The Parisian coach rejects the idea of mental bankruptcy to explain the defeat against Manchester City.
How did PSG lose track last Wednesday against Manchester City? Almost perfect first half, nightmare after the break … For Arsène Wenger, the Rouge et Bleu have lost track mentally. In essence, the former Arsenal coach believes that the capital club, marked by its many defeats in the league (8), did not have the resources to respond to the Skyblues reinvigorated in the second half, after a first act dominated by the locals.
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Words that were reported to Mauricio Pochettino this Friday, in a press conference, on the eve of the match of the 35th day of Ligue 1 against Lens. “I have a lot of respect for Arsène. I have followed his entire career, between Arsenal, Monaco or Japan. I do not know the context in which he expressed this opinion, so I cannot respond directly to this statement. But I can give you my analysis, ”said the 49-year-old Argentine coach by way of a preamble. And to continue: “I think the team was mentally strong. She suffered two facts of the game, conceding two hard-to-concede goals. Despite this, the team remained strong. And with the expulsion (Idrissa Gueye), we played ten for the last quarter of an hour against City, winner of the English League Cup, future champion of England. It’s a team built over six years, with a very clear organization and structure. The team was good. ”
“Not so long ago, the media spoke of the mental strength of a group which eliminated Barça and Bayern”
After having given a layer on the “respect and admiration” he has for Wenger, “everything he has brought to football”, “Poche” adds that a team which has risen to this level of the competition “necessarily has mental qualities. Not so long ago, the media spoke of the mental strength of a group that eliminated Barca and Bayern, he slips. To get out these teams, you had to be mentally strong. It is something that a group has or not. In this case, perhaps we should talk more about football aspects, because we may not have been able to maintain the volume of play that we needed at the time. We can talk about work, progress and football aspects to explain the situation. “
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Mauricio Pochettino then returned to the Parisian context, the Covid-19, the injuries, the schedule, to affirm that “the challenge” is to “manage to play 90 minutes at the level of the first 45, 60 minutes of the match”, have the cash register to demonstrate more consistency over the whole game. To see if the Parisians will be able to take up this challenge next Tuesday (9 p.m.), at the Etihad Stadium, during the semi-final return leg of the Champions League that awaits them there. Until then, they will have to do battle with Lens this Saturday (5 p.m.), without Kylian Mbappé (calf). One thing is certain: the Argentine technician believes in what concerns the C1. He believed in it from the final whistle, and still does. “We lost this first leg 2-1, but with all due respect for Manchester City, we are convinced that we can turn the situation around,” he promises, saying that he is counting on press “everything that was done well” on the go. If possible by erasing the rest …