PSG midseason report

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PSG midseason report Empty PSG midseason report

Post by sportsczy Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:02 am

New players: Ibrahimovic, Silva, Lavezzi, Van Der Wiel, Verrati, Rabiot? Lucas Moura (January)
Players sold or lent: Bisevac, Bahebeck, Ciara
Players ostracized: Lugano, Nene, Tiene
Typical Starting XI: Sirigu, Jallet, Silva, Sakho/Alex, Maxwell, Matuidi, Motta, Pastore, Menez, Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic
Key bench players: Gameiro, Verrati, Chantome, Van Der Wiel

The very good

- Ibrahimovic has simply been outstanding. Not only does he score but he keys all the offensive movements. Stats aside, he’s just a presence out there. Stats are amazing too though lol: 24 games, 21 goals, 9 assists. Amazing stuff.
- Silva is just pure class. Without him, this defense would be in trouble. Jallet, Alex, Van Der Wiel and Maxwell are not good defenders. Some of them are pathetic. But Silva just slows everything down with everybody. He’s not the spectacular one-on-one guy because he doesn’t have to be. He kills attacks by sheer anticipation. He’s also amazing with the ball. Clearly the best CB in the world and its not even close.
- Verrati saved PSG with Motta’s absence. The club was able to play well for a stretch strictly because Verrati provided the link. When he and Motta are both out, the midfield is a disaster. Great close control and great passer. Needs to work on stamina and defense. Great prospect. He’s like Modric imo.
- Matuidi is the engine of the team. Tireless worker who recovers ball and makes runs into the attack from the midfield. Must have some extra lungs on him because he goes full board the whole game. Not the most technically gifted… but he makes up for it in sheer effort and determination. Every team needs a player like this.

The good

- Jallet has shown that he can defend enough. That’s the key with him. He’s always been good at overlapping and helping width on the attack. But he often got raped on defense. Good season so far, although not great. Solid contributor.
- Sirigu has done his job. Not a WC keeper by any means; but he is very solid.
- Lavezzi missed ¾ of the first half of the season but made an immediate impact upon his return. Great speed and technique. Unselfish as well. Only reason he’s not in the “very good” category is his injury time.
- Motta settles the entire midfield. It’s not a coincidence that PSG’s recent dominance happened upon his return. Very good passer. Like Silva, he calms the game down for people around him.
- Menez. Either brilliant or terrible. There’s not middle ground with him lol. But he’s been mostly good. He can create havoc all by himself. Great speed and dribbling. His finishing pass and shooting is a bit meh, which need to be resolved. Work ethic is always a question with him. Extremely talented.
- Sakho started off the season very well. He's recovered his aggressiveness and physical play while greatly improving his on the ball play, although he's still a bit awkward there. Key for his is that he gets overaggressive at times. He's one of those guys that will get carded just because of how he plays. He's also become a starter with France NT... not easy when you consider how deep the CB pool is in France. I fear we will lose him to transfer if he's not played regularly. Alex' injury happened at an opportune time lol.

The OK

- Maxwell has been OK at LB. Doesn’t make too many bad mistakes on defense and does OK on the attack. TBH, I expected more of an attacking presence from him
- Gameiro gets few opportunities but usually scores when he gets the chance. Solid contributor although has several key weaknesses. One dimensional type of player right now.
- Chantome. Solid little CM for a mid table team. But it’s no surprise that PSG struggled when he was playing instead of Motta and Verrati. He’s a complimentary player, not a field general. He tried his best and did ok.

The Bad

- Van Der Wiel is terrible. I can’t think of one aspect of his game that I deem ok. Just a complete disaster out there.
- Although better lately, Pastore is a flop so far. Bad decisions, lack of effort, questionable work ethic and questionable mentality. To make matter worse, he’s vocal in the media in the worse way. He recently criticized the French media for being too hard on him and not supportive. I don’t think he understands the expectations attached to the transfer fee. He’s still playing as if he’s on a small club in rural Italy.
- Nene has been mistreated by PSG. There’s no doubt here. Without him, PSG is not in CL this year. But his attitude has not been the best and has made it easy for the club to mistreat him. His past contributions should not be forgotten.

