If he had great moments in 2020, especially in Lisbon, PSG ended the year on the knees.
Finally holidays ! Breathless, Paris Saint-Germain is undoubtedly the European club most eagerly awaiting the truce. It will be this Wednesday evening, around 11 p.m., after the match of the 17th day against Strasbourg. Until January 3, date of the resumption of training, three days before the trip to Saint-Etienne, the Rouge et Bleu will be able to breathe, cut, recharge the batteries. And they really need it …
” READ ALSO – Ten players withdrawals, Mbappé uncertain: the slaughter continues at PSG
Mental and physical fatigue, Thomas Tuchel’s players are on the knees after a year 2020 like no other, that of the club’s 50 years. Certainly, the coronavirus has impacted everyone in football, not just PSG. But the capital club had to deal with a number of parameters that are unique to it, namely the combination of the stop in Ligue 1 2019-20, participation in the two finals of the national cups, the “Final 8″ , the resumption of the championship very quickly after Lisbon – the first day during the C1 final – and participation in the C1 vintage 2020-21. “We always play at 9 pm. It poses problems in terms of rhythm with meals, sleep, added Thomas Tuchel last Sunday, after the draw in Lille (0-0). We’re still going home at 3 or 4 in the morning. We are the only ones to do this in Europe. It’s expensive.” There have also been numerous cases of Covid within the workforce. Do not throw any more. “These are reasons, not excuses,” swears Tuchel.
Ten absent players against Strasbourg
Suddenly, Paris entered a vicious circle. The absences of some force the staff to shoot too much on others and to send some back to the front too quickly. “It may be necessary for Julian Draxler to start (against Strasbourg). Is he ready for this? I do not know. Is it super responsible? I don’t know, but it may be necessary, ”summarizes Tuchel. And for good reason, PSG will be deprived of a dozen players against Racing, including Neymar. To see if Kylian Mbappé can play, and if so, how many minutes. Because in addition to the injured, there are the players in the red… “These are not ten players, but ten internationals. It means that it lacks quality, ”judges the Bavarian, facing a“ puzzle ”.
And obviously, it is more complicated to make sparks in these conditions, with already eight defeats since the restart, in 22 outings. Over the year as a whole, Paris has a record of 33 victories (including the Coupe de la Ligue final won on penalties against Lyon, editor’s note), four draws and 10 defeats in 45 matches. By the way, the Rouge et Bleu performed flawlessly in national games (championship, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue) and they were only 90 minutes from the Champions League coronation, after a qualification in a lunar atmosphere against Dortmund (2-0), an incredible reversal against Atalanta (2-1) and a demonstration against Leipzig (3-0). Against Bayern, in the final (0-1), PSG fell against (a little) stronger than him, with the added pain of losing a goal from a titi, Kingsley Coman.
” READ ALSO – Tuchel on his composition against Strasbourg: “It’s really a puzzle”
2020, it is also the pages of Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva who have turned, a qualification torn in groups of C1 after a chaotic match against Basaksehir (5-1) and therefore these injuries to shovel and sluggish performances since the resumption, also with sometimes dubious choices of the staff, players not always free from all reproach and overall the impression that the spirit of Lisbon is far away. “I don’t like to take stock before the last game. And between the virus, C1, injuries, it’s almost impossible … In any case, there are a lot of things to think about. We will take the time to analyze this year and the first part of the season ”, swears Thomas Tuchel, criticized.
Appointment is taken for a revenge against Barça
Problem? The truce is not going to act like a magic wand. “I saw the calendar in January, February, March, it will not change,” predicts the former Dortmund coach, fatalistic. How to avoid reliving such an avalanche of injuries in 2021? “Honestly, I don’t know,” he breathes. I can assure you that we are trying everything. We can only make the same efforts. ” To see if that will be enough, especially in the Champions League with the remake of the Remontada against Barcelona on the menu in the round of 16, on February 16 (at Camp Nou) and March 10.
” READ ALSO – Sport fiascos series: the “remountada”, the absolute wreck of PSG
And in Ligue 1 too, with Lille and Lyon in the lead before the 17th day. Potentially OM too, with its two late matches (Lens, Nice). “I’m not worried,” said Tuchel at the idea of not finishing the year ahead in the standings. The most important thing is that we are close. ”
Departures during the winter transfer window?
The transfer window will he bring new blood. A priori, this is not the trend. The idea would even rather be to reduce the workforce (Paredes? Draxler?). “You know that the overall football situation is not easy. So this is not the time to ask for things, ”Tuchel said on Sunday. And to add, Tuesday: “The most important thing is to have fewer injuries.” Leo Paredes (hip), Danilo Pereira (hamstrings), Mauro Icardi (adductors), Abdou Diallo (hamstrings) and Pablo Sarabia (hamstrings) are expected to resume. Not Presnel Kimpembe (hamstrings) nor Juan Bernat (knee), with uncertainties for Layvin Kurzawa (hamstring) and Alessandro Florenzi (ankle). Neymar Jr (ankle)? Its resumption is “envisaged” in January. In short, the situation will be better but not ideal at the start of 2021.
” READ ALSO – PSG: the epic final against Atalanta, best moment in 2020 for Tuchel
In the meantime, make way for RCSA. A last blow of the collar vis-a-vis a difficult team to play and which never gives up, dixit Thomas Tuchel. Strasbourg is close to the German border, this perhaps explains it (smile). It’s a very physical team with a big state of mind. It will be a physical and complicated match to end the year. We have our problems, but above all we will have a lot of respect. ” And envy?