PSG Need To Dump Dani Alves, Thiago Silva & Neymar

PSG have often looked like a Qatari vanity project rather than a well organised football club, in my opinion.

That’s not to say that they haven’t enjoyed success, they’ve won five Ligue 1 titles since Qatari Sports Investments (QSI) bought the Parisian club in 2011.

Yet eight years on, they’ve still not really become a European superpower when it comes to the Champions League and they have lots of faults.

In their quest to become a worldwide household name, the Rogue-et-Bleu have brought in some world-class names including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham and Gianluigi Buffon.

Last summer they went wild and splashed out a world record fee of €222m on Brazilian superstar Neymar. They followed that up by then bringing in Kylian Mbappe on loan from AS Monaco before signing him permanently this summer for €145m plus add ons.

Adding those signings to an already healthy squad of well known names was meant to break PSG into the final stages of the Champions League. They made a significant start beating Celtic 12-1 over two games in the group stage and also hammered Bayern Munich 3-0 at the Parc des Princes.

They would lose their final group game 3-1 in Munich and would then drop out of the competition in the Round of 16 as eventual winners Real Madrid defeated them 5-2 on aggregate. PSG looked naive in those encounters and made too many defensive mistakes. Interestingly neither Neymar or Mbappe scored in either leg.

One major problem PSG have is that they think that having great players (forwards in particular) is all you need to be a success. That will certainly get you so far, winning the domestic league title for example but for the outlay that they pay for talent you’d expect to see them in semi-finals and finals of Europe’s elite competition.

For that kind of success, you need a strong structure on the administrative side running the club.

Leonardo and Patrick Kluivert had inauspicious terms at the club as Sporting Directors.

The current incumbent is Antero Henrique. He seems to be able to sell players but is it that difficult to sell talented youngsters like Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Kevin Augustin? By the way, had Mbappe been in the youth set-up at PSG I think he’d have been loaned out a few times, get a little bit of first team exposure at the Parc des Princes before being sold on. They don’t focus enough in having a proper pathway from the youth sides to the first team.

Yes they’ve brought in top class forward players but the rest of the squad looks unbalanced and doesn’t get the same special treatment.

I’m not sure bringing in veterans like Buffon and Dani Alves are overly smart moves.

PSG have so many talented youngster within their ranks but they don’t always get enough time to shine in the French capital. They get blocked and then move on in search of regular football.

Alphonse Areola is a very talented goalkeeper and he’s been at PSG since he was a kid. Last season was his first as the club’s number one and he helped them to a domestic treble. His performances were enough to see him called up for the winning French World Cup squad.

Yet it was decided that the club would bring in forty year old Italian legend Buffon.

Now it seems new coach Thomas Tuchel wants to play Areola but if Gianluigi was brought in on the say so of the owners, can the German continue to overlook the veteran goalie?

He’s holding firm at the moment, recently saying:

“Yes, yes. The decision is not final, but I told Alphonse Areola that in my opinion, he was in pole position to be No. 1 in the club of his youth. Alphonse comes from the training centre, PSG is his life, it’s everything for him.”

By bringing in Buffon, Henrique and the club’s hierarchy have given their manager an unwanted headache.

Then there’s the the bizarre signings like Hatem Ben Arfa, Lassana Diarra and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. They add very little and again take up places that could be easily filled by hungrier, younger talent that costs the club nothing.

If you have a successful Sporting Director that works hand in hand with the head coach then that gets the best results both on and off the park. Reportedly Henrique and Tuchel are no longer speaking to one another.

Looking at the current cycle at PSG, I think they need to listen to Tuchel and give youth it’s chance and dump some of the egos that aren’t helping the squad.

In that regard I would get rid of club captain Thiago Silva, veteran full-back Dani Alves and even flamboyant poster boy Neymar.

The trio of Brazilians have all had great careers and are undoubtedly talented but for various reasons I’d ship them out.

In the case of Silva, I just don’t think he’s as good as he thinks he is. At thirty-four years of age, he is getting on a bit. I don’t think he’s been the same since Brazil’s disastrous exit from their home World Cup in 2014. He looks very vulnerable against pacy, gifted forwards.

In my opinion, Thiago has been underachieving for a while now and doesn’t have the confidence to boss big games. I’d urge Tuchel to try and find a working partnership between Marquinhos, Thilo Kehrer and Presnel Kimpembe. I would also make sense for them to go out and buy a dominating centre-half when the transfer window reopens.

Then you’ve got Alves. The eccentric full-back is great going forward and has a brilliant trophy laden CV. But he too is in his mid-thirties and no longer playing at his peak. He suffered from a cruciate ligament rupture in May and he won’t be back until November at the earliest. That absence has given Thomas Meunier a chance again in the first team and the right-back has shone. The Belgian internationalist also had a tremendous World Cup in the summer. This season Meunier has scored one and got an assist in his first six games.

It would be a travesty if Alves were to return and automatically take Thomas’ place in the team. I think morale in the squad would be affected and the starting eleven wouldn’t be at it’s best either.

Ok now for the big one! Why on earth would I sell striking sensation Neymar?

Well for one very big reason, his heart doesn’t seem to be in it at PSG.

I don’t get the feeling that PSG come first in the forward’s thinking. Last term when he suffered from a broken metatarsal on his right foot, it’s believed that the player pushed for surgery as it would mean he’d be fit for the World Cup and that meant he missed PSG’s title run-in. The player’s father then disputed any claim from PSG that he could be available for the second leg against Real Madrid. Now even if PSG were just playing mind games with their opponents and they knew that the forward would be unavailable, Neymar’s dad ruined all of that by speaking out of turn. The club should always come first!

The reason Neymar departed Barcelona, well apart from recreating the McScrooge diving into a swimming pool of cash scene from Ducktales, was to step out of Lionel Messi’s shadow. But by going to PSG, Neymar has become the big fish but lost any work ethic that he may have had.

Yes he’s scoring for fun in Ligue 1 but in the games they need him most, like against Liverpool midweek, he either goes missing or doesn’t do the dirty stuff like trackback. His fallings out with Edinson Cavani have also shown a disrespect that I don’t think we saw at the Camp Nou.

He likes being the main man at PSG, even above whomever the coach is, but tellingly he’s not leading by example unless he has the ball in the forward areas. Yes I know he’s an attacker but if you don’t do the defensive side as a wide-player, then you become an unwanted passenger that can cost you in the bigger fixtures.

I think Neymar can be exciting to watch but when you look at him you get the idea that Brand Neymar is more important to him than Les Parisiens. I also think he’d much prefer to take his brand to Madrid.

As I’ve said previously, If I were the PSG owners then I’d have Kylian Mbappe as my star man. He’s young, French and can work his socks off for his team. I’d be worried that he might pick up bad habits from Neymar.

PSG should restructure the administration side of the club and have a long-term plan. As part of that plan they need to build the team around Mbappe and they should bring in talented youngsters like Timothy Weah, Christopher Nkunku and Stanley Nsoki and make them the future of the club.

Get rid of the egos and don’t bring in older players past their best as that can stifle your bright prospects!

One Response to “PSG Need To Dump Dani Alves, Thiago Silva & Neymar”

  1. I agree with u ..
    When u need to take points first u have to have Well players that believe the team.

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