Incomplete

Sissoko, Hoarau, Camara, Armand, Douchez, Tiene, Rabiot, Lugano and Bodmer haven’t played enough to get any kind of rating. I will say that Armand has looked pretty good in his stints. Rabiot is a future star who is learning the ropes right now.

Outlook

- For Ligue 1, this team has plenty to win obviously. But for CL, the fullback weakness needs to be addressed.
- Lucas Moura is coming in with a lot of hype. He has immense talent. The best thing about this is that it will force both Menez and Pastore to fight for their jobs.
- Health is obviously critical. PSG had plenty of long term injuries in the first half (Motta and Lavezzi).
- My prediction is Ligue 1 champions and CL quarters at a mimum.

Manager rating

Carlo has really surprised me as I didn’t rate him very highly coming in. He learned French within a month and has shown great class. Most surprisingly, he is handling the youth Verrati and Rabiot like a master. His tactics are usually spot on. The players need to adjust to playing the ultra-tactical game plans. He’s watered down his tactics some to help the players… very good manager and person. I hope he stays a long time.


Last edited by sportsczy on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ganso Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:44 am

Yeah,I'm really liking Carlo atm,4-4-2 is the ideal formation for this team,everyone fits in very well(bar Pastore,but he will get dropped).It's a shame that veratti doesn't have a place since Motta and Matuidi's specific qualities are needed.But he will get a lot of playing time since Motta is made of glass
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Post by sportsczy Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:52 am

So many Brazilians on PSG... always been that way in the good ole days. Leonardo have a good effect here. If Lucas succeeds, i imagine a lot more young Brazilian players will look at PSG seriously.

I'm still hoping Neymar comes too lol.
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Post by Arquitecto Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:21 pm

Fantastic report Sports. Agreed with most points.

Sad thing is people expected immediate results from the initiation of the season. This thought is obvious to the untrained mind who does not watch PSG or Ligue 1 on a regular basis. While understandable, its quite naive to expect PSG performing and dominating the league given all the circumstantial factors. Reasons behind that thought is the general air of underestimation of Ligue 1 along with its teams, players, managers and its respective progress year by year.

What I enjoyed about Carlo is that he did not stick to the same rather bland system that Koumbare did. Koumbare's sacking was harsh yet he did not present the ambition, tactical nous or personality that PSG needed to lead this long-term project. Carlo did fail to win the Ligue 1 last year yet he took that time to start a plan from scratch and get the squad to adjust to what was a very tactical system. People also do not count how excellent Montpellier were last year in their form, confidence and abilities.

This year Carlo switched from a 4-3-2-1 to a 4-3-1-2 which had mixed results throughout the early stage of the 1st half in the season. While it allowed many of the players to adjust to Carlo's harsh learning curve, along with some great moments of football, the formation just did not have the necessary width and movement to take advantage of the whole squad. Teams based on wing attack or general use of width exposed PSG for their lack of width along with defending compact in counter act their narrow attack. Carlo since then has used a 4-4-2 to address the lack of width in using Lavezzi on the left, Motta and Matudi within centre and Menez on the right. Javier Pastore plays of Ibra in a supporting role while Ibra himself is given a whole lot of freedom to express his craft in his standard #10 role which has been used for Sweden, Inter and AC Milan. Since then the lack of width in attack and defence has helped. Before I continue;

Sirugu: Personally I feel he is underestimated within football or Ligue 1. Has been the best GK within the league this year. Commands his box excellently, has excellent positioning and reflexes and is calm under pressure. His only weakness is catching the ball through corners yet he has improved upon that.

