Neville reveals what ‘cost’ Pochettino the Man Utd gig

Date published: Friday 22nd April 2022 10:34 - Joe Williams

Man Utd-linked Mauricio Pochettino watches his side

Gary Neville thinks Mauricio Pochettino’s spell at Paris Saint-Germain “cost him” a shot at being the new Man Utd manager.

The Red Devils confirmed on Thursday that Erik ten Hag will become their new permanent boss at the end of the season, replacing current interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Former Tottenham boss Pochettino was believed to be in the running for the Man Utd job along with Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui.

Of course these Man Utd players. They just don’t believe…

However, Man Utd were impressed by Ten Hag in the interview process and opted for the Ajax boss to take them forward.

And Neville reckons Pochettino – who reached the Champions League during his time at Tottenham – was no longer the “oustanding choice” because of his time at French giants PSG.

Neville said on Sky Sports: “I think ultimately Pochettino has been the outstanding choice for a number of years. Losing in the Champions League this season, not winning the league in France last year…

“Let’s be clear, PSG is not an easy club to manage. [Chelsea manager] Thomas Tuchel had problems over there. Tuchel wasn’t the statesmanlike like figure he has been at Chelsea at PSG.

“So I think purely what has happened with Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has cost him.

“He’s got great experience of the Premier League, he did a brilliant job at Southampton and Tottenham.

“But the current mood is absolutely key and Ten Hag is the man of the moment. Look, United have spoken to both of them and the club have determined that Erik ten Hag is the right man to take the club forward.”

On the job Ten Hag has in front of him at Man Utd, Neville added: “What we’re seeing at this current moment is unacceptable.

“That needs to be dealt with initially and Ten Hag has got a big job to get the club back up to those minimum standards that they need to achieve, which is attitude, work ethic, belief, confidence and then hopefully you start to think about winning trophies.

“But honestly, I wouldn’t be putting too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first one or two years to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did and he’d be overachieving, in my opinion.

“It will be: get into the top four, re-establish Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players into the club who can play in the way he wants to play, and then get a system of belief.

“It took Jurgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title, as great a job as he’s done. I wouldn’t be putting pressure on Ten Hag in the first two or three years to win a Premier League title.

“They’re a million miles away from that currently. At the end of last season, I thought they were getting closer. But it’s all collapsed and fallen to pieces. I don’t know why that’s happened. Ten Hag gets to pick up the pieces.

“So initial phase: build the foundations of what he wants to achieve then year three, four, five is when you start looking at him to win trophies.”


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