A time apart by Thomas Tuchel, the four-striker schema is, finally, not dead in the bud. At least if the players, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in mind, display the same state of mind as Wednesday …
At the Parc des Princes
New perspectives for PSG and Thomas Tuchel. Certainly, the level of Galatasaray invites relativising any analysis after the demonstration of Neymar and company Wednesday at the Parc des Princes (5-0). But seeing them evolve in 4-4-2, with four offensive players so, in this case Neymar and Pablo Sarabia on the sides and tandem Icardi / Mbappé before the kickoff, we say that the champions of France may not be sentenced to 4-3-3 which was imposed at the beginning of the season because of the absences of each other. 4-3-3 which offers only three places to the offensive stars of Paris in the eleven. "If I found that interesting? You should ask Marquinhos or Marco Verratti. I think they do not find it very interesting to run only two in the middle, "coach Tuchel said after the miraculous draw in Madrid (2-2). He evoked the second period, started with Neymar, Mbappé, Icardi and Di Maria. "For me, it's not balanced enough for that level," he added. It is absolutely necessary to play three in the middle and four behind to be balanced, stabilize, control and help in all the defensive spaces. "Firm and definitive. Except that the door could finally open. There is an "if".
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What cleverly forgot to specify the German coach, and he also skilfully slipped Wednesday night is that everything depends on the defensive investment of attackers. And especially Sieurs Neymar and Mbappé … "I am very happy because we played like that twice (in Montpellier and against Galatasaray). And we played twice really like a team, he savored. We worked together defensively, always in block, always with very short distances between players, always ready to run, help others, and really be aggressive against the ball. In short, as a team. This is the most important if you want to grow, improve. This is our challenge. (…) If we do that, we are very dangerous like that. In the end, it is the responsibility of the players. "Clearly, if the attackers defend, it is possible.
"If we all come to continue with this state of mind, this intensity, we will do very great things this season"
Good news: Neymar, man of the match, seems to have feasted against the Turks, despite his efforts at recovery. "I'm very happy with this match, the way we played," he jubilated after the game, on RMC Sport, who found the energy to score a goal and to offer two more to Sarabia and Mbappé after a full match. Irreproachable state of mind, like his "beautiful gesture," dixit Marquinhos, offering the penalty to Edinson Cavani late game. "Our attackers have been extraordinary, even without the ball. They have recovered a lot. They did a lot of pressing. It reassures the whole team, underlines «Marqui», happy father of a second little boy since a few days and captain of a night in the absence of Thiago Silva, on RMC Sport. There is no secret, the state of mind is above now. In this match, and in Montpellier too, there was a lot of commitment from everyone. Even without the ball, everyone helped, we had a compact block, the middle tight. And it helps us a lot, it calms us down. That's what makes the difference. After, the quality, before, they have it. If we all succeed in continuing with this state of mind, this intensity, we will do very great things this season. "In 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, it remains to be seen.
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One thing is certain: as Marquinhos explains, it is the state of mind that counts, even more than the tactical scheme. And speaking of tactics, we remember that it was in 4-4-2 that Paris Saint-Germain made his reference match last year against Liverpool (2-1). "We can only continue with the 4-4-2 if everyone is ready to defend, if everyone is making efforts to close the spaces," hammered Tuchel, as a challenge to his players. Charge them to raise it … or not. But with so many offensive talents at his disposal, it is said that the Bavarian technician would have nothing against the idea of aligning as much as possible. Which Tuchel has always wanted to play with Neymar, Mbappé, Di Maria and Cavani together last season, against all odds, from the beginning. Afterwards, the wounds mingled, and the cataclysm Mancunian had broken the momentum. Except this defeat against Manchester United was played in the heads, not tactically. So why not ?
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