Mauricio Pochettino Tactics: Midnight in Paris

Tue 19 October 2021 | 14:30

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the best coaches in the world, but he has come a long way to get to where he is now. This part will go over Mauricio Pochettino tactics in order to gain a better understanding of this fascinating trip.

Mauricio Pochettino had no prior managerial experience at senior clubs before he began his professional career as a manager at Espanyol. Perhaps many are curious regarding

Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Espanyol

or even Mauricio Pochettino tactics at PSG.

He started his senior managing career with Espanyol. Pochettino took over as Espanyol's third coach of the 2008–09 season in late January 2009, when the team was third from the bottom of the table. Despite the club's terrible league place, Pochettino's performance had earned plaudits from critics, and he was beginning to show the traits that would inspire his coaching at succeeding clubs.

During Pochettino's stint as manager, all three of his former teams, Espanyol, Southampton, and Spurs were known for combining swift offensive transitions with positional play – attacking areas to generate movements and passing opportunities – without compromising their defensive balance. He did the same with Harry Kane,

Eric Dier

, Dele Alli, and others at Tottenham Hotspur, inspiring them to fight for the Premier League title and reach their first-ever Champions League final.

Pochettino returned to management with the squad that succeeded his former Champions League runners-up more than a year after leaving Spurs. He took over for Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain after the German had a terrible start to the 2020/21 season. He is expected to lead them back to dominance in France and another serious challenge in a competition that neither he nor PSG have ever won.

Mauricio Pochettino Tactics at Espanyol: How Everything Shaped?

Mauricio has the character of being a manager who can rely on young and Unknown players with great potential, and this is the whole story about Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Espanyol. Many believe

Mauricio Pochettino tactics

started here, while there is some truth to that now.

Espanyol had a problem. With the club languishing in the relegation zone and a slew of short-term managers before him, they turned to

Mauricio Pochettino

, a former player and aspiring coach. He completed the turnaround in his first season, 2008/09, by leading the Spanish club to tenth place in the league standings, an incredible achievement considering the team's financial difficulties and the likelihood of relegation.

Pochettino's successful first season was marked by his attention to detail to provide his squad an advantage in games. Like the manager we know today, he would frequently start younger players from Espanyol's academy if he felt they could offer him more against a particular opponent than a more experienced first-team regular. This sums up Mauricio Pochettino's tactics at Espanyol: squeezing them out of space and forcing a mistake. 

If we take a deeper look at Mauricio Pochettino tactics at


, Pochettino instilled his style of play on the club's young squads. The first and B teams used Pochettino's customary 4-2-3-1 system, while the younger teams were limited to 4-4-2, which Pochettino considered was the most conducive to advancement and development. He was a regular at all levels of training, often speaking directly to players and coaching kids of all ages at the club.

Pochettino insisted that each team play in the age category above to ensure that young players' growth accelerated. More than a dozen players from the youth system would make their debut during his time at the club. Following a season in which Pochettino had solidified his ideas and implemented his techniques fully, there was a noticeable improvement. For much of the 2010/11 season, Espanyol appeared to be a serious prospect, if not a certainty, of finishing in a European position. The top four and Champions League qualification were even mentioned but they were acknowledged.

Mauricio Pochettino tactics

were all about reading games, analyzing opponents in the best way possible, one-touch passing, smart placement, and making the proper finishing at the right time. 

Pochettino's players had fully embraced his principles, and they appeared to be a well-coordinated, strategically organized team. In a piece for the Guardian, Sid Lowe stated, "Few clubs have manufactured a virtue out of need quite like Espanyol." "Few people have done it with Pochettino's bravery and balls. It's a fantastic success story."

Thought, as well as bravery and balls, had played a role. Pochettino's analysis was as detailed as that of any coach renowned for possessing a studious tactical mind, a feature he gained after being highly affected by Bielsa's nearly obsessive nature. He'd use an iPhone app to record games, allowing him to examine extensive replays of tactical developments throughout games and at halftime and point out details to his players in real-time.

After spending much of the 2011/12 season in the top half of the standings, Espanyol dropped to 14th place, which was not a disaster but was nonetheless a drop. Pochettino's final full season with the club was approaching, and he had grown increasingly dissatisfied with the club's loss of key players, which seemed to be worsening with each passing year. 

