PSG – A team of champions but not a champion team, find out why?
Money can buy you happiness. Oh really?
Paris St Germain is a household club in Paris. After the past domination of Marseille, it’s PSG who have been a dominant force in the 21st century. In fact, presently they are the sole challengers for UCL from the French contingent.
The club has had its fair share of thrills and spills. While they have tasted unmatched success in Ligue 1 in recent years, their journey in the Champions League has always been sub-par.Take note of their recent thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid. They have had a star-studded roster in €200M Neymar, Dani Alves, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti etc. But despite that European success remains unachieved.
In spite of having good squads, good financial backing where are things going wrong for the Parisians? We at What’s The Hype enlist 5 reasons why PSG yet to achieve the same star status as that of Real Madrid or Barcelona.
1) Lack of good judgement
Laurent Blanc left the club after 2015-16 by mutual consent. PSG didn’t want to keep him as Blanc failed to guide them past the Quarter Final stage. Instead, they hired Unai Emery. Emery was enjoying his best moment as a coaches guiding Sevilla to three successive Europa Leagues.
Emery plays a defensive brand of football with a wide attack when on the up. Our question is “Why to hire a defensive coach for an attack-minded team?”. He bought Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla to blister his defensive options. Hatem Ben Arfa, who while attacking can help the team in defensive duties as well, was also signed. He got rid of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and gave the striker’s role to Edinson Cavani.
The season ended with Krychowiak playing a mere 5 games in the league and Ben Arfa playing just 11 including 8 substitute appearances. PSG is a team with a plethora of attacking options. And with a defensive coach, ended up finishing runners-up to AS Monaco and getting eliminated by Barcelona 6-5 on aggregate in a tremendous night at Camp Noise where they lost the second leg 6-1. So after Balance left, there was no progress. The club deteriorated.
2) Money is there, the plan isn’t
PSG spent 400 million on Neymar and Mbappe. Now they have Cavani, Pastore, Di Maria and Draxler as well. Emery plays Neymar Cavani and Mbappe while Argentine Di Maria is shockingly left out often. He along with Julian Draxler are highly regarded in their countries and have been consistent with the national team.
But instead of having so many good players, Paris decided to spend 400 million, nearly half a billion on just 2 players. Now with Cavani ageing, they are set to spend an additional 200 million. Why did they invest in the attack when they already have a good one?. PSG don’t have a quality central midfielder except for Marco Verratti. Blaise Matuidi has already left for Juventus for a mere 18 m. Now he is being replaced by Adrien Rabiot.
Rabiot doesn’t have experience in the international circuit. His pressure index is also low. It will take at least a couple of years for him to develop and play at the highest level. Thiago Motta will be in his swansong year now and midfield really needs a major shakeup.
3) Lack of quality wing backs
Layvin Kurzawa and Dani Alves are the starters in left back and right back positions respectively. While one is out of form the other will leave at the end of the season. Lucas Digne and Serge Aurier were sold last summer. And in came Yuri Berchiche and Thomas Meunier. So Paris lack quality men in wide areas who would press and attack up the pitch.
Kevin Trapp has spent three years at Parcel design Princes now. Well, he has achieved more of a place in French memes rather than the starting XI. Much of it is evident after Barcelona’s historic 6-1 win last year. Trapp endured a typically horrendous night in front of goal. His back up Alphonse Areola did just enough to claim the starting spot in the team.
While he is acrobatic and fearless, he lacks a proper sense of judgement and is error-prone. Jan Oblak has been mooted as a possible replacement. And his current employers Atletico have made it clear they are not going to accept any figure lower than the €100 M mark. So reserve another 100M in the goalkeeper’s department. In a team like Paris St Germain people will always expect a solid goalkeeper.
5) Unnecessary signings
But unnecessary we mean extremely unnecessary. Only Unai Emery can explain why he sold David Luiz for $38 million, whereas he was bought for €50 million and performed at the peak of his powers since. Let alone Luiz, Emery roped in Ben Arfa from Nice, Jese from Rodriguez from Real Madrid, Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla for a combined 100M. Goncalo Guedes, Julian Draxler and Giovanni Lo Celso were promising additions, but none find sufficient game time nowadays. Our sympathies go with Ben Arfa, who was able to rejuvenate his career in Nice after his horror show at Newcastle, only to find himself on the bench in Paris again.
In the last 5 years, Nassr Al Khelaifi has spent more than €800 million only to reach the Champions League quarter final stage. Even that also has been out of reach since the last two years. PSG have a good reach worldwide spreading our their love to the fans many times. But at the end of the day performance matters. Inspite of spending so much they are still not able to progress. They have overseen deterioration rather that an advance. While they have a ferocious attack in Neymar Cavani and Mbappe, they certainly lack depth and quality in the other areas.
They will never be able to find success if they keep on spending on unnecessary players and hiring coaches who don’t suit PSG’s style.They have never defeated a team from the Europe’s top 5 leagues in the Champions league over two legs in the Quarter finals since 2012. The recent PSG project has started and as we hope for unprecedented success in the coming years, there remain maximum chances of massive failure.