With a tie against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League coming up, talking about a disagreement between a star player and the manager is the last thing Paris Saint-Germain supporters want to be doing right now.
This is where we are though. Last Saturday, Kylian Mbappé was subbed off in the 68th minute in a 5-0 match against Montpellier HSC and the Frenchman wasn’t happy about it. He was blocked by Thomas Tuchel who tried to explain his decision and Mbappé pushed through him and made is way to the bench where he sat with an irritated look on his face.
PSG manager Tuchel substituted Mbappe earlier today and he was absolutely fuming with the decision.
This isn't good at all, just a reminder that Mbappe still hasn't signed a new contract with PSG. 👀 pic.twitter.com/djRngUpyCD
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) February 1, 2020
The altercation is all anyone wants to talk about right now when it comes to PSG, which is unfortunate considering their unbeaten run and impressive performances as of late.
At his pre-match press conference ahead of the FC Nantes match on Tuesday, Tuchel was asked several questions about his dust-up with Mbappé, including whether he thought the 21-year-old would leave the club this summer.
We heard you say you were sad at the Parc des Princes based on what happened. Was there a conversation with Mbappé?
We talked about Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, OK, but I am sad about that because I like the game. I like the show. I like that we are a dangerous team, that we are a strong team, that we are a team who are strong in offense and defense, and we come to a press conference and we don’t speak about the game.
This is why I was sad, but it is not important to talk too much about it because these are things that happen. It is not personal between us. It is just a thing between a player who doesn’t want to be substituted and a manager who has reasons to do so because he has players on the bench who need and deserve to play.
So, it happens. The problem is there are cameras, there is an audience, journalists, and a lot of people want to talk about it. This is why I was sad. There were a lot of positive things to talk about on the pitch. Now, we give the impression and the occasion to talk about other things.
Is it easier to substitute Mbappé, rather than a name based on status in the dressing room? Is Neymar the number one player who is unsubstitutable?
Stop thinking about that. If I want to be a politician, I should work in politics, but I am a manager. I can only think about sports. With other things, I will lose my mind, and I don’t want to lose it.
For example, if I made the decision to leave Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani on the bench, starting with Pablo Sarabia, they didn’t like that. Obviously. But that is a choice, a sports choice. Sometimes, it is better to have a left or right-footed player, but I cannot think about politics. I cannot think it is hard to leave an individual player on the bench.
I am convinced that the players and the dressing room, everyone understands those decisions because this is how it works. I am the coach and I have to make hard decisions. It is the same with substitutions. I decided that the game was closed. We have the possibility to let Pablo and Kylian Mbappe leave the pitch and put Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani on the pitch because they deserved it. Julian Draxler could have played instead of Neymar, but I am not scared. Why should I be?
I decided that Leandro Paredes deserved it because he was captain during the game against Pau, and he played a great game. He deserved to start. This is why I wanted to give him some time on the pitch. I know it is hard for some players to accept, but in the end, for me, the only thing they have to accept are sports thing, sports-related things. Is it easier? What does that mean? Everyone will put pressure on me, and so what? I will only substitute Tanguy Kouassi because he is the youngest.
Are you scared that Mbappé might leave this summer based on the situation because a team such as Madrid is expecting him to come?
I can’t think that he might take this situation as something, a reason to leave the club. He is one of our players, he plays for our club. I took that decision, and this is the coach’s job.
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