PSG qualified for the quarter-final of the Champions League after a sad 1-1 draw against FC Barcelona.
Where are those this morning who said that we should no longer talk about the “remountada”? Those who thought that all that was exaggerated, I mean by that, the fear, the trauma… How to grant so little place to the psychological dimension in the high level sport and especially in a competition as important as the Champions League? We really want to engage in a tactical analysis of the second leg against Barça? Why is football so reluctant to talk about the mind? Because it’s a catch-all term? It may be true. Emotional management, Emotional intelligence, it is certainly more understandable. How else to explain the difference between the first leg and the return leg? By a tactical scheme, a positioning of the team block? Bullshit.
Pochettino, I think and hope, got to know his band yesterday. He was able to take information on the value of each other when the level rises. He was able to measure that the old traumas still weighed on the club. It is not because new players have arrived that it no longer exists. It sweats on the walls, people talk about it. Two enormous sporting catastrophes, two surreal defeats with the “scare in the ass” in recent history, it marks, whether we like it or not and even in a sport where culturally we reject fear, emotion and other words. referring to the head. Football is stupidly for many a business that is below the belt.
Navas and Marquinhos must become the bosses
So can this qualification obtained in suffering make the club grow? We already thought that the “final 8” was used for that. But we quickly forgot to specify that a dry mach and a round trip, it had nothing to do.
Everything remains to be demonstrated for this PSG. But such a huge Navas can take leadership and help his teammates. He and Marquinhos, the only former truly flawless, must become the bosses. The group is not homogeneous and it seemed clear to me that those who had known the old routs were not far from collapsing. Kurzawa suffered. Draxler is not cut for this kind of meeting. Verratti, Mbappé were not up to the task. Verratti, we’ve always known that. We don’t discover anything. A talented player, he doesn’t have a head up to his feet. Mbappé, him, remade the blow of Manchester. Strong on the way out, weak on the way back.
The following? it will depend on how Pochettino is going to analyze this match. He will also have to put Neymar in this team. Do you think playing with Verratti and Paredes in the middle is enough in a big Champions League game? One can doubt the viability of 4-2-3-1.
What follows is also the analysis of the remaining teams. Bayern appear to be on top in all areas. City? Their recent game against Manchester United shows the inherent flaws in the style of this team. So anything is possible? Yes, because technically PSG has it all. In the end, only a top level goalkeeper was missing from this team and he is there. But the Champions League will never be won without technical and tactical qualities. It is a matter of personality, character, management of the event and the emotions conveyed by this event. Controlling a ball and making a pass is an accessible base for many players. Doing it quickly and well and in the sense of the game in a big Champions League match is almost another sport. Those who love tennis know that winning an ATP 250 tournament is almost easier than spending a round or two in a Grand Slam. And yet the player will have the same racquet, the same balls and the same technical advantages.
To date, this PSG has, for the moment, not shown to have within it the qualities to go to the top of Europe.