PSG In Crisis: Time For a Change?

After their 2-1 loss to EA Guingamp on Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain remain in third place in Ligue 1 but trail league leaders OGC Nice by seven points. It was their fourth loss of the season (PSG lost five combined league games the previous two seasons) and while the players should certainly shoulder some of the blame, it’s Unai Emery who is taking the brunt of the criticism.

It’s been a tough month for the former Sevilla FC manager. It all started on December 3 when Montpellier HSC defeated Paris 3-0, their worst Ligue 1 loss since 2011. On December 6, PSG stumbled to a 2-2 draw against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at the Parc des Princes and ultimately finished second in their UEFA Champions League group. Two days later, they received the death sentence that is FC Barcelona in the Round of 16.

Once the Champions League dust settled, PSG had to focus on the biggest league match in recent memory as Nice visited the Parc. A win would have restored confidence but they needed a second-half comeback to secure the 2-2 draw. Hardly the inspiring performance supporters were hoping for. Les Parisiens bounced back to defeat Lille OSC 3-1 in the Coupe de la Ligue but the debacle against Guingamp all but erased any positives gained from that match. Now, Emery is officially on the hot seat and depending on what sites you read, his replacement is already being vetted or he will be given to at least the Barcelona tie to sort things out.

I’m not one who blames the manager for everything. The players should absolutely be blamed for the results this season. Emery may not be setting them up for dominating performances but they should be grinding out wins given the talent up-and-down the squad. I believe the problem likely goes all the way up to Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investments, who put star players on a pedestal, pay outrageous wages, and don’t hold them accountable when they experience a dip in form.

With all that being said, the easiest cog to replace in the PSG machine is Emery. When you compare him against his predecessor, Laurent Blanc, there’s no question the Basque manager has fallen well short of the lofty standards set by the Frenchman. He may not be 100 percent at fault for the poor results in the first half of the season but part of the job of a manager is to take the credit when the team does well and also when it does poorly. Unfortunately for him, Blanc was fired for much less, as were previous PSG managers, and it’s hard to imagine Emery sticking around for much longer. The January transfer window is fast approaching and if Khelaifi is going to make a change, now is the time to do it so that the new manager can bring in players that fit his system.

So, who could replace Emery at the helm of PSG? Fabio Capello, Roberto Mancini and Louis van Gaal appear to be the most popular choices at the moment. All three bring plenty of experience and will command respect in the dressing room. The former Manchester United manager is especially interesting given his hostile relationship with Angel Di Maria and unless PSG are prepared to sell the Argentine in January, I don’t think they can bring van Gaal to the club. Mancini and Capello would be fine choices and could be the band-aid the club needs. Neither would be the long-term solution but they could help steady the ship and make a second-half run to retain their Ligue 1 title.

Whatever decision QSI make when it comes to the future of Emery, the players need to decide if they want to simply collect a check and plan their holiday or dig deep and fight to retain their titles and pull off the upset against Barcelona in the Champions League. PSG is a club in crisis and while a managerial change could provide a spark, it’s ultimately up to the players to put in the performances they’re capable of.

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Tags Angel Di Maria Champions League EA Guingamp Fabio Capello Ligue 1 Louis van Gaal Nasser Al-Khelaifi Roberto Mancini Unai Emery


  1. I think PSG should hire Hiddnick to help us out before it’s too late. I believe the players have already lost lost confidence in Emery

  2. Capello, please, he rules with an iron fist. He’s the one manager Ibra feared, and he was also partly responsible for making Ibra the striker he is. He’s old school and no nonsense, which is EXACTLY what PSG needs atm.

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