Previously beaten by Rennes and Lens, PSG conceded a sad draw against Reims on Sunday and are no longer advancing in the league.
Beyond the result, it is the manner and the state of mind displayed by the men of Christophe Galtier who have reason to worry 15 days before the match against Bayern.
The month of February promises to be as complicated as it is decisive for PSG, who will have to shake themselves up quickly at the risk of losing everything.
While the terrible month of February has not yet started for PSG, that of all dangers, during which it can either redeem a virginity or lose everything, Christophe Galtier's team already has its head in the bucket after the draw conceded on Sunday evening against an attractive team from Reims.
We would like to look for extenuating circumstances – the expulsion of the incoming Marco Verratti in the second half, after 13 short minutes spent on the lawn, for example – that we would not succeed.
The truth is that this PSG, which has just had two defeats and a draw in the league, is a lost team, without soul, ideas or desire.
And after having often evoked the ghost of Mauricio Pochettino in recent months on the side of the Parc des Princes, it is time to leave the Argentinian alone and tell another story, that of Christophe Galtier's PSG who, after a more exciting, quickly fell back into its old ways.
A PSG that outwits, a PSG without the slightest guiding idea and which only counts on its individualities to make the difference.
This was the case against Strasbourg with Mbappé, against Angers with Messi and therefore again against Reims with Neymar.
Author of a good opener, the Brazilian is the only one (with Hakimi) to have shown a little bit of character.
An unworthy first period for Parisians
And if the Reims equalizer comes after a guilty ball loss from young Zaire-Emery at the end of additional time, we say to ourselves that it is only justice for this Champagne team undefeated for 14 games.
Even before arriving in the Park auditorium for a post-match press conference, Christophe Galtier had already set the tone at Prime Video's microphone by speaking of a "supporific" first act.
We go over a hundred times.
Besides, fortunately the cold kept us awake in the press gallery, otherwise it was a guaranteed snooze.
Once placed on the stage, the Parisian coach detailed the background of his thoughts.
“In the first half, we were not at the level of what we could expect from this team as a reaction to our last performances.
Obviously Reims is an attractive team, but we didn't offer anything interesting, there was very little movement, no vertical play, we took too long to get the ball out.
We lacked rhythm, there was too much technical waste, the team split in two, ”he listed.
Rare Parisian to come and express himself after the match, the Portuguese Danilo Pereira went there with his little rant at the microphone of Prime.
"That doesn't satisfy me.
We missed a lot of things.
And we can't concede a goal like that, we had the ball and we lose it.
In two touches, we take the goal.
I have no words to describe this match, he explained.
We are disappointed.
We must have a different state of mind.
We have to do more work.
We have to be together and suffer a little.
If we don't do that, it's going to be difficult.
If, on an offensive level, Paris can still hurt their opponents a little, if not really scare anyone, the weaknesses of this team when they lose the ball are no longer a secret for anyone.
Coming to the Park on Sunday evening, the young coach Will Still, a fine revelation of this Ligue 1 season, knew exactly what to do to annoy a defense that was less and less sure of itself, with a pair Marquinhos-Sergio Ramos version saloon doors.
“We knew that by implementing our ideas there, in our way of pressing, by recovering the ball high enough, we were going to cause them problems”, indicated the young Anglo-Belgian coach.
The words of captain Yunis Abdelhamid in the mixed zone are even more telling and say a lot about what PSG has become over the months: "It was easy to get the ball out because the front three don't defend, a- he blurted out.
Finally, they make the effort to press a little bit when the ball is lost, but quickly they no longer participate in defensive tasks.
We knew that from the moment we passed this first curtain, we were going to cause them problems.
That's what we worked on during the week, we did it very well and that's why we created so many chances.
A necessary start
A week before a first trip to the Vélodrome in the Coupe de France, against OM whose key word is intensity, and 15 days from the round of 16 first leg of C1 against Bayern, it is nothing to say that the club of the capital has something to worry about its supporters.
Luckily for Paris, the Bavarians aren't in the form of their lives either, with three consecutive draws in the Bundesliga in January.
Nevertheless, the Rouge et Bleu will quickly have to realize the urgency of the situation, otherwise they will experience a cataclysmic month of February and, with it, an end to the season possibly in freestyle.
I don't know if we're really ready for this month of February.
Emotionally I mean.
It can be daunting 🤣
— Mathieu Faure (@matfaure) January 29, 2023
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Christophe Galtier: “We are no longer going to take refuge behind the post-World Cup calendar, we've been there together for a few weeks and despite that our performances are not up to the level of those of the first part of the season.
I don't think there is a form of crisis of confidence but perhaps a crisis of complacency.
All the requirement that we had during the first part of the season is no longer there, it has gone wrong, it is difficult to be able to play as a team, when we have the ball and when we do not.
But we can't find that."
The observation is cold in the back.
What levers will the coach now use to awaken his living dead?
"There will be decisions to be made," he warned.
We cannot be satisfied with that.
There will be decisions to recreate competition, we have entered a comfort zone, we will have to shake ourselves up.
But to recreate competition, you still need to have the gear on hand.
However, the Parisian locker room has too many differences in level (and status) to really allow the incumbents to be stung.
The possible arrival of Milan Skriniar by January 31 would be great news but, for the time being, nothing has been done.
“There are 48 hours left, the club is working on the arrival of at least one player, repeated Galtier.
Now will it happen?
I do not know.
If he does not arrive, we will do with this workforce,
we have quality players, everyone just has to find their level and very quickly.
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