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PSG may have a series of victories, its game is still not attractive. Under pressure, Mauricio Pochettino must show that his mountain of stars is a team and not a simple sum of individuals. Under penalty of giving grain to grind to those who would already like to see him leave the Parisian bench.
Being a PSG coach is not easy. Not only do you have to win constantly, you also have to do it in style. Mauricio Pochettino knows something about it. Even though his record since the start of the season is nothing to be ashamed of, the Argentinian coach of Paris is under pressure before the meeting, Wednesday, November 3, against RB Leipzig, at home, for the fourth day of the League of champions.
Convincing results …
Statistically, however, there is nothing to reproach the Argentine technician for his first season started on the Paris bench. After twelve days, PSG has ten wins and a draw for a single misstep against Rennes. He prances in first place having caught the scalp of OL (2-1) and especially that of Lille (2-1), who stole the title from him last year. He also did not lose at the Vélodrome against the old enemy Marseille (0-0).
In the Champions League, the record is also good. After an initial poor performance against Bruges (1-1), PSG is now comfortably installed at the head of its group after its successes against Manchester City (2-0) and RB Leipzig (3-2). Unbeaten in the first leg, Pochettino will take a big step towards the tenth consecutive qualification for Paris in the round of 16 in the event of further success against the Germans.
… but without the manner
However, PSG have been under fire from critics since the start of the season. He is more talked about by his successes snatched in extremis than by the quality of the show.
A heresy for the followers while the Qatari owners have added Hakimi, Wijnaldum, Ramos and Donnarumma, and especially the living legend Lionel Messi, to an “all-star” workforce already made up – among others – of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Marco Verrati, Marquinhos and Kaylor Navas.
With this squad, Maurico Pochettino is called upon not only to win but also to do so with style and domination. Not content with a spectacular reversal of the situation as has often been the case this season – again last Friday against Lille, when the Parisians equalized in the 74e minute before knocking out the Mastiffs two minutes from the end of regulation time.
“It’s no coincidence that this team responds like this. It shows their mentality, their character. We want to win, in the best possible way, and with as much distance as possible, but the truth is that. is that we are suffering “, wanted to defend Mauricio Pochettino after the match against Lille, stressing that” it cannot be a coincidence that we have won ten matches out of twelve in the league. I am happy with the mentality of the ‘team.”
The Zidane track
With such a workforce on the ground, observers obviously expect better. And they are already dreaming of a pompous name to match the myriad talents of the City of Light. For some of them, Zinedine Zidane ticks all the boxes: he has a proven CV in the Champions League (three consecutive wins) and an ability to manage the egos of stars demonstrated at Real Madrid. He is also one of the few people who could convince Mbappé to stay in the French capital in the next transfer window.
Except that the PSG does not seem at all on this wavelength. Sporting director Leonardo raised his voice after the game against Lille to speak of “gratuitous criticism” against Pochettino and of speculation which “sometimes goes beyond the limits”.
“It’s as if the coach did not know what it was like a game, that he does not understand anything. He is looking, we are looking. Pochettino, before arriving, it was a top 5; now, supposedly, he no longer understands anything. We have changed things. The accounts, we will do them at the end, “he reframed.
If the Argentine coach still has the confidence of his management for the moment, he will however have to solve a small puzzle on Wednesday for his team composition: he will be deprived of Marco Verratti and Lionel Messi, while Kylian Mbappé could not not start the game. Neymar and Angel Di Maria, particularly prominent against Lille, will have to show on their own that PSG is not just victory, it can also be the way.