Present in the stands in Lens to comment on the Champions Trophy, won Wednesday by PSG against Marseille (2-1), Sidney Govou, the consultant of Canal +, sheds useful light on the initial lessons to be drawn from the first three games by Mauricio Pochettino, successor to Thomas Tuchel as PSG coach.
Do you already see a consistency in what Mauricio Pochettino seeks to set up in Paris?
SIDNEY GOVOU. Yes, because he did not change the system and he almost put Verratti in ten, even if we saw against Marseille that he had won a lot. But you can’t feel Pochettino’s paw yet. If I said that, it’s like I was spitting on Tuchel’s work. When a new coach arrives and says: we’re playing 4-3-3, obviously it’s not to change your mind the next day. There may be an added touch of serenity associated with the change of coach.
He nevertheless launched the higher positioning of Marco Verratti. What do you think ?
Yeah, but I’m not a fan of Verratti in this number ten thing. He does not have the skills today. He really needs to have the game in front of him. The return of Neymar can also be a game-changer. It is a balance to be found. When there is everyone, there we will really see his idea. But what I expect even more: it’s his coaching. Will he spin or go on the same eleven all the time?
Isn’t it already a choice to maintain Kylian Mbappé?
Precisely, this is where I expect it. Because people say that Mbappé is physically tired. But I am not sure. Against Brest, he is the player who has done the most high-intensity races, twenty. A tired player cannot do that. Mostly an attacker. I think more than it’s mental.
Same with Mauro Icardi, preferred to Moïse Kean against Marseille?
This is a good form of coaching. It’s clear and clean: he relaunched Icardi by telling himself that Kean, who is young, was going to accept it.
With matches every three days, what can he do?
For now, he has no range to allow himself to act too much, except perhaps on the mental level. But I think he quickly understood that in Paris you had to take it slow. Because when I see him on the bench, it’s not the same as in Tottenham! But it would be a mistake on his part to want to make a revolution. It gives me the impression of wanting to change key by key, if it has to change.
In any case, we saw a great communion with the players …
The starting images, I do not trust them too much. When they won their first Champions Trophy with Tuchel, it was almost the same scenes, if not more. With new, rather young coaches, it makes sense that it works like that. We have to wait a little bit.