Following the latest disappointment in the Champions League, PSG are likely to press the reboot button and will/should be making drastic changes.
Another humiliation for PSG. Will it finally be enough to move the lines? We thought PSG would be freed from this kind of disappointment after reaching the final in 2020 and the semi-final in 2021.
The summer transfer window reminded us that the priority for QSI remained to attract the biggest names in football, regardless of their age, to the detriment of a coherent sports project. And the sporting sanction finally fell on Wednesday evening, with an early elimination in the round of 16 after a latest demonstration of Parisian know-how in self-sabotage.
What can PSG rely on to straighten their heads and move forward?
All strata of the club are concerned, starting with Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. By attacking the referee, he risks paying a steep price to UEFA and perhaps offers a golden argument to the big boss in Doha to part with him. His proximity to the players has already caused a lot of inconvenience to PSG and various coaches, from Blanc to Tuchel to Emery. Paris must make its revolution and Al-Khelaïfi cannot really escape it.
PSG and Leonardo – an alliance in question
The sporting direction represented by Leonardo is also in the sights after this new humiliating failure. It is not the Brazilian who chose Mauricio Pochettino, inducted by Qatar, but he is the head of recruitment, whose failure is obvious. Competition between goalkeepers with the arrival of Donnarumma? The arrival of Wijnaldum? A monumental flop. Sergio Ramos? Never plays. Lionel Messi? Disappears like the others when things go wrong.
The years pass and the evils remain. The mental bankruptcy of the players after Benzema’s equalizer and Donnarumma’s blunder was blatant. From then on, the light went out, the team liquefied. More chances, more blocks, players complaining about the referee, crestfallen faces. Where are the lessons of the past?
Mauricio Pochettino faced the same problems as others before him. He does not dare to make the necessary changes. Don’t touch Neymar or Messi, even though they no longer put one foot in front of the other. To change this, PSG must change their sports policy. But is Leonardo capable of doing that?
The only player we are almost sure to see leave is the one who should stay. Kylian Mbappé, one of the few to leave with their heads held high on Wednesday evening, will leave a huge void in attack. The environment remains a construction site since there is still a lack of a real leader, capable of reassuring everyone by gesture as well as by words.
The comeback suffered against Barcelona had given birth to the most phenomenal transfer window in history with the arrival of Neymar and Mbappé.
A major change is now expected by the PSG supporters who are tired of repeated humiliations. But will the club’s ownership go that far? Will they go so far as to push aging stars out, to change presidents, to seek a new coherent sports director-coach alliance? This time, it will be hard to settle for the coach as a fuse. The construction site is a mess and it isn’t a one-man job.