Paris Saint-Germain are three games deep into the new Ligue 1 season and to be blatantly honest, the impression has been poor.
Perhaps my expectations are too great for the French giants, but with their outstanding domination of the Champions League group stages over the past few years, the league shouldn’t have to be lack luster. Yesterday, Paris played away against Evian at the Parc Des Sports in what should have been a one-sided performance by the blues (judging by their worth on paper). But instead the match ceased to make light of their ultimate power in French football. It isn’t a surprise to see them sit back in league games, its an unfortunate habit. But it is, as a fan, disappointing.
What Paris can excuse themselves from, is the number of injuries which have sidelined a handful of their absolute best starting 11 . This has certainly shed a light on the loose ends of the squad. With the likes of star-studded Zlatan Ibrahimovic out for about a month, Thiago Silva, Gregory Van Der Wiel fighting chronic injuries and Thiago Motta on high alert after the altercation with Brandao in Bastia things can seem shaky.
Yet this is where a talented bench comes in.
Javier Pastore, the forgotten Argentine winger, has been but a shadow of his former Palermo self until pre season. His work rate has sky rocketed and his ability to score goals, go on lone runs and make build creativity in the midfield has been worth noting. Lets hope it continues to get better.
In the case of Silva and Van Der Wiel as well as Paris’ best clean up artist Motta sidelined, it leaves opportunity for young talent to make their mark. Young Frenchman Lucas Digne, has always taken full advantage of his time on the pitch, pushing the ball forward and replacing Maxwell properly.
This was also highlighted during his début with France at the World Cup 2014. But, the biggest worry lies with Marquinho’s who is to replace the glue that is Silva. Although he has proven to be talented, he is still a work in progress. And with David Luiz being the most over priced defender in need of a mature force such as Silva, we will have to wait and see if Marquinho’s can adhere to this void. Luckily Luiz’ tendency to be caught out of position wasn’t effected in last nights game as the defense managed to keep the score line at a draw of 0-0.
Yet, the score line itself presents the next problem. The attack.
If Paris are on the road to greatness, their attack must be unique and powerful. It surely is when Zlatan plays–but without him, it’s as if the wizard is without his wand. And as a PSG fan, I would hope that Edison Cavani takes this opportunity as a second chance to outshine Zlatan. With most of the summer transfer rumors surrounding his departure to England due to dissatisfaction in the Capital, now is the time for him to prove the critics wrong. Unfortunately, he didn’t take his chance last season when Ibra fell injured during the Champions League semi-final. But perhaps now is his second chance.
Another thing which also needs to be considered is the lack of creativity from underrated coach Laurent Blanc. Blanc has proven himself to President Nasser Al-Khelaifi since last season from being picked as a last resort over the likes of Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger to best choice. But with his inability to show creativity in his coaching style its hard to wonder if Paris won’t have a significant dip in form . This is especially true in Europe and the Champions League if he doesn’t re-evaluate the use of his 4-3-3 formation.
What we’ve seen in the last few seasons since the Qatar Investment Authority bought the capital club is an intelligently and somewhat patient (compared to other big money clubs) attempt at dominating European football. Paris have done well in not only buying proper, but also introducing themselves into an élite status. With this in mind, that status should carry over to league games.
Some might consider the present Ligue 1 to be a pretty predictable league since the reign of Olympique Lyon in 2001-2008. But in this case, like other “predictable” leagues such as La Liga with Real Madrid and Barcelona (and now Athletico Madrid), shouldn’t the Parisians excel at showing the league of their new-found reign? And this attitude is what will carry PSG to a better outcome in Europe and hopefully persevere past the semi finals in this years Champions League.
Now we wait and see.
Revons Plus Grand!