After watching Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw result against Stade de Reims, former French forward Jerome Rothen believes that there is cause for concern with how Christophe Galtier manages Lionel Messi.
The Argentine forward did not necessarily have his best outing against Reims on Ligue 1 matchday 20; he failed to log a shot on target and also lost 70 percent of his ground duels in the match. Still, he went on to play in the entirety of the league fixture.
For Rothen, he believes that in the second half of PSG’s league contest against Reims, Galtier should have made the call to sub off multiple players who were not necessarily invested in the match, including Messi.
“On the match of Reims, you see from the beginning that there are many players who lack investment, self-sacrifice, runs, aggressiveness,” Rothen said on his ‘Rothen s’enflamme’ program. “At halftime, there is nothing that forces him to keep the players on the field. Whether your name is Messi, Soler, Hakimi, or Bernat, if you think the guy is not concerned, you have the right to take him out at halftime.
“What will happen if you take Messi out? Do you think that Messi will say, ‘Wait, you’re taking me out when I was good on the field?’ No, everyone has seen you are bad, he’s not going to say anything to him. Why doesn’t Galtier ever do it then? Well, because I think he doesn’t want to, and that’s where he makes a mistake.”
Messi has been a bit rusty since his return to PSG following the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Overall, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner combined for one shot on target and two goal-scoring chances created for teammates in his three Ligue 1 appearances in January.
Messi is now slated to feature in PSG’s upcoming Ligue 1 away clash against Montpellier.