Pochettino's stint at Espanyol would come to an end the following season, with the club sitting bottom of LaLiga after 12 games and only two wins. He announced his departure in November 2012, just months after being linked with the

Real Madrid

job as a possible replacement for Jose Mourinho. Pochettino's situation had not helped him, but an unexpectedly dismal start to the season had wrecked any prospect of such a high-profile move.

The coach had created stability and a sense of rhythmic progression since his arrival with the club in a similar lowly position. Still, ten players had left in the summer, disrupting the stability and feeling of rhythmic progression he had created since his arrival with the club in a similarly lowly position.

Mauricio Pochettino Tactics at Southampton: The twinkling of an eye

You can't argue what Mauricio Pochettino and Southampton have accomplished is a fluke after beating Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea at St. Mary's since taking over. Pochettino prefers to take possession from behind. Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Southampton were to gain numerical advantages from the first pass to work the ball forward and reach the attacking half in a well-organized set-up.

His full-backs have a significant influence on his teams' attacks. Before Kieran Tripper and Rose or Ben Davies increasingly worked as wing-backs in front of a back three, Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne were as crucial at Southampton as Danny Rose, and

Kyle Walker

were at Spurs.

On paper and when defending, Southampton was typically set up in a 4-2-3-1 configuration. Still, when attacking, the shape transforms to a very offensive system with the two center-backs centrally together, full-backs high up, and a three-man midfield behind three attackers.

When Pochettino was appointed, the first thing he did was establish a high-pressing game. We have seen Spanish clubs press high up the pitch before, particularly Barcelona under Pep Guardiola and Athletic Club under Marcelo Bielsa, but this is the first time we've seen it in the Premier League. Thanks to Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Southampton, the club have had a terrific season as a result of a superb academy, excellent players, an exceptional young manager, and highly well-planned system,

The Journey of Mauricio Pochettino Tactics at Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Tottenham

are rooted in modern football. Mauricio Pochettino announced his appointment as Tottenham manager on May 27, 2014.

Mauricio Pochettino's five-year reign as Tottenham Hotspur manager peaked in the 2016/2017 season. Tottenham finished second in the table with 86 points (their best in the Premier League era), second in goals scored, and second in goals conceded. They also lead the league in both goals scored and goals revealed. Spurs went undefeated at home, beating

Manchester United

to close out White Hart Lane and finishing ahead of Arsenal for the first time in two decades.

Unfortunately, they still failed in specific ways: this fantastic team could not win any silverware, as a fantastic Chelsea side coached by Antonio Conte beat them to the title. Regardless, with this Tottenham team being their best since the 1960s, let's take a look at Pochettino's dynamic, beautiful high-pressing tactics.

Mauricio Pochettino tactics at Tottenham were using two major formations: 4-2 3-1 and 3-4-2-1, both with the same personnel. Their style of play, which features fullbacks pushing high and a center midfielder sliding deep, allows them to switch between the two systems throughout a match if necessary. 

Spurs' build-up play benefited from this, as the press rarely outmanned them. Spurs used to defend narrowly wherever feasible, with four attack-minded players pressing hard and one of the two deeper central midfielders happy to cover across in the half-space in front of the opposing fullback on the attacking side. Spurs' off-ball shape was rarely real; the goal was to shut down the man on the ball in packs to win the ball back in dangerous positions and prevent the opposition from establishing a rhythm in build-up play.

The defensive shape as a whole was not a priority. Spurs' pressing was very close to the ball, and it was intended to stop opponents from vertically progressing up the field and force them to play to isolated players on the touchlines at times.

This is true regardless of where the ball is on the field: whether the goalie has just passed the ball out or the ball is in the middle of the field. It wasn't a very tactically sophisticated press; instead, it was a chaotic swarm that was successful thanks to Spurs' enthusiastic pressers and high-quality players.

The fullbacks pushed high in transition, frequently playing as high as wingers, but were covered by two deep-lying midfielders. This is why it is a straightforward transition for Spurs to go to a three-man defensive system during a game. In attack, the fullbacks were already auxiliary wide midfielders, and Dier and Wanyama are used to dropping off.

Pochettino's teams' play without the ball is maybe their most distinguishing feature. Again, we must distinguish between thinking of Pochettino as a defender and thinking of him without possession. When it comes to offensive play, this differentiation is more essential now than it was previously.

Mauricio Pochettino used a 4-2-3-1 configuration at Tottenham Hotspur, and it's no surprise that he's sticking with it at PSG. Pochettino may field four attackers in this system, with fluid movement and positional interchange amongst them.

