Mauricio Pochettino has been dealt a cold-blooded snub after being left out of a five-man shortlist for Ligue 1 manager of the season award, despite clinching the French league title with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentinian guided the Parisian giants to domestic success with three games remaining after a 3-3 draw away at Strasbourg on Friday. Second-placed Marseille suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Lyon, leaving them 14 points adrift and confirming PSG as champions for the 10th time in their history.
Despite managing a star-studded squad containing the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Pochettino has managed to maintain a sense of harmony inside the club. However, that achievement seems to have gone under the radar in selecting which coach deserves the crown of manager of the season.
Jorge Sampaoli's Marseille may be 14 points off the pace behind PSG but the Chilean has been shortlisted as one of five managers to claim the award ahead of Pochettino. He joins Rennes' Bruno Genesio, who has taken the Brittany outfit to Champions League qualification despite their drastically reduced budget.
Christophe Galtier, who led Lille to the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21 to stun PSG on the final day of the season, has been recognised for his impressive work at OGC Nice. Former PSG coach Antoine Kombouare, now working with Nantes, and Strasbourg coach Julian Stephan complete the list of candidates.
There has been criticism of the quality of France's top flight, where questions have been asked about the level of competitiveness due to PSG's enormous budget compared to their rival clubs. But that argument holds little water when Lille claimed an unexpected success only last season.
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Pochettino was appointed in December 2020 following the departure of Thomas Tuchel and improved PSG's position from third to second, before missing out on the title on the final day. But after a memorable summer of recruitment, bringing in Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi, Pochettino has overseen their elevation to the summit once again.
Securing the Ligue 1 title means that for the first time in his managerial career, Pochettino has added a league title to his CV. It was suggested that the 50-year-old could depart Parc des Princes on a winning note, with the former Tottenham head coach heavily linked to the vacant post at Manchester United for next season before The Red Devils appointed Erik ten Hag for the role.
Speculation persists that Pochettino could still leave after the club's failure to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The Argentine insisted he is "100%" staying with the French giants, but after being given the cold shoulder in the managers' individual awards, perhaps he may feel less inclined to stick around.
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