PSG-Manchester United: Thomas Tuchel’s 4 mistakes

The defeat against Manchester United on Tuesday night is above all that of the Parisian players who failed to get up to the level required by the Champions League. But Thomas Tuchel made a number of mistakes which are part of this first European setback of the season.

1. He’s in the wrong place

The PSG coach lost the midfield battle to his Manchester counterpart (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) and he can only blame himself. By choosing to align three defensive players, Gueye, Danilo Pereira and Herrera, the Parisian coach has deprived himself of an element capable of relaying with the attackers. In this diagram, the capital team had a hard time containing the English pressing and getting the balls out cleanly. Tuchel defended himself by invoking the injured and the lack of solutions. Of which act. But he proved in the second half, after having released Gueye transparent and injured, and by changing his device from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with two recoverers, that there was at least one other solution. Certainly his midfielders, be it Gueye or Herrera, have not helped him by never exceeding their duties, but Tuchel is primarily responsible for this situation.

2. He does not preserve Mbappé in Nîmes

After the defeat and the failed match of Kylian Mbappé, the statisticians had a great time. The tricolor world champion has done almost half as many high-intensity races as Marcus Rashford, the MU striker (23 against 44 for the English). The exegetes of the meeting could also have noted that it was the fourth meeting in ten days as holder for Mbappé and that there was perhaps a cause and effect relationship. The Frenchman appeared blunt.

On two or three occasions, he missed the Parisian number 7 the boost to conclude against goal or the acceleration to drop Tuanzebe. In this context, we can legitimately wonder if there was a need to start him in Nîmes, last Friday, just 48 hours after Croatia-France (1-2) where he had played the entire meeting. Tuchel could have largely spared this tenure and preserved his striker in view of this shock.

3. He does not choose the best formula

Against Manchester United, Kylian Mbappé started alone at the top in a 4-3-3, before switching to the left lane after the break in the new tactical scheme in 4-2-3-1. Neymar has gone the other way. After starting on the left even if he often transplanted in the axis, the Brazilian took up the post of playmaker in the second half. This reversal of corridors, coupled with the powerlessness of this duo, is the mark of a coach who has not been able to find the right formula to put his two stars in the best possible conditions. Too individualistic, both players have their own faults. But we were far from the 4-4-2 last season which allowed PSG to sign their best performances from December. The injured, once again in number this year, do not help Tuchel. But there was surely better to do by placing Kean or why not Sarabia at the forefront with Mbappé from the start.

4. He can’t find the right words

This is an observation that sounds like a failure. After the meeting, Thomas Tuchel agreed that something had gone wrong in the preparation for the match. “It’s hard to always play behind closed doors. Before the game, the mood in the locker room was a bit too calm. I had a weird feeling. Normally, we listen to a lot of music, very loud, and this was not like that. It is a fact that it did not seem to reign the same relaxation in the Parisian ranks. As anecdotal as it may seem, we did not see Neymar land with a speaker on his shoulder as before the round of 16 return against Dortmund. But closed doors and dull atmospheres are no longer a novelty for professional footballers. And if Tuchel had felt a weariness or, worse, a tension, it was up to him to find the right words to warn his players of any carelessness.

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