Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Poch and Bayern – a match made in heaven?

Just a few days after his sacking at Spurs, it seems as though fortunes may be changing for Mauricio Pochettino. If reports by the likes of The Telegraph are to be believed, German giants Bayern Munich are preparing to offer the Argentinian their currently vacant managerial role.

Bayern have endured a poor start to the season and two weeks back, Niko Kovac paid the price for that as the club pulled the plug on his contract. Since then, Hansi Flick has been in charge on a temporary basis, winning both of their games in that time – including a very impressive 4-0 demolition over rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Reports from Bavaria in the last week or so suggested they were to wait until after the Christmas period to appoint their permanent boss – but with the sudden availability of Poch, it seems as though it could be a case of now or never if that’s an appointment they want to make. You can almost guarantee the likes of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer are a couple of defeats away from being replaced…

But would it be a good fit? For me, it has the potential to be a match made beyond the pearly gates. With Bayern Munich’s usual philosophy being very much reliant on bringing in and bringing through impressive young talent – it has to be a job that will resonate with Poch.

At Spurs, Poch developed a reputation for favouring young, up and coming players throughout his time in North London. The likes of Harry Kane and Harry Winks have the 47-year-old to thank for their careers being as far forward right now as they are. Bayern fans, and the Bayern hierarchy, would be over the moon if he could pull the best out of the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jann-Fiete Arp.

Even the slightly older players – who have already established themselves as phenomenal footballers – could do with a bit of nurturing from someone like Poch. Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Benjamin Pavard to name but a few – Poch has the ability to take their careers to new heights – ask Moussa Sissoko.

Is Poch ready for the big time?

This appointment will be a very popular one in the Bayern dressing room too – especially with on-loan midfielder Philippe Coutinho – whom Poch managed for a while at Espanyol. The Argentinian even tried to sign Coutinho for Spurs this summer and told reporters of his fondness for the 27-year-old.

“As with most Brazilians, Philippe has a special magic in his feet. He has that same quality as Ronaldinho and Messi. Aside from the magic that he has, he also has an amazing work rate and that makes us doubt whether he fits the mould of a typical Brazilian player or a European one because his work ethic is outstanding.”

As well as that, one of the things Pochettino was so outspoken and upset about was his sheer lack of fiscal backing at Spurs in the last 12-18 months. It’s fair to say this isn’t something he will have too many worries about if he takes the Bayern role. In the summer, according to TransferMarkt, Munich spent upwards of £129million on some outstanding footballers. That included a massive £72million for former Atletico Madrid centre-half Lucas Hernandez and £31million for French defender Benjamin Pavard.

The one thing Poch’s illustrious career is missing up to this point is a piece of silverware or two. Despite Bayern’s widely-reported struggles this term – they still sit just third in Bundesliga and are only four points behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach. They’re also still in the DFB Pokal and lead their UEFA Champions League group by five points – so it’s not unfeasible that Poch could win his first trophy as a manager in the next six months if he takes this job.

For me though, the most interesting thing in this potential appointment is a certain upcoming Champions League fixture. On December 11th, Bayern play host to Tottenham Hotspur in their final group fixture of the season. With Bayern currently atop group B and Spurs five points behind in second, it could be a vital clash for the visitors. If Poch has been appointed manager by then – it will most definitely be a must-watch affair.

Here’s hoping Karl-Heinze Rummenigge didn’t mean it when he said this in Bayern’s annual general meeting:

“I have held talks with Hansi and he told me reporters keep asking him if he will be in charge for the next game. I can say that until further notice he will be in charge at least until Christmas, or maybe even beyond.”

What do you think? Would Poch to Bayern be a good appointment?

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