All About Mauricio Pochettino Tactics at PSG

After Thomas Tuchel was fired from PSG, Mauricio Pochettino, the former Tottenham manager, was named the new head coach on January 2, 2021, replacing his German colleague Thomas Tuchel. Pochettino has overseen six games in his first month as PSG manager, winning four, drawing one, and losing one.

Under Tuchel, PSG frequently used a two-man midfield, playing a 4-4-2 or a version of that formation. Therefore, the German coach could field a four-man assault consisting of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe,

Mauro Icardi

, and Angel Di Maria. Tuchel, on the other hand, has used a 4-3-3 configuration more than any other this season. Neymar, Mbappe, and especially Icardi, all absent due to injury, could have been imposed upon him rather than a personal desire.

Pochettino, on the other hand, has virtually exclusively utilized a two-man midfield since his arrival at Le Parc des Princes. Pochettino's favored formation has become clear throughout his managing career: 4-2-3-1. Specific responsibilities inside that shape have become synonymous with the Argentinian coach's tactics, like the 'number 10' in his system being effectively a second striker-type rather than an attacking midfielder-type, as evidenced by his deployment of Dele Alli in Spurs.

Pochettino has used a variety of formations at PSG thus far, including the 4-4-2 that Tuchel used, but he has primarily used his standard 4-2-3-1 system. Given that this is his "trademark" configuration and that he began using it almost immediately in Paris, it seems logical to assume that his squad will ideally be shaped in this shape in the future.

Pochettino's approach is possession-based, and he prefers to build out with fast incisive deliveries to his central midfielders. He is not afraid to be more direct with his players, firing vertical passes to teammates farther up the pitch to rapidly transition from defense to attack.

When his teams are out of possession, they press high up the pitch vertically and horizontally to limit the opponent's play and prevent them from launching attacks. Pochettino's press was well-organized and structured at both Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. 

PSG's famous front four were all in action in this game, so we can get a good picture of how Pochettino sees his team evolving in the future in a perfect world. In most of PSG's games under Pochettino so far, Icardi has been the only 'fixed' part of the attack as he has always played as the 'number 9'. The remainder of the attackers switches places, with

Angel Di Maria

usually on the right and Neymar and Mbappe swapping positions significantly more frequently.

So far, Neymar or Mbappe have primarily played the 'number 10' role in Pochettino's system, with the other occupying the left wing at the moment. When Neymar plays the role, he prefers to go deeper into midfield, but Mbappe does not. Pochettino took over from Tuchel, a team that was used to switching strategies throughout the game depending on the situation.

PSG almost always played with three at the back in Tuchel's last outings. Even in a 4-3-3 formation, the play was set up by a three-man backline, with the center midfielder playing deep between the center-backs, allowing the fullbacks to play ahead. Pochettino's PSG grabbed this system and tweaked it to their play. 

Because the system is a 4-2-3-1, the two fullbacks still move forward at the same time but in a more advanced position, and there is one fewer midfielder. Pochettino prefers having a second passing line in the final third, but he doesn't give up on consolidating control from the back with his two center-backs and center midfielders. It's a crucial possession since it allows other players to progress, such as fullbacks moving higher and inside-forwards moving behind the opponent's midfield. It must not be too frantic to avoid overworking the staff.

PSG always tries to hold the ball in the middle, leaning laterally to a midfielder and going up the pitch in a different fashion if necessary. They don't always rely on fullbacks to bring the ball back to the center, preferring to build up centrally first, then engaging fullbacks later in the last third, whether directly or indirectly. Their wide position allows for a swift change of play in the event of an emergency.

Important Thing about Mauricio Pochettino Tactics at PSG: Luxury Pressing and Transitions

let your hair down, this is the story of

Mauricio Pochettino tactics

. Pochettino has the advantage of inheriting a fully established squad in terms of the lineup. Furthermore, with a few exceptions, this is the same club that made it to the Champions League final last season.

It has two of the best players in the world in Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. Its manager is expected to cultivate positive relationships with the team's stars and positive outcomes. In terms of pressure, Mauricio Pochettino's


have carried on from Thomas Tuchel's work.

