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PSG: failing executives, weakened coach, physique at half mast ... the 6 annoying questions


Once again beaten this weekend at the Parc des Princes, the reigning champion shows too many flaws to hope to celebrate his 10

Ten years, pile hair, that the PSG had not lost eight league games in the same season.

Eleven, that he had not lost five times at home in Ligue 1. Fourteen, that he had not conceded three defeats in a row at the Parc des Princes in the competition.

Nothing yet says that Paris let slip its title of champion Saturday night against Lille (0-1).

But this new defeat confirms that the capital club is struggling, and that despite the replacement of Thomas Tuchel by Mauricio Pochettino, everything is far from being settled.

1. Did Paris lose the solutions in Ligue 1?

The numbers speak and sting.

They intrigue, above all, as this Paris which crushed everything in its path is no more than a shadow of itself.

The four unfortunate points gained out of the eighteen put into play against his trio of direct competitors (Lille, Monaco, Lyon) confirm a form of helplessness of the best attack in Ligue 1 against grouped defenses.

The example of the defeat in Lens (1-0), where?

despite 78% of possession, Paris had framed only one strike, is indeed not isolated, nor specific to the Tuchel era.

It reproduced several times even reaching identical proportions (74.7% possession, 1 shot on target) during the backhand against Monaco (0-2), this time under the orders of Pochettino.

"That's why when you play with the famous fantastic ones, you have to be super strong in the middle," said Guy Roux.

Because they have crazy offensive potential, around 18/20.

The problem is that defensively, it's 3/20 or 4/20 maximum.

With a system like that, you only win if you are clearly superior to the opponent.

However, when this is accompanied, in addition, by a lack of involvement, or even as the defeats against the penultimate Lorient and Nantes demonstrate, with guilty superiority complexes, the sanction also falls against the small ones.

2. Is there a shortage of executives in this group?

What if the most beautiful workforce in Ligue 1 was sorely lacking in leaders?

Garnished with stars, PSG, on the other hand, seems devoid of guides, leaders with an aura capable of transcending the troops like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for example, seemed in his time to know how to do it.

The proof ?

Not once this season in Ligue 1, PSG has been able to turn the tide when it has been behind.

This team, however, does not lack pride, on an individual basis.

But it clearly lacks someone capable of federating it.

Indisputable technical leaders, Neymar and Marco Verratti could have the profile to take on this role.

“The downside, ironically Guy Roux, the former coach of Auxerre, is that despite all their talent, they only form a full-time player between them.

And this is where the shoe pinches.

For Mickaël Madar "playing at PSG requires a minimum of commitment and requirement" on and off the field.

It is clear that this virtue, which Captain Marquinhos tends to symbolize, does not accompany all of his partners.

Exemplary on the ball, Neymar is less so in his behavior.

He, who has played only thirteen Ligue 1 games this season, received his second red card in the league on Saturday.

At the time of verdicts, when his team needs it most.

Not the behavior of a leader.

3. Is the physical excuse admissible?

Since the start of the season, it's one of the catchphrases: PSG would be in the worst situation in Europe, handicapped by its summer straddling physical preparation, the end of the 2019-2020 season (Final 8 in Lisbon) and the start for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

All interwoven with injuries and cases of Covid-19.

Leonardo, Pochettino and the players explain it almost every time they speak.

"It's a marathon that continues, so it's not easy," whispered, at the end of October, Kylian Mbappé, also requested by the French selection at the beginning of spring.

Clubs like Liverpool or Juventus are going through the same galleys as PSG to keep their national title and qualify for the next Champions League.

But Bayern Munich or FC Barcelona, ​​also concerned by the Final 8 of summer 2020, have found solutions over the months.

As for Lille, on Saturday, eleven of its players returned from selection, one more than in the Parisian ranks.

Neymar, Di Maria, Paredes or Marquinhos have benefited from two weeks of preparation for the Lodges camp.

4. Why is the midfielder so weak?

The absence of Marco Verratti (Covid) has once again highlighted the concerns of recruitment in this sector of the midfield.

Bought for 40 and 30 million euros, Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye do not provide a sufficiently regular return.

Ander Herrera, remained on the bench on Saturday, either.

So many choices initiated by the former sports director, Antero Henrique, which raise questions.

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Leonardo's decision to pick up Danilo from Porto is not necessarily a happier one in this area.

Recourse to Draxler remains rare and often uncertain.

As for Rafinha, he disappeared from the radar after the arrival of Pochettino while Thomas Tuchel made him a systematic holder in Ligue 1. Too Verratti-dependent, the middle does not find its balance.

So much so that today we come to wonder if Tuchel's bet to install Marquinhos in the middle was so out of place ...

5. Is Pochettino largely responsible?

In the interview given to the Parisian before the defeat against Lille, the Argentinian coach warned: “We have arrived in the middle of a project that is not ours (…) It's different to arrive at the start of the season, to establish a strategy, to be able to change things (…) From that moment on, I will be judged.

"Pochettino refuses to speak of" excuses "on this subject, he prefers to add the word" reality "to it.

He is right on several points (workforce in place, accumulated fatigue, health crisis), wrongly on others (tactics in place, choice of players, state of mind).


Mauricio Pochettino: "We knew it was going to be difficult until the end and of course we have to keep going and think about all the competitions."

- Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) April 3, 2021

But like other technicians before him, Pochettino already seems to be facing the main blockage of PSG in recent seasons: consistency and "lack of commitment", still pointed out by Marquinhos himself this Saturday.

Against Lille, difficult to blame him for setting up a typical team.

But the lack of reaction (late entries from Rafinha or Draxler) surprised.

6. Do Neymar, Mbappé and Di Maria have a team spirit?

The fantastic trio are struggling at the end of the Easter weekend.

Holders against the Mastiffs, none of the three has been able to create the opening.

And their lack of defensive involvement on the counterattacks is evident again, at the worst of times this season.

To varying degrees, they took a physical toll as the game progressed.

One by accumulation (Mbappé), the other by lack of rhythm (Neymar), the last by an extinct imagination (Di Maria).

In the spirit, the record is getting worse, especially for the Brazilian.

At 29, the most expensive footballer in history still does not know how to control his nerves when events do not turn in his favor, ending up expelled.

Injured since February 10, "Ney" had to don the costume of the playmaker in the absence of Marco Verratti.

The one who knows how to delay, accelerate and launch Di Maria or Mbappé.

In the Champions League, this trio has already proven its ability to climb a level.

It's up to them to start over.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-04-04

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