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Luis Enrique ahead of Le Havre-PSG: "I'd like to have three strikers like Mbappé with 17 goals, but..."

2023-12-02T13:28:28.725Z

Highlights: Luis Enrique's PSG take on Le Havre in Ligue 1 on Sunday. Luis Enrique's side have won their last five games in the league. The PSG coach believes his side will be dominant in the match. He says he would like to have three strikers like Kylian Mbappé, but not all of them with 17 goals, but he is not worried about the lack of a finishing problem. He also says that Manuel Ugarte's slump is not down to the absence of Warren Zaire-Emery.


The Parisian coach was extremely loquacious on Saturday, on the eve of the Ligue 1 match at Le Havre on Sunday, talking in particular about his playing philosophy and efficiency.


Lack of efficiency: "Only the last move or the way to serve the attackers? It's very funny... If we have a finishing problem, what do the other teams have? We score three goals a game (out of the last five wins in Ligue 1, editor's note), we have 10 chances against Newcastle... If we have a finishing problem, what do the others have? No, not at all. It's a game of mistakes. I'd be worried if we didn't have an opportunity. Sometimes it fits, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes we're less inspired. That's football, that's life. We missed some very clear chances, but that's football. You have to have a bit of wit... Now, when a player misses a chance, the first one who wants to score is the player. I'm never going to criticise a player who misses an opportunity, or a goalkeeper makes a mistake, a centre-back... We'd have a problem if we didn't create chances. For the rest, if you're inspired, everything is fine, otherwise, it's more difficult. In any case, I am not worried. A lot of goals in Ligue 1 and a mental block in the Champions League? You can say whatever you want (smiles).

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  • Ligue 1 fixtures and results
  • Ligue 1 standings

Manuel Ugarte: "A link between a slump on his part and the absence of Warren Zaire-Emery? No. I'm not making a connection between the absence of one player and the fact that another player is playing better. With the squad I have, a very high level squad in all positions... As the season progresses, some players will play better, others not so well. But it's true that for our midfielders to play well, the team needs to be more compact. Afterwards, and this is both a virtue and a problem, the team can grow as the game progresses. It means that the environment is going to suffer because you can't put the pressure on. When there's less space between the lines, the midfielders will do better. He's a very important player for us because he has the ability to put pressure on, be aggressive, win the ball back well, a bit like Sergio Busquets at Barça. If there's a lot of space, Busquets struggles because he can't cover everything across the width. It's a bit the same problem for Manuel, Warren Zaire-Emery, Vitinha, Fabian Ruiz... If you spread out the strikers and don't follow, there's a lot of space to cover and it's more difficult. But for the rest, Manuel was as much a surprise to me as it was to you. You don't really know a player until you have them with you. And it's a very good transfer, it's part of the future of the club.

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Dear Ndour: "He's a very young player, 20 years old. He is an Italian youth international. He has physical and technical qualities of a very high level. I'm sure he'd be a starter in any Ligue 1 team, but here there's a lot of competition and it's hard to give him minutes. But it's a marvel, it's an example of what a professional player should be and what a young player should be at a big club. In terms of physical or technical performance, there wasn't a day when he was below. Even if he doesn't play in the Champions League, it's a real pleasure to see him training and he's an example.

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Read alsoChampions League: miraculous but not saved, PSG with their backs against the Wall... yellow

My team will play the way I want to. After that, I don't care if you like it more or less.

Luis Enrique

The link between control and efficiency: "Less possession, more goals since the start of the season? Do you want to bet something that we will be dominant tomorrow (Sunday in Le Havre)? I think we will be (smiles). We've had 70% possession on average since the start of the season, more than any other team in the league. Why should we change, in order to be more efficient? I start from the premise that the more dominant you are, the more things will be in my team's favor, which will allow you to win by giving the opponent the fewest options. That's what I'm looking for. The goal is not just to have a lot of chances. As a coach, I'd like us to only play in the opponent's half and attack again and again and create chances and the opponent has none. That's the perfect match. That's what I'm always looking for, and it was the case in my previous teams. If the fans like another style more, that's one thing, but I'm professional, it's my job, I want to dominate as much as possible, control, have the ball close to the goal in a shower. If the ball is close to the opponent's goal, their forwards will be far away from mine. With all my experience, all this is very clear, I have no doubt. We're still at the beginning of this project here. I'm very happy with what I'm seeing from my team, even if we still need to improve a lot. My team will play the way I want to. After that, I don't care if you like it more or less.

