Four Aston Villa players cited as big Mauricio Pochettino concern emerges, putting Gerrard succession in doubt
Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly worried about how the Aston Villa squad will cope with his demands if he joins, with four players highlighted.
Steven Gerrard is under big pressure at Villa Park amid the club’s poor start to the season. They are 16th in the Premier League table after winning just two of their 10 matches so far.
Aston Villa are winless in their last three outings and lost 2-0 against Chelsea at the weekend. A Tyrone Mings error allowed Mason Mount to put Chelsea in front, before the midfielder doubled Chelsea’s advantage with a stunning free-kick.
Villa will be hoping to arrest their poor form when they come up against Fulham on Thursday at 19:30.
However, another defeat could see Gerrard get the sack. And there have already been plenty of rumours about his potential replacement.
Former Tottenham boss Pochettino became a possible solution for Villa on September 24. At the time, Football Insider claimed Pochettino was ‘very open’ to ‘transforming’ the West Midlands outfit.
That came after talks between the Argentine and French club Nice had fallen through.
On Tuesday, The Telegraph provided an update on Villa’s manager situation. They claimed Gerrard’s days to be numbered and that Pochettino is the owners’ top target to take charge.
Mauricio Pochettino not sure about four Aston Villa men
However, Football Insider provide their latest take on Villa through a less positive report. They reveal Pochettino is concerned about the quality of the Villans stars.
In particular, he is worried about the midfielders and attackers, and whether they can deal with his high-intensity style. Philippe Coutinho, Emiliano Buendia, Douglas Luiz and Danny Ings are supposedly possible weak points in this system.
Due to these doubts, Villa will face an uphill battle to take the Pochettino talks from the preliminary stages to a done deal.
As such, club chiefs may have to start looking at alternative managers to replace Gerrard. Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has previously been put in the frame for the job. But it is unclear whether he is still on Villa’s radar.
The Telegraph state Thomas Tuchel could become a target if the Pochettino discussions fail to take off. Of course, he is a free agent after his Chelsea sacking earlier this season.
Tuchel also in Villa’s sights, but similar problems may emerge
As with Pochettino, the pursuit of Tuchel would be an ambitious one. He is a Champions League winner from his time at Stamford Bridge.
Because of his achievements in west London, and at PSG and Dortmund before then, Tuchel probably deserves a bigger managerial role than Villa’s when returning to the sport.
Tuchel could have similar doubts to Pochettino about the quality of the squad. Villa have spent big in recent years as they eye a return to European competition. But the team has yet to properly gel under Gerrard.
Should the Liverpool legend be let go by Villa, it would put his career progression in turmoil. Gerrard did extremely well at Rangers, taking them to the Scottish Premiership title through an unbeaten campaign.
He will have moved to Villa with the hope of impressing there. This would have set him up perfectly for the Liverpool job.
However, Gerrard hasn’t been able to replicate his Rangers success at Villa. He might have to get his career up and running at another Prem club before moving back to Anfield.
Meanwhile, a pundit has taken a different stance on Pochettino and thinks the coach would be ‘lucky’ to get the Villa job.