Putting Paris Saint-Germain to the test of changing the era

Everything must change! Everything will change! In Paris Saint-Germain, it is now the official logo. After Real Madrid’s new Champions League failure – the elimination in the Round of 16 by Real Madrid in March – and the tournament season certainly concluded with a new title, but not very convincing in terms of the game and sometimes a bit chaotic, the capital’s football club raised its voice.

Maybe we should change the logo. “A bigger dream” [“rêvons plus grand”], that’s fine, but today we must first of all be realistic. We don’t want glossy glitter anymore, it’s the end of glossy,” Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, said in an interview with Parisianon June 22, once the 2021-2022 page is turned.

With Ligue 1 resuming its rights from Friday 5 August, and their first match on Saturday evening, in Clermont-Ferrand, it is now time for the Parisians to give proof that this change of era is a reality.

Two men were responsible for his incarnation: Portuguese Luis Campos and French Christophe Galtier, new ones respectively. “Football Consultant” And a new coach. They succeeded Leonardo and Mauricio Pochettino, both of whom were sent off at the end of last season. In Paris, Louis Campos and Christophe Galtier are rebuilding a pair that did well at Lille: they reconstituted LOSC there, and led the club to the national title, before…Paris Saint-Germain, at the end of the 2020-2021 season.

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But Lille is not Paris (and vice versa). If Christophe Galtier, 55, the former coach of AS Saint-Etienne, LOSC and then OGC Nice (where he had a mixed 2021-2022 season), was recognized in France as a brilliant coach, he would never have had to deal with such a large pool of vanity. From before.

Even if he confirmed upon his arrival at the beginning of July that he would be with him “Collective First, No Compromise”It remains to be seen whether the club’s management will give him the authority to impose his authority. This was not always the case with its predecessors. “I just love football. And in a club like this, it’s not always just about football.” Thomas Tuchel was captured in December 2020, a few days before his dismissal.

Failed pursuit of the Champions League

In addition, Christoph Galtier did not achieve the slightest victory in the Champions League: the only season he led in the continental competition – with Lille – turned out to be a complete failure (no win, one draw and five defeats in 2019-2020). However, the Champions League is the unfinished quest since 2011 and the club’s entry into the bosom of Qatar Sports Investments.

For more than a decade, billions have been invested, superstars have succeeded, but there has not yet been a European coronation. Even worse, the Champions League seems to have caused major “obstacles” among Paris players, as evidenced by Real Madrid’s elimination last season: when they won 1-0 in the first leg, they were defeated 3-1 in the second leg, conceding three goals . In seventeen minutes, in a scenario reminiscent of “Starch” Barcelona signed him in 2017 and Manchester United in 2019.

One of the new PSG management team’s first decisions may be to tackle this “blockage”. This summer, the club was to decide to conduct a psychological follow-up of its players. “Paris Saint-Germain has been thinking about it since the slap that Real Madrid received. Thus, a full-time psychologist can be appointed.”announced the team, In its July 25 issue. requested by the scientist, club “Does not confirm information”without making any official denial.

exist “So many things about football, so many things in the mind, that it is not easy to maintain focus for more than ninety minutes,” Try to explain Leonardo, on June 16, in an interview with the teamabout this “Starch”. Or how to evoke the mental aspect without naming it.

“Of course there is a shock,” Denis Troch, a mental trainer in high-level sports, particularly in Ligue 1, notes. ” Even if you want to forget these fears, these fears, there will be journalists who will remind you that you lost against Real, Manchester United and Barcelona. You have to protect yourself from that, and it can be learned,” The former coach, the 1994 French champion continues with Paris Saint-Germain as Arthur Jorge’s assistant.

Denis Troch admits that he was contacted to carry out mental preparations with PSG not long ago “Starch” At Camp Nou, 2017. But that didn’t happen. “I think after that match, they didn’t want to show their flaws,” He explains.

Christoph Galtier is open about this aspect: He works with a mental coach. “I’m definitely one of the few to talk about mental preparation, and I have someone to rely on to unload a lot of things”he said in a podcast from the teamin March 2021.

Working with a reduced workforce

The declared desire of Parisian leaders to “dream a smaller one” also applies to employment. Previous seasons have shown that the “big names” do not always meet the needs of the team, starting with the seven-time Argentine Golden Ball to Lionel Messi, whose first season did not live up to expectations.

If Paris Saint-Germain extends the contract of best player – and ambassador – Kylian Mbappe until 2025, the arrival of defender Nordi Mukele (24), recruited 12 million euros from Leipzig (Germany), and the striker contract. Hugo Eketek (20), from Reims (loan with option to buy), is less glamorous than these, in the summer of 2021, Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos or Achraf Hakimi.

The club also invested more than 40 million euros to attract midfielder Vitina (22, who played for FC Porto) and paid about 15 million euros to playmaker Renato Sanchez, who played for Lille. Each of these Portuguese internationals is represented by Jorge Mendes, who is an agent close to Luis Campos. “Campos is someone who always works one step ahead. It’s important for PSG, who used to make last minute moves in the transfer window.Eric Rapisandratana, a former Paris Saint-Germain player who is now a France Bleu microphone consultant, confirms.

Read also: Gaullist dialects of Kylian Mbappe, who is still in Paris

It remains for the club to resolve the issue of leaving. Another problem he’s never been able to manage in recent years is during the transfer window, with players piling up in layers. Before going to play a series of friendlies in Japan in July, Christoph Galtier announced his desire to work with a reduced workforce.

For what effect? They were not invited to this tour in Japan, and defenders Levin Kurzawa and Tilo Kehrer and midfielders Rafinha, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler and Georginio Wijnaldum are among the “undesirables”. At the moment, with the exception of the latter, he is loaned to FC Roma for a season with an option to buy, none of these other high-paid players have been sold, and they train in a separate group from the main squad at Camp de Luge. . for them, “end of sequins” It’s starting to make sense.

Kylian Mbappé . Pack

We will have to wait a little longer before we see Kylian Mbappe back on the field. The Paris Saint-Germain forward, injured in close contact, lost to the trip to Clermont on Saturday in the Ligue 1 opening. “He will remain in care at the training center. A new point will appear in 72 hours.”club said. As happened in the Champions Cup, which she won over Nantes on Sunday 31 July (4-0), he must be replaced by the Spaniard Pablo Sarabia.

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