AS Saint-Étienne – Paris Saint-Germain: Problems In Possession During Pochettino’s Debut (1-1)

Several problems in possession resulted in a draw for PSG against AS Saint-Étienne. Mauricio Pochettino’s debut as a manager was characterized by an unclear role for Marco Verratti and offensive problems against a defensively sturdy Saint-Étienne team. 

Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.

PSG have sacked the manager that brought in the highest average amount of points per league game (2.37, tied with Unai Emery) and had the highest win percentage in Ligue 1 history (75.6%). On a warm and humid summer evening in Lisbon, in an empty stadium, Thomas Tuchel nearly fetched the Qatari owners what they had been craving ever since they bought the Parisian club in 2012: the UEFA Champions League trophy. 

Tuchel’s side lost a final that easily could have gone their way. Five months later, on Christmas Eve, the German manager was sacked. Presumably more because of disturbed relations with the sporting hierarchy than for on-pitch performances - though a third place in the league is an ugly look for a team as financially dominant as PSG are in Ligue 1. 

In Mauricio Pochettino - not unlike Tuchel when he was appointed - PSG have chosen a tactical teacher to lead the squad. Equally knowledgeable, yet arguably a more inspiring leader than his predecessor. Having

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Erik Elias (27) is co-founder and chief editor of Between The Posts. Dutch, so admires Johan Cruijff and his football principles, but enjoys writing about other styles as well. Former youth coach. Videoscout at digital scouting consultancy 11tegen11. 'Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.' [ View all posts ]


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