First and foremost, the Argentine must figure out how to make the most of his premium assets, Neymar and Mbappé. He must develop a system that suits their playing styles while also keeping the squad's balance throughout the crucial league and cup matches. Poch should instantly implement his methods in this group, which will almost certainly resemble the set-up he had at his last club Tottenham.

PSG is a perfect team for Mauricio Pochettino to mold in many aspects. The Parisians are already known for their abrasive squeezing. They've been doing it the same way since the Argentine took control. In addition, the squad uses a high press. This would be dangerous if it weren't for PSG's players' quickness and location. However, the ferocity of this strategy can backfire, as it did recently when Monaco won a surprise 2-0 victory at Parc de Princes. 

Marco Verratti

and Gueye would offer cover in this formation, allowing the PSG full-backs to advance and overlap the wide attackers, creating overloads in the offensive phase and pinning opponents back for long periods. Having the extra cover keeps the offense and defense stable, a quality that Pochettino found as a typical approach in the Premier League. Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe will occupy the two center-half spots in the system.

Both are excellent one-on-one defenders with speed to play in a high defensive line, which will be required in Pochettino's pressing system. Furthermore, with the two full-backs moving forward, the center-backs will be charged with defending one-on-one situations in the channel, where their speed and tackling abilities will be crucial.

Quick offensive transitions, on the other hand, might be one of their most valuable assets. Despite being a possession-based side that can be patient in possession, PSG has proven to be deadly on the counter-attack under Mauricio Pochettino. According to WhoScored, the Ligue 1 champions have scored seven goals on counter-attacks, the most in the league. They've also completed the most dribbles, and attack with the most verticality. 

All of these qualities have improved since the Argentinean's arrival, demonstrating Pochettino's willingness to get the most out of Neymar and Mbappe without the necessity for a focal point up top. Instead, Neymar will try to keep the ball in his hands until he is tackled, then pass it to another player at the perfect moment. Di Maria has some flair and charisma, but instead of racing with the ball at high speeds like the other two, he prefers to make longer passes when he sees an opening to expose an opponent's defense.

Mbappe adds a unique dimension to the team, complementing the other two's skills with his sharp movement both on and off the ball. With ball-winners like Marco Verratti and Idrissa Gana Gueye, PSG can win the ball back swiftly when they lose it and make vertical deliveries forward for Mbappe and Neymar to restart the game. 

The Parisians also place a big focus on their attack's left side. Only SC Reims have made more attacks down the left flank than PSG, despite Pochettino's side also taking the most vertical attacking style. When Neymar comes deep for the build-up, he will typically drop to the left, and he will also naturally roam to the left after his team wins the ball and looks to attack.

Attacking down this side results from Neymar's natural desire to drift to that side and strategically employing his abilities to his benefit. PSG understands who they need to pass the ball to achieve the best-attacking results, one of their most potent tactical weapons.

A Conclusion on Mauricio Pochettino Tactics

His managerial experience is also impressive. It all started in 2009 when he took over as manager of Espanyol and turned the Spanish squad into one of the most entertaining on the continent for a brief period. He joined Tottenham after a short spell with Southampton. In fact, all the success in the club can sum up in

Mauricio Pochettino tactics at PSG


While he did not win any trophies with Spurs, this period will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best in the club's modern history. The team consistently finished in the top five in the Premier League, and in 2019 they even reached the Champions League final. Mauricio Pochettino hasn't had the best start to his career with PSG, but much of his tactical blunder is visible and distinct from what the players witnessed under

Thomas Tuchel


It remains to be seen whether these improvements can lead the squad to Ligue 1 success this season, but the Parisians are making a valiant bid for the UEFA Champions League crown, with the second leg against Bayern Munich still to be played.

Mauricio Pochettino is widely regarded as one of the world's top football managers. His employment at PSG makes sense, especially given his previous association with the club. In Paris, he had a promising start to his career. The 4-1 win over


will have done a lot to endear him to the team's fateful players.

Pochettino's mission, on the other hand, is very obvious. He needs to win the title in France, and he needs to win it decisively. With PSG four points behind Lille this season, this will be a more difficult challenge. 

He'll also have to outperform his predecessor, Thomas Tuchel, who led the squad to the UCL final. Finally, he must keep stars like Neymar and Mbappe happy. All three of these duties would be difficult for any manager, even Pochettino. If he fails to achieve these goals, his time as PSG manager will undoubtedly be cut short. So there you have it! Paris Saint-Germain's Mauricio Pochettino tactics are well explained.

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