At the half way stage of the season this time last year, PSG were fully in control of Ligue 1 and looked to have already sealed their fourth Ligue 1 victory in a row. But unfortunately for Les Rouge et Bleus, this fifth title has not as been as easy to achieve due to fierce rivalry and a lack of consistences from the French champions.
It has been a tough start for Unai Emery as boss of PSG, despite the promising signs to begin with. A 4-1 win over Lyon to start off the season was the highest point of the season for Paris who since then have been brought back down to Earth. Four loses so far, which is double the end total of the whole of last season, along side a disappointing end product in the Champions League has left Unai Emery suffering from a huge amount of pressure from the media and the fans.
PSG started off the league campaign with a decent set of results yet not so convincing performances, resulting in their ultimate downfall at the hands of Monaco in week 3 and it took Les Parisiens nearly a month after that loss before registering their next win, which in all fairness was an outstanding 6-0 win over Caen.
This lack of consistency throughout the first half of the season has cost PSG many points in the league. Though the defeat to Monaco was hard to handle for Paris fans, shock loses to Toulouse, Montpellier and Guingamp and even crashing into second place of their group when being in pole position to end up first have been the reasons that the French media has been so critical and ultimately why Emery’s job has been threatened a lot at the back end of 2016.
Nonetheless it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the reigning French champions. Despite siting in third place, Edinson Cavani has been exceptional and Adrien Rabiot has stood out from the rest with some inspirational performances before getting injured. PSG will really be hoping for these players to continue with their fine form and Emery will be expecting a lift from the rest of the team in order to deliver what the French crowd has been longing for during the first half of the season.
Highlight of the Season so far…
Though its sad to say, the best game of the season so far has been the first. The professionalism from the Paris players was great to see so early on in the season and really gave PSG’s fans so much to look forward to, even if they have failed to deliver since. Emery’s tactics really stood out during the win. His 4-2-3-1 formation worked perfectly and players form all over the pitch chipped in with the goals and looked solid defensively during the entire match. Three first half goals was a treat to watch and the 4-1 win was an emphatic way to start the season!
There’s no doubt that Edinson Cavani has been the stand out performer. He leads the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 18 goals and is the second highest goalscorer in the Champions League too, only Lionel Messi can boast more goals in this years competition. This is the reason that the Uruguayan has been so essential with his amazing goal scoring record in the team of underachievers so far.
His fighting spirit has served him well during his time at PSG. Having to play in an unfamiliar role out wide in seasons gone by, but his patients has payed off and he has been the perfect replacement for the undisputed former king of Paris: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
So whats next for PSG?
Simply, it has to get better for PSG in 2017. Currently sitting five point off of Nice at the top end of the table, wins are needed to stay in touch with the leaders and the fixtures do look kind up until a fierce battle with Monaco at the end of January. Emery’s position as manager of PSG will be determined on these set of fixtures that lead up to the decisive and enormous clash with FC Barcelona in the Champions League knockout stage. It looks ominous from a PSG perspective but new signings and, if still in the role as manger of Paris, Unai Emery certainly has the experience that is needed if there is any chance of bettering their results in recent seasons when facing the European giants in the next part of the season.