Fullbacks: This is what I call the reason why PSG haven't been higher up within the table. PSG lack any consistent and capable fullback. Jallet is the only one impressing me so far yet even then his inconsistency is worrisome despite his contributions. Maxwell defensively has cost PSG far too many times which is why Carlo even moved him to midfield in utilizing what is his underrated skills. Frankly, if it wasn't for being best friends with Ibra, I wouldn't think PSG actually would have acquired him or kept him if not for the hook and snare move. VdW I don't even want to talk about. Finally this overrated FB was exposed in the Euros and now Ligue 1 for people to see what a poor fullback he really is. In essence what baffles me is how PSG have failed to address the fullback issue and this is the sole reason onto why Carletto has switched to a 4-4-2 to also protect the fullbacks weaknesses.

CBs? Silva had a shaky start coming from his injury after 4-5 games yet has developed into the undisputed commander in chief of the back line. Sports said it perfectly when Silva just had that ability to instil an element of calm within the back line when things aren't exactly tranquil. If it wasn't for the lack of defensive depth Silva could also play in his DM role as he plays quite similar to Desailly when in that role. Alex has been solid and assured but exposed for pace far too many times along with his concentration lapses. Sakho initially was thought to be out of favour with Carlo as despite the not to warm relations with them, its clear this is Carlo testing Sakho's resolve and ethic which is why he has become a regular to the PSG back line and slowly gaining his confidence back. Sakho is needed for France's back line and while stripping the armband wasn't the wisest choice, it has had him develop into a more hungry but calm CB who isn't as rash as before.

Midfield; Verrati has been the undisputed star. Coming in with low expectations helped him yet his beginning of the season performances made him the creative, distributive and play-making fulcrum of the PSG midfield. Displayed superb confidence on the ball, excellent vision as the sky is the limit with this kid. His recent downturn of form was due to him being asked too much into a role which didn't suit him. Similar to Mikel Arteta, Verrati was asked to defend as well within this role as he received little protection from his midfield, thus resulting in a utter confusion between the two. It caused his confidence and focus to drop given that he was needed to track back and screen the midfield and such a duality in roles caused fatigue and eventual burnout. He slowly is recovering and frankly, improves the PSG midfield every time he makes a sub appearance which is a great sign. Personally he reminds me of Xavi in his play. The similarities are uncanny as he is the closest thing to Xavi today in his style.

Matudi; I had the mistake of underrating him as I've realized how important he is for the team. Ultimate big game player and sole engine for the team. Carlo spoke about how he wants to integrate a Gattuso-Pirlo (Creator& destroyer) partnership between him and Verrati in order to protect Verrati and let the youngster focus on what he does best.

Motta is insanely injury prone. Nothing new here. But his absence cost PSG quite a lot given the midfield was unbalanced, not screened and shored well enough. His return has added a Busquets element of calm and assurance in the midfield. His excellent recycling of the possession and tidy passing has resulted in excellent ball retention as its no surprise his return was proportional to PSG's improving form.

Chantome has been underrated for me. He is the quiet, diligent worker who doesn't question his manager and works his ass off every time on the field. An excellent back-up to Matudi as despite not being technically brilliant, his fearless attitude and work rate has me impressed by him.

As for the attack; Lavezzi initially struggled coming into Ligue 1 as injuries and adjusted to a new system (different from Mazzari's 3-5-1-1/3-5-2) caused some to label him as a point of frustration. Yet since then he has excelled well on the left wing of PSG and scores goals, important goals along with a near telepathic understanding with Ibra. I've always said he is the 2nd best Argentine player and is showing it today. Personally it would be my wish to give him a more free role as with that he demonstrates creativity, devastating skill and ability to change the game within a second. In time I'm sure he will.

Menez for me has been one of PSG's best players as despite his infuriating tendencies in not tracking back and disappearing in games, his general play of width has caused PSG to have an element of unpredictability in their attack. Once again thanks to Ibra who he has developed a superb partnership with, Menez is finally showing the talent we all knew he had. Improving in form throughout the season as it'll be interesting to see how he can hold his position with Lucas Moura coming in.

