This time, speaking of “night owl” at Paris Saint-Germain will not aim to incriminate the sense of celebration that we lend to some of its stars. The club’s coach, Thomas Tuchel, expressed his annoyance on Tuesday, the day before a trip to Monaco in the form of revenge to take.
The object of his wrath? The schedule of matches played by his team, and especially during trips, often scheduled at 9 p.m. “We come home very late, we sometimes go to bed at 3 am, 4 am, 5 am… The players are dead! He rebelled.
Without assuming anything about the real impact of these schedules on the recovery of players, it is possible to compare them to those of other major European teams *. The result may give some arguments to the German technician: his men play much more often late than all the cadors of the five major championships qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Dortmund only moved three times after 8 p.m.
Since the start of the season, not counting the Champions League, Thomas Tuchel’s men have played 18 games after 8 p.m., including 10 away from home. By way of comparison, Dortmund, whom the capital’s club will face in February after a Dantesque marathon, has only fallen in the evening seven times, including three away, on the domestic scene.
The German championship, with its afternoon matches, is of course particularly comfortable. Preserved in the national cup with two trips in the afternoon, Leipzig is thus the most rested team among the European headliners, with only two games played after 8 pm since August, both out of its bases.
The English Premier League, too, does not subject players to late sleeps. Eliminated from the League Cup in the knockout stages by Manchester United (1-2), Chelsea has simply never moved after 20 hours since the start of the season on the domestic scene (three games played at home).
Olympique Lyonnais, not spoiled either
The Tottenham Spurs only had to force themselves to do so once, at Colchester, where they were eliminated in the third round of the League Cup (0-0, 3-4 a.b.). Championship leader Liverpool and his runner-up Manchester City also pay little for their star-team status, with seven and six games played after 8 p.m. respectively (three and five away from home).
In reality, France is an exception since the second team most subject to evening matches in Europe is … Olympique Lyonnais! The Gones have played 12 times at this late hour since August, including eight away from Groupama Stadium. Only the two Spanish monsters of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona can boast of this rhythm of life, perhaps a bit of Latin.
The Blaugrana like the Merengue also played 12 games after 8 pm, but the vast majority at home for the first (eight games). Zinedine Zidane’s team made seven trips for a late game, one less than Rudi Garcia’s. And three less than Paris Saint-Germain.
* The sample in question includes FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Juventus de Turin, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Leipzig, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain.