coach Galtier and how to reconcile the egos of the stars of Paris Saint Germain

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PSG players greet each other after a goal without much smiles – Credits: @STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

Without Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint Germain he had scored goals in the two official matches of the season (one for the French Super Cup). With the return of the French striker, the trident was configured again, which is completed Lionel Messi and Neymar. The new coach Christophe Galtier, modified the scheme that he inherited from Mauricio Pochettino, by having a line with three defenders –Sergio Ramos started with the ownership and continuity that it lacked in the past year-, while maintaining the famous forward.

Messi tries to control the ball during the win against Montpellier

Messi tries to control the ball during the win over Montpellier – Credits: @EMMANUEL DUNAND

Added Mbappé, the French champion made another demonstration of offensive power. thrashed 5-2 in the Parc des Princes in Montpellier, who had made his debut in Ligue 1 with a win over Troyes. Fourteen goals in three games add PSG, whose supremacy inside borders will be very difficult to counteract. Since 1961/62, when Reims got it, that a team did not score 10 goals in the first two dates of the tournament.

Messi had converted in the two previous matches: three goals, one from a bicycle kick, the first of those characteristics within his vast repertoire of definitions. Against Montpellier his streak was cut, within a favorable development to score on the scoreboard for the extensive local domain.

match highlights

With Mbappé on the pitch, Leo stepped less the area, he became more involved in the gestation, he showed himself in three quarters of the court, either on the right or in the central lanes. His search for the goal was more reduced to shots from outside the area, with a free kick that he deflected him with a great overhand Austrian goalkeeper Jonas Omlin. There were two other shots from outside the area; one went high and the other was controlled by the goalkeeper. The most propitious occasion inside the area was for his right leg, with a definition that went over the crossbar. He played a correct game, without dazzling.

Galtier, at the press conference, confirmed what was the order for the execution of penalties: first Mbappé and then Neymar. The Frenchman was stopped, the first to fail in the last three years. With a curiosity: the four penalties that he wasted of the 21 that he executed in his career at PSG, all were in the Princes Park.

Mbappé, after the penalty saved by the Montpellier goalkeeper

Mbappé, after the penalty saved by the Montpellier goalkeeper – Credits: @STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

Neymar converted his penalty – after the sanction of a handball in a play that Messi put together – and with a great head advance he scored the fourth. The Brazilian is going through a great start to the season, as if he wanted to silence the whistles of the fans who pointed their anger at him after the elimination against Real Madrid in the Champions League. If the last stretch of the previous year and the start of this are computed, Neymar adds 13 goals and six assists in the last 10 games. He is involved in vindicating himself.

When this Saturday he was replaced in the final by the youthful Ekitike, Neymar received several applause. Galtier is also satisfied and confirmed his good form: “Since July 4, Neymar has been impeccable, he behaves well!” This last aspect of professional conduct and care, Galtier slipped it ironically, but in the preseason it was a topic that the president Nasser Al-Khelaifi He presented it to Neymar as an ultimatum, with the warning that it could be put on the market for sale. Probably also motivated by the imminence of the World Cup, Neymar is showing himself to be a productive and concrete striker, without the excessive embellishments with the ball that many rivals take as provocations and lead to heavy fouls and not a few incidents.

Neymar, happy for his very good start to the season

Neymar, happy for his very good start to the season – Credits: @Francois Mori

When Neymar chose to leave Barcelona for PSG, he did so thinking of ever winning the Golden Ball. So far he has not succeeded and it will not be in the next installment, where he is not among the 30 preselected, Messi was not on the list for the first time in 17 years. It is clear that Messi’s season did not make him a candidate for the award, but not being among the top 30 It seems more like an act of banning. As if to get a temptation out of each of the 100 journalists -one for each country in the FIFA ranking- Didier Drogba (voter of France Football) at the time of the final vote. Quite a stir arose when Messi won it last season, to the detriment of an offended Robert Lewandowski.

While Neymar played with a smile and Messi did it with a barely expressive gesture -unlike the two previous games-, almost official (after the end he was one of the first to go to the locker room), Mbappé was mostly stern and upset. Something that was very evident at the end of the first half, when he stopped, stopped accompanying an attack and made a gesture of discomfort because the ball had not been passed to him. He even did not relax his serious gesture even when in the second stage he scored his goal, PSG’s fourth. He left crestfallen five minutes from the end, after being replaced by Sarabia.

Two hours after the meeting, the newspaper L’Equipe reported that Mbappé went through a personal problem, without specifying which one, and nevertheless wanted to play. His father was in the audience.

Messi maneuvers surrounded by rivals

Messi maneuvers surrounded by rivals – Credits: @STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

Asked at the press conference about Mbappé’s bad mood, Galtier replied that it was something anecdotal, that the striker is focused on getting his best physical condition after overcoming a minor injury. “He is a born competitor, he wants to get back to his best level quickly. You need a little time to recover 100 percent of your athletic ability, and then it will make even more of a difference”, said the coach.

The coach was also questioned about whether there was not a conflict of egos among so many stars, and in that case how it would be handled. Galtier, for now, sees more benefits than harm: “Having some problems with this profile of a competitor and a great player is not too inconvenient. It’s more difficult when you don’t have players of that level. They are all great competitors, they all want to play, to score. They don’t want to go out. But soon the sequence of matches will increase and everyone will have to understand that it will be necessary to organize and manage the playing times of each one”. The season will be in charge of demonstrating if the stars know how to live together under the Galtier manual.