SO, he’s finally gone. After months of clinging to power when everyone knew he was a dead man, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino was put out of his misery.
Now the question on everyone’s lips: what’s next for the big dog of management?
Because pretty much every top boss bar Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp will be looking over their shoulders with concern now that Poch is back on the job market.
When he was last sacked by Tottenham in 2019, it was a full 14 months before he felt the need to return to football.
But the 50-year-old can’t afford to hang out in the wild this time after being so unceremoniously dismissed by the French champions.
It’s been the world’s worst-kept secret that Pochettino is heading for the guillotine at a club that have absolutely no interest in just winning Ligue 1.
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As Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc, Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel all found out at their own expense, first place in a one-horse race does not impress the owners of PSG from Qatar.
But it also proves that there’s no shame in being sacked by the world’s most delusional club.
That’s why there won’t be a shortage of offers for Pochettino as he considers how to spend his £8.5million Paris payout.
Manchester United fans are already wondering why their club was so hasty in signing Erik ten Hag when it was clear that a manager with a proven track record in the Premier League would soon be available.
And those concerns will only increase if United don’t get the new season off to a flying start.
Newcastle have been mumbling for months about rewarding Eddie Howe with a new deal to keep the team in the Premier League.
But will their Saudi owners now champion the low-key Eddie enough that a superstar manager is up for grabs?
Frank Lampard may have kept Everton alive at close quarters, but that’s no guarantee of long-term security with an owner who changes managers as often as his socks.
It’s no secret that Spurs tried to get Pochettino back before they appointed Nuno Espirito Santo last summer.
And who knows what will happen at Chelsea in the coming months, where Todd Boehly seems determined to pull off a declaration signing of one sort or another?
There’s even talk of Pochettino replacing Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
The only certainty for now is that Poch will be hanging around like the ghost of Christmas to come as he awaits his next big opportunity.
And that’s a seriously chilling prospect for his management contemporaries.
Honestly, it stings bees
AM I just me or does Thomas Frank have the right to feel let down by Christian Eriksen?
When Inter Milan sacked Eriksen after his near-fatal cardiac arrest at Euro last year, it was Brentford boss Frank who gave his Danish compatriot the opportunity to get his career back on track.
But now that he has been able to prove his fitness and complete his recovery, Eriksen has turned down Brentford’s offer for a new contract to join Manchester United as a free agent.
It has been reported that he told Frank he wanted £200,000 a week in wages plus a £10million registration fee to stay in west London.
But these demands have always been beyond the bees’ means, so now he’s signing with a club that can afford to pay him whatever he wants.
And suddenly the feel-good football story of the year left a slightly stale aftertaste in your mouth.
IT’S A LITTLE RICH, RAF
IRONY officially died at Wimbledon this week when Rafa Nadal lectured rival Lorenzo Sonego about tennis etiquette during the match.
The most successful player in the sport’s history was apparently unhappy with the Italian’s grunt in the middle of a rally on Center Court.
So he called his opponent to the net to let him know that his behavior was unacceptable.
That’s rich of the man going through his entire head, shoulders, sack and crack routine before each and every point.
The man who takes so long to serve that they had to put in a countdown clock to make sure the game ends the same day it started.
So let’s hope Rafa has recovered from his stomach injury in time for today’s semi-final showdown with Nick Kyrgios.
Because when he’s trying to tip the Aussie savage on how to play, he may be carrying his racquet in a particularly painful spot.
THE absolutely stunning transformation of the England Test team in recent weeks threatens to completely change the way cricket is played.
But if they are to take ‘Bazball’ to its logical conclusion then England will need to find a place in their line-up for Jos Buttler.
The world’s most destructive batsman has effectively ruled himself out of Red Ball cricket after succeeding Eoin Morgan as one-day captain.
But surely there has to be a way for captain Ben Stokes and manager Brendon McCullum to capitalize on Buttler’s punching power.
One suggestion is that Buttler opens the batting to get the opponent on their backfoot from the first delivery.
And if the alternative is sticking with Zak Crawley, who scratches until he’s got you down, I know which I’d prefer.
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IF you want fun football then Sierra Leone is definitely the place to be.
Kahunla Rangers and Gulf FC went head to head in Sunday’s Premier League qualifiers with promotion in jeopardy.
And with the issue likely to be resolved on goal difference, it was only to be expected that caution would be thrown to the wind.
But no one could have predicted that Gulf FC would win 91-1, while Kahunla would score 93 goals in the second half alone in a 95-0 win.
shady? You bet.
Curiously, an investigation into Super Sunday match-fixing is now underway.
JUST when we thought we’d finally seen the back of Mike Dean, football’s most disliked official has given up the whistle to become a dedicated VAR.
Which begs the question: will he still celebrate every decision he makes behind his desk at Stockley Park?
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5727428/pochettino-man-utd-ten-hag-chelsea-managers-beware/ Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag and ex-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be nervous now that Mauricio Pochettino is a free agent