Ever since Roman Abramovich took over the helms at Chelsea, he has taught all owners and boards in the football world two lessons.
One, don’t wait till the summer before you start making plans.
Two, focus on the results; but, the grand aim is the most important.
PSG are as well believers in these simple rules. After winning three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, French coach Laurent Blanc was relieved of his duties. Why? He had failed to live up to the reasons why he was hired in the first place.
At PSG, winning the Ligue 1 couldn’t be accepted as a great result anymore; it was an expected outcome. Despite unluckily losing to Man City in the quarter final stage of the UEFA Champions League, the board had had enough. It was time to bring in a new face.
All over the media, it was reported that the Paris club were looking forward to sign a top notch manager, but only Mourinho was available as Guardiola had agreed a verbal contract with City during the winter, and Ancelotti was expected to take over at Bayern.
During the same time, Jurgen Klopp was already managing Liverpool at a period when Louis van Gaal was touted as a soon-to-be ex-coach of Manchester United. Mourinho was naturally meant to take over at Old Trafford.
The capital club searched and searched until they settled for Unai Emery who wasn’t an upgrade.
In his first season, the Spanish coach won 4-0 against Barcelona in the competition the fans and the board have always set their eyes on – the UEFA Champions League. However, it wouldn’t work out as they crashed out losing 6-1 (6-5 on aggregate) to the Catalans with Neymar being one of the protagonists for the Catalan club.
PSG didn’t just crash out of the UCL, they also failed to win the league they had won for four consecutive seasons. The surprising thing is that they chose to stick with Emery despite his lack of pedigree for such role.
While they lead by 14 points in the league, PSG are nothing close to being a UCL winner, especially if you only take into account their tie against current champions Real Madrid. Having spent over 1 billion euros to bring players together, with almost half of that in the last summer alone, it’s such a shame that they are yet to put their feet on the ground.
One would think that maybe if they had combined the fee paid for Neymar and Mbappe and tabled such to Madrid for a Cristiano Ronaldo transfer, they would have fared better because the man made all the difference by scoring thrice which was the margin between both teams.
These days, PSG are only skilled at beating small teams and their French counterparts such as the scoreline against Metz – 5-0. But when they face a top team like Madrid, they are nowhere to be found.
Unai Emery was booed during the match against Metz, and everyone has an idea that he might not be in charge next season. But, the coach isn’t the only problem. Rabiot was slow against Madrid. Mbappe wasn’t effective at all. Di Maria wasn’t on top of his game. Cavani was too easily provoked by nothing. As former French player puts it, they all played like “individualists.” There was no cohesion among the players.
While it’s almost certain Emery won’t handle the team next season, we have to start asking which players would leave, and who will come in. It may be too early, but Abramovic has taught us asking what next before the summer is the right thing to do.