Where’s the beef? That’s likely what Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel said towards the end of last season when he barely had enough players fit enough to wrap up the final matches of the season. A lot has changed since then.
For the first time in what feels like forever, PSG has a full squad available for Tuchel to choose from. Ahead of the match against AS Monaco at the Parc des Princes, Tuchel discussed the current state of his team and how things have changed as reported by Ligue1.com.
“We’re more reliable and beefier than in 2019. Our team’s matured with our recruitment in pre-season. We’ve got a great team with healthy competition and I want to maintain our good level.”
Tuchel then went on to discuss the new and improved 4-4-2 formation, which appears to be the optimum way to line up this PSG side, which featured four of the top ten players in the world according to Marco Verratti.
“We attack together and we defend together. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful things in football. A team cannot win with five players. The best level requires playing as a team. If you want to play 4-4-2, there are a lot of things to do and spaces to protect. Everyone has to do what is necessary and the players are doing it at the moment.”
The goals have been pouring in for PSG lately. They’ve scored 12 goals since the start of 2020 and another 12 goals in the last three games of 2019. Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, and Angel Di Maria have been in fantastic form but it’s their willingness to track back, a mentality they discovered was a necessity against Real Madrid, that Tuchel is most proud of.
“We have players capable of this counter-pressing. Neymar is smart enough to do it, Mauro Icardi or Angel Di Maria and Pablo Sarabia, too. We always find the best possible mix for us to keep this balance.”
There is certainly a lot of reasons to feel positive about PSG at the moment. The team is healthy and playing an entertaining brand of football that is getting the best out of its marquee players. The only worry is, can they maintain this until February 18 when they travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
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