the beginning of the Galtier era, an initial positive review and questions that remain

Led by a Neymar-Mbappé-Messi trio that has rained and shined in Paris since the start of the season, Christophe Galtier has not solved all the problems inherent in his playing system and the men who make it up .

An attractive team but not killer enough

The success of Paris in Lyon (1-0) is a perfect summary of the start of the season for Christophe Galtier’s men. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes clumsy, sometimes weak, PSG have often alternated between very good and not so good in the same match in recent weeks. “What I like is that the players are very professional, invest in training every day, however Christophe Galtier is happy. We have a very important technical relationship and this system allows the players to develop well .”

Thought to give life to the pistons, especially Nuno Mendes, who still brings the width and depth of the game in Paris, with his huge amount of play – not always exploited elsewhere -, the 3-4-1 system – 2 by Christophe Galtier also allowed the Mbappé-Messi-Neymar trio to develop.

The imperials when it comes to standing between the lines, to find that nice key pass and combine in small spaces, Lionel Messi and Neymar finally have an explosion in the jersey of Paris. It was confirmed in a clever way and with a smile in the goal of the Argentinian at the end of a series of 22 passes, Barça style.

PSG started the meeting with a beating drum, opposing their technical influence with the physical intensity of Lyonnais, but as against Brest (1-0), against Juventus (2-1) or even on the lawn of Maccabi Haifa (3 -1). ), PSG lacked sharpness in finishing. Paris should punish the OL of greater proportions, such as Neymar’s big miss at close range (72nd) or Kylian Mbappé’s poor choices.

PSG was chaotic and at times sluggish. Lacking realism, Parisians panic when Lyon pulls their heads above water. “We must remain vigilant and maintain the tactical and technical requirements, which Haifa lacks,” warned Galtier.

A decrease in pressure that weakens the balance of the team

Satisfied with the result “but not with the performance”, the Portuguese midfielder Vitinha did not always appreciate what he saw on the pitch after the arrival of (57th), he who started on the bench on Sunday night, for good of the Spanish Fabian Ruiz , author of a first inspiring sitting, in a register all of the silence and intelligence of the movements.

The exit of Marco Verratti, omnipresent in creation and recovery, forced Christophe Galtier to bring Danilo Pereira into the middle, a change consistent with the decline of Paris Saint-Germain. The capital club suffered moments of pressure, the midfielder was no longer able to keep the ball and also ensure balance.

The decrease in the influence of Lionel Messi, who invested a lot in defensive tasks in the first half hour, can also explain these difficulties in losing the ball. Very selective in the subject since his arrival, Christophe Galtier has ten days ahead of him to find the best formula.

Ramos, a positioning that raises questions

If PSG will be happy to see him chain matches in this way, after collecting physical glitches for a year, Sergio Ramos has not been assured since the start of the season. It was very early that Christophe Galtier admitted the choice to adapt it to the right axis of the defense of the three, in a position where however he appears to be struggling, especially in the management of depth. Sometimes he catches a few strokes in his lane, but his trainer kept calling him to order last night, when the Spaniard was riding.

“When I decided to go to three, I thought of looking for the most suitable player to give me cover. Soon I heard debates about their positioning. But Sergio was very attentive. “Comfortable on the right because he was trained. as a right-back in Seville. He played a lot on his side, tonight, sometimes, a little too much.

The author of two or three decisive interventions in depth, Marquinhos seems to be developing at a level more consistent with his standings, while he has shown a lot of fever in recent weeks. But Sergio Ramos also showed significant technical waste, and Marquinhos was not always able to play the role of firefighters.

Donnarumma is sowing doubt

This is one of the criticisms made against the predecessor of Christophe Galtier, this coexistence imposed by two very high level goalkeepers, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas, last season. Christophe Galtier ended the debate by deciding in favor of the Italian, just to appease him, and therefore reassure him. Perhaps he was thinking of buying himself weeks of peace, but the debate quickly resurfaced, and it will no doubt continue to feed the gazettes if the Italian is not more resolute in the future.

True, Gianluigi Donnarumma knows how to restore the confidence shown by his coach: without him, against Brest, PSG would never have won 1-0. The huge Parisian goalkeeper (1.96m) deployed his impressive body to reject Islam Slimani’s penalty, showing, once again, his ability to shine in this exercise. But all doubt was not removed about him. Capable of making high-class saves against Juve, he also revived the Turinese by perfectly hiding a set piece.

Where his size and stature should give him a certain confidence to win the aerial game, the Italian goalkeeper does not show much calmness in the density. We saw it again on Sunday night at the end of the game, when PSG was at the mercy of an equalizer. Not to be blamed for his line, Donnarumma hasn’t been like this in his kicking game for a long time. As before the trauma of Madrid had dissolved. The Italian sometimes borders on the ridiculous and often comes close to the gag goal under pressure. Concerned, of course.

Minimum turnover, a complex management equation in a hellish calendar

Christophe Galtier promised “rotations and previous game exits” to continue. A promise that was made at the start of the season and not kept afterwards. It has been very successful for him so far as PSG have won ten of their first eleven games in all competitions, relying on the same starting line-up that has been modified by the margin according to the circumstances. But the first difficulties began to appear.

Deprived of Presnel Kimpembe for a few weeks, in a sector of the game where he has only three professional centers, Galtier is lucky to be able to rely on the hybrid profile of Danilo Pereira, strong in all three position. As long as he doesn’t get hurt. The author of a good entry into the game, Mukiele is comfortable in the axis where he can also help, but his coach sees him as the only relay of the Moroccan Achraf Hakimi in the correct position of the piston.

In the middle, Christophe Galtier could compose without Marco Verratti in the coming weeks, while Renato Sanches is injured. The French technician relies heavily on the Italian and Portuguese Vitinha. Fabian Ruiz had his first start last night, but he is content with a little playing time until then, as are the Spaniard Carlos Soler and the French striker Hugo Ekitike on the offensive front.

The latter would have brought juice and danger when the Parisian coach called on them to replace one of the front three. For that, you still have to play to keep the rhythm and get automatics. However, Galtier has little pace to attack. Neymar was the only one who started on the bench, and he was still the first one to come out last night, a bit disappointed and angry. The World Cup is approaching, and the most difficult choices come for Christophe Galtier with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *