Photo credit : Getty images
By Chima Azu
Paris Saint German undoubtedly has the best squad in the world currently looking at the array of stars at their disposal. Their major objective is to win the UEFA Champions League that has eluded them for many years despite the huge investment on the team. They came close last two seasons getting to the finals before losing to Bayern but this current squad is still not looking like a team that can win the money spinning League, especially with their unconvincing performances this season. They obviously have the players but are not playing as a team and a lot of the blame must go to Mauricio Pochettino.
However, the question is what is going on with Les Parisien? It is one thing to have marquee players and it is another kettle of fish to harness these players into a formidable team; Ole Gunnar Solkjaer of Manchester United is a testament to this. Pochettino has been unable to win games comfortably this season despite them topping the table. In twelve games they have won 10, drew 1 and lost 1. Their only draw which was against Marseille, they were lucky to come out with a point with ten men, their opponent had more clear cut chances and even had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR. Against Rennes, which they lost 2:0 they were outplayed by the home side who dominated the game from start to finish. In addition, the shocking draw against Club Brugge raised eyebrows. Brugge was the better team on the night with PSG having their expensive trio in the game. Also, last night they needed a late winner from Di Maria where they came from behind to win 2:1, but they had a disjointed first half and Lille took the lead after having the lion share or possession the home side only played better in the second half.
An attack that has Neymar, Messi and Mbappe would send shivers down the spine of any opposing defenders but that attack combined has just six goals (Mbappe 5 Neymar 1) Lionel Messi is yet to score in the league (though he has 3 in the Champions League). Mohamed Salah alone has more goals than the three attackers who are arguably more talented, but talent they say is not enough. In other departments they are blessed with two fantastic goalkeepers in Gainluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas both battling for the number one spot. A defense that has Kimpembe and Marquinhos still added Ramos and one of the best right backs in the world Hakimi. In the middle of the park there is Verrati, Danilo, Herrera and the inclusion of Georginio Wijnaldum. PSG also have strength in depth, their second XI still has the quality that many teams in Europe don’t have. With all these quality,one will still wonder why they still struggle.
Christophe Galtier a relatively unknown name in coaching won the Ligue 1 with Lille last season with what we will call “average players”. Evidently, having talented players does not guarantee you trophies in football; but on the flip side great players can easily win you games, Messi and Ronaldo has proved that for over a decade and Poch has one of them. The former Spurs coach has no excuse with the assemblage of stars in his team, unlike what he used to have at Tottenham. Yes, he has won a trophy with them in his third game in charge last season, but he of all people knows that the only reason he can keep that job is to win the Champions League and it is difficult to foresee this current PSG winning their desired trophy unless their coach creates an efficient team from the players he has that can win that elusive title.