In a week, it’s gone again for the vertigo of the summits, with this round of 16 first leg of the Champions League in Barcelona for PSG. Since January 3, Mauricio Pochettino has led the team, with eight games already under his command (six wins, one draw, one defeat). The question burns lips: is Paris ready for its European shock?
Unexplained inconstancy. A successful match with Paris, there is none. That he wins and even during his defeat in Lorient (3-2), one constant: the PSG, precisely, has no consistency. He can achieve several good minutes, like his start in Marseille, lead as against Brest or Nîmes but get drilled during fast counters. With more upscale attackers, these are matches where the score would not have been the same. With Leo Messi or Ousmane Dembélé, Barcelona obviously have more attacking talent than many L1 teams.
“I don’t find them tough enough,” says coach Alain Perrin, still on the air for the last release of the Téléfoot channel on Sunday. Against Marseille, they quickly fell into management. They let their opponent play too much. As soon as PSG relaxes, anyone can put them in danger, it’s worrying. It is not a question of the system. Balance, they can find it with four attackers but they have to do more. They can do it. It is a problem of will. In the league, they don’t. But they have it under their feet. They might show more in the Champions League. “
Sharper individualities. Physically as in the game, some executives show a reassuring or ascending form. Kylian Mbappé belongs to this category. “I saw Marco Verratti make two, three great tackles,” said Alonzo. I found him much more calm, I have more the impression of an old man, who did not get too angry. Marquinhos when he’s there, it’s not the same team. People talk to me about Neymar and Marco, but for me, the best PSG player for six years is Marquinhos. I finally found Kylian Mbappé much better in canes. “
Nerves to master. Against Barcelona, the control of the nerves will have consequences, as in all the summits where the management of emotions weighs as much as the tactics sometimes. For several meetings, the attitude of Leandro Paredes calls out. The Argentine comes to challenge all arbitration decisions, especially if they do not concern him. “If I have only one worry, it’s for Paredes,” observes Jérôme Alonzo, consultant for the L’Equipe channel. I am always afraid that he will go wrong in an important game. “” I had already been very surprised by the way in which they had gone wild in the first leg against Marseille, adds Perrin. In big games, you need a heart but also a head. Self-control and lucidity often make it possible to respond to the physical density set by the opponent. “
A lack of benchmarks to compensate. “There are extraordinary players in both teams, notes the former PSG goalkeeper. It feels like these are two teams that can beat anyone and lose to anyone as well. They look like each other. But what I thought a month ago still remains valid: I’m still giving PSG a head start. A 60-40 in favor of PSG. “For Perrin, all current faults can serve PSG. “The Parisians will not be 100% on the first match, analyzes the ex-coach. Pochettino has not yet had time to put everything in place. It will probably be better in the second leg (March 10). They are only 80% and that’s what will allow them not to arrive at Camp Nou overconfident, which is never good. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr