While the situation now seems irreconcilable between Thomas Tuchel and Leonardo, the setback against Leipzig is – also – changing his position vis-à-vis his locker room. PSG no longer has a margin of error on the pitch after a second defeat in three Champions League games (2-1). The coach has also considerably reduced his by persisting in the Danilo Pereira-Marquinhos case.
The challenge of this curiosity (a central defender in midfield, a midfielder in central defense) had gradually spread in the asides with the entourage or in the conversations of the players. It is now public. Marquinhos’ frigid exit from Leipzig was a sign. The statement of Danilo Pereira, who showed his character only a month after his arrival, is another even stronger. “Me, I am a midfielder but the coach asks me to play a central defender for the good of the team,” he said at the microphone of Téléfoot. I play where the coach tells me to play. It’s my job, I do the best for the team. [Défenseur central], it’s not my position, but I know the basics of defensive play and my teammates help me find my place. “
“My job ? You have to ask the coach “
On RMC Sport, he also torpedoed the idea of recruiting to play in this position: “At first, I was a little surprised. But I play where the coach wants me to play ”. Marquinhos, he blows hot and cold on the subject. On Téléfoot, he was reserved: “My post? You have to ask the coach that. He has his arguments, he has chosen. “On RMC, he said” have fun while sliding “:” I know what to do. I’m not going to give people more motivation to talk about me, my job and my coach. “
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He also gave him clear support: “It was the coach who had the best season in history and immediately afterwards we talked about his situation. Football has no patience. We need to focus on the real things. We trust our coach. If things aren’t going well, it’s not just her fault. We players also have to do a lot better. “
Strong links with executives
Thomas Tuchel has forged strong ties with his group, in particular thanks to the epic until the final of the Champions League and his direct relations with most of the team’s executives. In the conflict between him and Leonardo, the players have leaned for him, also calling for recruits, for example. The German has been able to adapt his rigor to the life of the Parisian group, by granting recovery periods in particular. The connection remains very strong with certain key elements of the locker room, foremost among them Neymar, himself very suspicious of Leonardo.
The star largely unites in the group and this position is central. The departure of Thiago Silva, who said Wednesday to be “very close” to Tuchel and “to continue to send him messages”, deprives him of significant support. Di Maria, Kimpembe or Gueye also maintain fairly close ties with the German. More than Verratti or Mbappé, as the latter’s animated replacements have sometimes revealed. Beyond these holders, the less fortunate players are often more acerbic, as in most clubs. The novelty is that the lack of play and the current choices instill doubts even in elements so far largely acquired.
“Anyone should understand that no coach could do better”
How will the tactician react to this situation? His position in Leipzig on his environment gives an idea of his state of mind: “For me, these criticisms do not exist”. A deaf ear which was easily understood as long as the protest seemed confined to the outside. Will the manager let go of the ballast, for example by replacing Danilo and Marquinhos at their posts, or brace himself on his certainties now that the locker room is grinding its teeth?
After the meeting, Tuchel repeated that he felt targeted (“All media, all opinions, are very critical of me”). A member of his entourage annoyed: “Anyone should understand that no coach would do better with eight absent and a less substantial bench. PSG came close to winning the Champions League with Marquinhos in the middle. Tuchel knows football better than all the coaches and French experts of the next twenty years… ”
In the manager’s camp, it is also suspected that major players in the club are maintaining this situation. At the risk of not measuring the urgency of maintaining the connection with the group essential to resume the thread of a Champions League very poorly embarked.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr