Paris Saint-Germain has had a strange season. Mauricio Pochettino and Associates. He regained the French League title. There was no doubt. PSG jumped to an eight-game winning streak and never looked back.
Their rival was in the mud, with second-placed Marseille behind in double digits. Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance has been evident in France for a long time now.
However, everything is not rosy. They lost in both the French Super Cup and the Coupe de France. Real Madrid’s bitter exit in the Champions League last 16 was unusual.
Furthermore, off-field issues seem to have affected the team. Therefore, regaining the league title will not be of great consolation.
Kylian Mbappe’s future
The first issue that was there even before the season started. It was said that Real Madrid is chasing the attacking star vigorously. Mbappe has a long obsession with joining Los Blancos. Therefore, it was no surprise that Madrid tried to lure him away in 2021. However, PSG stood firm and refused to let Mbappe go. It started an ugly feud between Florentino Perez’s sporting directors and Leonardo.
Kylian Mbappe transfer: Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is angry at the pursuit of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez – https://t.co/kHGXoyP9sb – to Tweet embed.
– Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) October 5, 2021
As the season progressed, speculation only intensified. Mbappe refused to be drawn into controversy, even when PSG faced Real Madrid. The club has repeatedly stressed that it is in deep negotiations with Mbappe for an extension.
However, nothing final has been done, so all options are open. However, this entire circus could have been avoided or even handled in a better way.
Could PSG go to Mohamed Salah in 2023? of course no! But what if…
Lionel Messi factor
In one of the stories from 2021, Lionel Messi joining Paris Saint-Germain was something either side would have hardly believed. However, Barcelona’s many financial problems meant that the Parisians were on the winning side. Or were they?
Messi was not at his best with a long shot. A constant battle with injuries slowed him down considerably.
Lionel Messi scored his ninth and best goal in Paris Saint-Germain to win the Ligue 1 title this weekend. How much will the next season get?pic.twitter.com/Ciakriqeno
– Get French Football News (GFFN) 25 April 2022
Messi scored only four goals in the French league, but managed to score 13 assists. It was essential for PSG to maintain their momentum from the start. However, one cannot help but feel that this has been a disappointing season.
Messi has one year left on his contract and he will see him out. Whether this came as part of the famous triple front is still unknown.
That night in Madrid
Football is nothing if not a battle of the superior mentality. Paris Saint-Germain It’s a pity that their team seems to be deserting them at the worst of times. Legendary Barcelona 6-1 Remontada It is still fresh in the minds of many supporters.
After 2021-22, they have another one. Paris Saint-Germain was sailing midway through the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. They were 2-0 up on aggregate and looked like they were headed to the quarter-finals. Then came Karim Benzema’s offer.
⭐️ Karim Benzema is in the Champions League knockout stages this season…
‣ 7 goals against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.
Big. Game. player.pic.twitter.com/wdPXFyHOjK
– Sporting Life Football & Infogol (InfogolApp) 26 April 2022
A 17-minute hat-trick drove the wind away from the French powerhouse, and left everyone wondering what just happened. Players were damaged on the pitch, and it was another dark chapter in the club’s quest to win the Champions League.
Furthermore, the fact that Mauricio Pochettino was linked with the managerial job of Manchester United did not help matters. This is a different can of worms.
Poch, to stay or go?
Like Kylian Mbappe, questions surrounding the PSG manager haven’t helped matters. Pochettino was one of the candidates for the position of Manchester United. Before that, it was reported that he would return to Tottenham.
After the defeat in Madrid, it seemed only a matter of time before he dropped the ax on him. Pochettino was on the verge of being fired to be replaced by Zinedine Zidane.
When Mauricio Pochettino was asked about the percentage of his future at PSG next season: “As of today, I will stay at 100% – and the same for Kylian Mbappe.” 🔴🇫🇷 #PSG
– Fabrizio Romano April 28, 2022
The club’s hierarchy was a huge fan of the former French midfielder, but Zidane is still on vacation. Therefore, PSG seemed to have no choice but to continue with Pochettino. The appointment of Eric Ten Hag as Manchester United has put an end to these rumours.
Pochettino confirmed that he will stay with Barcelona for next season. So, it seems that one problem is solved. Whether it is for good or bad, only time will tell.
They only lost four games and drew in seven more, but the performance wasn’t great. PSG seems a far cry from the old days when they used to beat opponents. The fact that it is coming after a ‘fantastic’ transfer window to sign Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum is even more infuriating.
Van der Vaart on Burgess taking 10th place in Wijnaldum:
“Wijnaldum was wrongly chosen to join PSG and a great choice by Berghuis to join Ajax. Now you can see why making the right decision is so important.” pic.twitter.com/Ne1kzlqbdH
– 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (TheEuropeanLad) March 26, 2022
Only Hakimi was performing on a truly world class level. Donnarumma had to take his time, sharing minutes with Keylor Navas. Wijnaldum failed to make a starting point and is said to be unhappy with his turn.
All the isolated chemistry and outside noise were crowned with a poor performance. Paris Saint-Germain drew against Lens (twice), Lorient and Strasbourg.
🔎 | the focus
RC Strasbourg and PSG played a 3:3 entertainment draw tonight, with Kylian Mbappe in the title role:
👌 58 touches
⚽️ 2 goals
🎯 3 shots / 2 on goal
🅰️ 1 help
🎁 BIG OPPORTUNITY CREED
👟 36/42 minute passes
⚔️ 5/11 duels won
📈 8.8 SofaScore rating#education_center pic.twitter.com/665sTMr3zW
– SofaScore (SofaScoreINT) April 29, 2022
Furthermore, they lost to Rennes, Nice, Nantes and Monaco. None of these teams posed a threat to them in the past years. It was this mediocrity that saw them knock out the Coupe de France on penalties to Nice, having failed to score in 120 minutes.
Given all that has happened in relation to field matters and beyond, it is not surprising that there are problems at the board level. Sports director Leonardo has been criticized for his haphazard hiring policy lately.
PSG’s lust for chasing stars has not helped the club build properly on a solid foundation. This absence led to a hollow midfield, which was fixed by the brilliance of the attacking trio.
Leonardo says Tweet embed On Pochettino’s future: “Mauricio has one year left on his contract. It is normal to discuss at the end of the season, what are the plans on both sides and more…”. 🚨 #PSG
“It has been a difficult season but we are champions now. We will discuss and then see.” pic.twitter.com/NPyHtEeJ8Z
– Fabrizio Romano April 23, 2022
If they fail to show up, help won’t come from anywhere else. Leonardo vowed to turn things around and emphasized that he was still the right man for the job. However, this is not all. There were slight signs that the Qatari ownership group led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi was looking to sell PSG.
Qatar Statistics Institute told me that the idea that Nasser Al-Khelaifi wants to sell Paris Saint-Germain after the 2022 World Cup is “fake news” and “embarrassing”. They deny any truth to a prospective sale in the strongest possible terms.
– Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) April 11, 2022
While this may be a smokescreen as Qatar prepares to host the soccer World Cup, there is no doubt that patience is running out. The Champions League title is the holy grail for everyone associated with the club.
There should be a period before the owners pull the plug on the project. PSG needs to roll up their sleeves and start from the ground up. Otherwise, the upper part of the building will continue to collapse.