Pastore has been a flop. His talent is undeniable as there is little he isn't capable of. Yet like his Palermo career he has an annoying tendencies to disappear completely in games, work little, and just be inconsistent as a whole. What makes it even worse is how he hasn't exactly endeared himself to a forgiving French media in his outspoken attitude. He has improved under the new 4-4-2 and PSG's new form but has a long way to go.

Ibra has been Ibra. In his #10 role the side has been built around him to fully optimize and utilize on his highly complete and magical play. Game winning goals, passing, chance creation and whatever you name in attacking sense he has done it. Been a resounding success for PSG, helped the outcasts settle into form and coming into Ligue 1 we have seen him mature and develop a affable relationship with the French Media. Undisputed leader of the attack and talisman of PSG. Represents the club as a whole. 10/10 for him. For anyone who thinks PSG is reliant on him, thats obvious considering the team is built around him.

Now that I'm done with my rambling I can continue.

As a whole it looks quite good for PSG. Carletto is a perfectionist as despite being his greatest weakness its also his best strength. In doing so he has near perfected in what he wants to see from his team. 4-4-2 is an almost temporary solution but one solution to further develop the chemistry of the team. Chemistry is an underrated word here. Now that this relatively new squad has found chemistry and almost purged of its inconsistencies we are seeing a glimpse of what this team is capable of. Wins vs Marsielle, Lyon and absolutely storming the Champions League group have proved that Carlo is doing a great job. It helps that the Qatari owners have given him time and appointed a very intelligent Leonardo to utilize the excellent rapport between him and Carlo along with Leo's scouting and future outlooks which have proved to work.

Lucas Moura will be coming in as we cannot expect to see him integrated all that fast within the team unless he seriously impresses. It will be hard for him to adjust to Ligue 1 yet good signs are his pre- learning of french in showing his determination. While its likely he will be competing with Menez on the right wing, if you know Carlo he will play Lucas in the supporting Pastore role behind Ibra.

I'd also like to see more of Rabiot as I've rated this kid highly ever since I saw him. He may be only 17 but its worth giving the youngster a shot during matches which are already over. Future jewel for France imo along with Griezmann, Lacazette, and Benzia.

All in all despite the results and being knocked out of the domestic cup PSG has been relatively consistent as despite the compromise in tactics and other minor inconsistencies. I'd rate the project a success so far.

We can only hope the owners will not be stupid enough to sack Carlo for Mourinho which is likely on some terms. Personally while not a popular opinion with Sports, It would be very exciting to see CR7 in PSG alongside Ibra.

8/10 for PSG midseason.

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Post by sportsczy Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:14 am

Seeing CR7 next to Ibra would be fun to watch from a neutral's standpoint... but for the team, it's a recipe for disaster lol. You don't want Carlo to lose control of the team and it could happen with CR7 there.
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Post by Xifio Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:54 pm

good analyses there from sportsczy and Arquitecto Thumbs up ... I agree for the most part, not least about Zlatan, Thiago Silva, Matuidi, Verratti, and even Adrien Rabiot ...

personally, I'm not a big fan of Thiago Motta ... I've had the chance to watch him for over a decade now, and I've always been underwhelmed ... the fact that the year has ended with him in the starting XI ahead of Verratti (due to the change in formation) is the only point of concern for me ...

interesting mention of Griezmann, though unsurprising coming from a Sociedad fan ... not sure if you're suggesting him as a future signing, but if you are, then: as much as I like him, I think he'd end up like Gameiro at PSG, and would be better used at another club ...


EDIT:

sportsczy wrote:Seeing CR7 next to Ibra would be fun to watch from a neutral's standpoint... but for the team, it's a recipe for disaster lol. You don't want Carlo to lose control of the team and it could happen with CR7 there.
no need to worry (especially if Mou is in charge by that time):

PSG midseason report Xifiozlatancr7

plus, it'd be a wet dream for Nike ...
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Post by sportsczy Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:08 pm

Yeah, PSG would be pimped by Nike like there's no tomorrow lol.
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