Mauricio Pochettino is off to a promising start in his run as Paris Saint-Germain’s new manager. With a draw and win over his first two Ligue 1 fixtures, Pochettino has moved PSG to within a mere point behind current league leaders Olympique Lyonnais.
Pochettino managed his first two fixtures without superstar forward Neymar. The Brazilian is still recovering from the left ankle injury that has kept him out of multiple fixtures.
Former French goalkeeper Mickael Landreau strongly believes that Pochettino’s usage of Neymar will be a defining factor into just how much success he will have as the team’s new manager.
“For me, the key is Neymar,” Landreau said. “Because in fact, Neymar has been doing what he wants for several weeks. As much Kylian Mbappé, in my eyes and one can think otherwise, is much more in a collective than Neymar.
“The challenge for Mauricio Pochettino will be to manage Neymar.”
Landreau also noted that Pochettino will have to formulate a game plan that will put the team in the best position to break down low blocks.
“Pochettino’s challenge will be to discover Ligue 1,” Landreau said. “He’s not going to play all the time against Brest. He will play against low blocks. I think it’s not going to be that easy.
“He certainly goes with his aura to give intensity. The key will be in the collective project that he will put in place. He must not rest on his stars and succeed in convincing this team to create a collective identity for it to run.”
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