Mauricio Pochettino's Record Against Members of the 'Big Six'

James Budgen

Pochettino against the 'Big Six'

Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a move from Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester United to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the new manager at Old Trafford and much of the attention then turns to how he has played against members of the ‘Big Six’.

There are many good qualities that Pochettino will bring to United, but one criticism pointed at him is such a record that also prevented him from winning trophies during his time at Spurs and defeating the bigger teams in England. Here, we take a look at his record against the 'Big Six' and what this could mean for United.

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Manchester City

Pochettino has played Manchester City at three different clubs: Southampton, Spurs, and with PSG. However, following another defeat to them in the Champions League, his record against them has been underwhelming, with him only winning six times in his 20 games against them, losing 11 times and drawing the other three.

Although his record against City isn’t very good, he still managed to win the most important game: the Champions League quarter-finals first leg in 2019. The away leg ended ina 4-3 defeat to Spurs, but the away goals from Fernando Llorente, and Son Heung-min meant his side went into the semi-finals.

However, overall, only keeping three clean sheets against City in his 19 games against them is not a great record to have and it does seem off the back of three defeats and one win in his time at PSG against Pep Guardiola that the Spaniard may just have his number.

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Cheslea

Pochettino has had a similarly poor record against Chelsea, managing 17 times against Chelsea as he won six games, drew twice, and lost nine more. At the same time, he conceded an alarming 35 goals in the 17 times he took charge against them.

Two of the losses against Chelsea were in the semi-finals which lost Tottenham the opportunity of winning a trophy, as he lost 4-2 against them in the FA Cup semi-final in 2017 where Chelsea went on to lose in the final to Arsenal.

The other loss was in the second leg of the 2019 Carabao Cup, where despite winning the first leg, losing the second put the tie to penalties, which Spurs lost. Once again, another situation where the Argentine just couldn't win a trophy.

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Arsenal

For Pochettino at Spurs, the games against Arsenal were the biggest fixtures of the season for his side but during his time with them, he was only able to be their biggest rival three times in 13 attempts as Tottenham manager. A manager would argue that he still managed to finish above them in every season they played bar one (ironically, their title charge season).

They didn’t lose as they used to under previous management, but they still drew six times and only lost four others in his time at Tottenham, which still is very underwhelming for a derby.

Nevertheless, his two games as Southampton manager against Arsenal he did provide a win and a draw, with the win coming at the Emirates also. Overall, a hit and miss record against the Gunners.

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Liverpool

Pochettino’s worst record against English sides is by far against Liverpool, as he only managed to win three times against them in 16 opportunities, drawing four times and losing nine times, including the 2019 Champions League final.

In a way, there was no shame in losing that Champions League final clash as he did manage to get all the way to the final against the odds, and it was up against a record-breaking Liverpool side that got 97 points in the league.

Pochettino’s team really didn’t show up for that Champions League final, and if he would take over at United, he would need to set up his teams better for both better results in cup finals, and to have a better record against Liverpool. It really does seem as if Jurgen Klopp has his number.

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Grim readings

Pochettino has played a total of 67 games against these four big teams but has only won 19 times in these matches.

This puts the Argentine with a win percentage of only 28%, which is incredibly alarming as this is worse than both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Premier League. Moreover, it's not like he didn't get a chance to prove himself against these sides; he was at Spurs for five years.

Furthermore, with a -26 goal difference in these 67 games against such sides, it's clear to see that Pochettino picked up most of his points against those further down the table.

All in all, he really didn't have the greatest record against the 'Big Six' and a lot of attention on the two-legged quarter-finals win over City seems to plaster over the cracks of what is an area for serious improvement.


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