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How to replace Ousmane Dembélé, suspended at Dortmund: "I haven't thought about it yet. I know he won't be able to play because of a ridiculous card, but I'm thinking about Le Havre. There are still a dozen days to go. I can try things yes, but Le Havre don't play like Dortmund. It doesn't work like that. We have a range of possibilities depending on the players available, but I can't stage what will happen against Dortmund because there is no similarity between Dortmund and Le Havre.

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Gonçalo Ramos or Randal Kolo Muani: "They are two typical strikers. Kolo Muani may have an easier time playing on the flank and Ramos is more of a box 9 but they are two very strong options. They have a great capacity for work. We can improve in certain phases of the game, we could help them more. I don't really choose according to the opponent but the situations we will have in the matches. Both play regularly. I'm happy with what they're giving.

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The winter transfer window: "The sporting management and the staff must always work and think about improving the squad. There is room for improvement in doing so publicly. The most important thing is to always be attentive to improve the squad, and that's what we'll do in the winter transfer window. If there are opportunities to improve the squad at the right time and under the right conditions, we go for it. But I've always praised the quality of the squad and I'm sincere.

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Bradley Barcola, who was criticised after his misses against Newcastle and who has yet to be decisive with PSG: "In some sports, statistics are less important than others. If we only looked at goals and assists, we would think that Ousmane Dembélé is not a good player. However, he is the player who creates the most imbalances in the world, a player who has created at least 70% of the actions that have ended in goals! Anyway, if you want to look at the stats, go for it. But as a coach, I'm not interested in that. Obviously, I'd like him to score a lot of goals, to give a lot of assists. But that's not something I'm going to look at. For Bradley more specifically, the critics, all PSG players will have them throughout their careers, that's always the case at a big club. What I can say is a spectacular player, very young, with a lot of personality. He has an ability to create superiorities with his dribbling and get into the box to get chances. Even if the goalie makes an unbelievable save, it's part of the learning process. I'm delighted with Bradley, delighted that we were able to sign a player like him, with such a bright future. So I do not agree with those who criticize it. It's a game of error. Just recently, I saw a video in which Michael Jordan said he missed 9000 shots... If you never miss, you can't play at the highest level. The important thing is to dare to take the shots. Kudos to Bradley, it's a wonder to have him.

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Read alsoLigue 1: PSG still without Marquinhos in Le Havre on Sunday

Who wouldn't depend on Kylian Mbappé? But we have other options as well.

Luis Enrique

Less disparity in goalscorers: "I'd like to have three strikers like Kylian Mbappé who score 17 goals, but it's not possible. It doesn't work like that. Last season, with very high-level players, world stars, the goals were better distributed among the players. But in any team, Kylian will always score 40 or 50 goals. Hopefully he can score more. That's what we want. For the rest, there are a lot of players who have scored in our team. We don't just depend on Kylian Mbappé. (he corrects himself) Finally, we depend on Kylian Mbappé, who wouldn't depend on Kylian Mbappé? But there are other options, Vitinha has scored goals, Gonçalo and Kolo too, Ousmane will score goals, Bradley too, Marco Asensio has scored... There are a lot of players who have scored. If we didn't have Kylian, we wouldn't have another player with 17 goals, but others who would have five, five, five... In the end, it would be maybe 20 between the four! I'm not worried about that. Obviously, we work to get the most out of the players in all situations.

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Ethan Mbappé: "More playing time in the first team? Time will tell... But I have to say that Ethan is clearly the future of the club. He's not physically ready yet but he's training with us and you'd never guess he's only 17 years old. He's a left-footed midfielder with a lot of qualities, a very good vision of the game, he's intelligent, I like him a lot and I'm sure he'll make his appearance with the first team soon.

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Interview at a press conference

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-12-02

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