Lionel Messi: PSG star's entourage have 'doubts' about Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play

  • Tom Ward
Lionel Messi's entourage have 'doubts' about Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play

Lionel Messi‘s start to life at Paris Saint-Germain has taken another interesting twist after doubts were raised about Mauricio Pochettino‘s tactical abilities by the player’s entourage, according to L’Equipe.  

The Argentine manager was once hailed as the man who can deliver the French giants their first ever Champions League trophy, but he has struggled to live up to the lofty expectations so far.

Despite finding themselves 11 points clear of Rennes at the top of the table, the nine-time Ligue 1 champions have been unable to replicate their success in Europe, where they have only won two out of their last five games.   

Pochettino, 49, finds himself under increasing pressure at the Parc des Princes despite the star-studded squad at his disposal which has cast doubt over his long-term future at the club. 

And now his problems have been compounded further after French newspaper L’Equipe – one of the most well-respected sources of information – claimed Messi’s camp are apparently unhappy with Pochettino’s tactics and coaching methods this season. 

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The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner joined PSG during a busy summer transfer window that also saw the likes of Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes move to the French capital. 

And while his former club Barcelona have keenly felt the loss of their best player in the club’s history, the Argentina international has also found it hard adjusting to his new life in France. 

The 34-year-old has scored just four goals in 13 games across all competitions for Les Parisiens. 

It is arguably his worst start to a season since the 2005-06 campaign having failed to find the back of the net in all but one of his nine Ligue 1 outings.  

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But rather than pin the blame on Messi, those closest to him have dubbed Pochettino’s style of play as ‘too restrictive’ which prevents him from playing at his free-flowing best.  

The report adds that others in PSG’s dressing room have expressed concern that their manager is not harsh enough. It’s claimed that he ‘strives on a daily basis’ to avoid any unnecessary arguments and show ‘consideration’. 

Thus, the under-fire manager, whose contract runs for another two years, has ‘lost credit’ with some of the club’s players due to his lack of confrontation. 

It comes just weeks after reports emerged suggesting he would be open to taking the vacant job at Manchester United, before Ralf Rangnick replaced the freshly departed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford. 

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