2017, he said: “He called me his son, that’s how good our relationship was. I had a lot of ups and downs, but when I was with Pochettino it was only up, up, up.
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At Spurs, Pochettino developed the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Harry Winks, all of whom became great footballers during his reign.
When you think of people like Mason Greenwood, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejribi and Amad Diallo, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a breakthrough sooner rather than later under Pochettino, moving from starving talents to established superstars.
Is Pochettino right for United? Follow our united Writer in my mind Omar Garrick on Twitter to participate in the discussion and give us your opinion on the matter in the comments section below.