Paris Saint-Germain surprised many on Christmas Eve when reports emerged that the club had decided to sack manager Thomas Tuchel.
The German manager had just led the team to a clinching of its UEFA Champions League group in early December, but the club still decided to cut short his managerial run there.
The decision from PSG also shocked many within the club, including now-former PSG assistant coach Zsolt Low. The Hungarian coach joined Tuchel at PSG in 2018 and was with the club until its sacking of the German manager last month.
For Low, he believes that the team more so outperformed over the season, and overall, he was shocked to hear that the club’s board still went along with the decision to sack Tuchel. Low provided details on the chaotic last couple of weeks in speaking to the Hungarian-based outlet Nemzeti Sport.
“We were surprised because on the 23rd of December, after a 4-0 match against Strasbourg, the club’s sports director, Leonardo, invited us to say he didn’t expect Thomas to work in the future,” Low said. “After having to deal with considerable difficulties, we had historic success with the PSG, we advanced to the Champions League in the fall, making the decision a bit incomprehensible.
“Compared to the fact that we were hampered by countless injuries throughout the season, and we also had to deal with the coronavirus, I think it was a great professional achievement to close the year this way. We have outperformed, that is the truth.”
For Low, he saw the writing on the wall. Following a roller-coaster summer transfer window in which Tuchel made public remarks about the club’s lack of signings, there was growing discontent between the German manager and PSG sporting director Leonardo.
“In other words, the announcement hit us like a bolt from the blue,” Low said. “The summer transfer period did not turn out as we would have liked, with key players leaving before and after the UCL final game in August; they could not be replaced properly.
“This also created tension between some club leaders and the professional staff, as well as the fact that the sports director professed different principles of governance than the head coach. I can’t immerse myself in the details, let’s stick to that, they had different ideas in many areas, and the difference in view grew over time.
“This led to Leonardo deciding to envision the future with a different staff. Let’s be honest this condition would not have been sustainable in the long run. Sooner or later, the professional work, and thus the performance of the team, would have seen a detriment. Looking at it from here, it was better now, almost at the top, to say goodbye in our bag with the vast majority of beautiful memories.”
Low also added that his decision to leave the club along with Tuchel was not a difficult call to make; he wanted to be loyal to the German manager. More so, he is very appreciative of the personal relationships built while with the club, including with the players.
On Low’s part, it will be a time to reevaluate on where to go from here. He made mention of possibly joining Tuchel at his next destination, but he also alluded to a desire to be a manager himself. He has been an assistant coach at three different clubs while also having garnered recent interest for a managerial role, so he may be due for a step-up in his career.
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