Kylian Mbappé is a polite boy rarely guilty of verbal neglect. But even he lost his phlegm when Neymar began to tackle to cut opponents’ raises against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday (6-1). “I saw it, damn! dropped PSG No. 7. When we talk about awareness: Neymar tackling, it speaks to the whole team. It’s great “.
The spontaneity of the 21-year-old young man highlights a new aspect among Parisian players, notably the Neymar-Mbappé-Icardi-Di Maria offensive quartet that Thomas Tuchel has aligned for the third time in the last six games. These fantastic four began to make defensive efforts that we did not know them. Obviously, this was the sine qua non condition for them to be associated. Listening to the players in the game, the instruction was heard.
VIDEO. Mbappé: “There has been an awareness”
In this case, there was a before and after Real – PSG (2-2) at the end of November when the entry into play of Neymar at half-time allowed the dream quartet to evolve together for the first time. of the season for half an hour. But despite the equalization torn off at the end of the match thanks to Mbappé and Sarabia, the team displayed an imbalance crying out as the front four were reluctant to defend, Mbappé and Neymar in the lead. It would therefore be the same people who would have decided to remedy it to save a system in which they are having fun.
Madrid, evening of click
“There has been an awareness that it is not enough for players of this level to put in so little effort,” said Kylian Mbappé expertly. It is not yet perfect, but we are much better. It is not a question of system. Even three, we have to make the effort. An observation validated by Mauro Icardi. “The attackers work for the defenders,” slips the Argentinian. This is the state of mind that we need for decisive matches ”.
“We talked in the locker room after the Madrid match,” says Marco Verratti. We said to ourselves that if we wanted to change the system, everyone had to run. In today’s football, in the big teams, there are only great players and if you don’t press them, they can play ball. That’s why we changed our mentality a bit. “
Behind the four fantastic whose defensive work still remains too often on alternating current, circles confirm that the change of attitude makes their task easier. And that of a coach whose choices are somewhat constrained by the offensive richness of his workforce … “We are lucky to have four of the ten best players in the world,” added Verratti. Leaving one on the bench is really difficult for football. Thanks to the work in training, we also manage to defend well and recover the ball. If we want to play like this, we all have to make the effort. They are the first to defend. Its very important “.
“If Ney makes an effort, we have to follow him”
The Italian and his friend from the middle Idrissa Gueye have nevertheless always more work in this configuration. Even against Stéphanois reduced to ten for an hour, the two players were also the Parisians who touched the most balls behind Neymar and multiplied the races to cut raises not always braked by their teammates. An analysis that Verratti does not (officially) share. “I play next to Neymar and I don’t even remember making an effort for him, he is always involved,” assures the Italian. Ney is a good example because if he makes an effort, everyone has to follow him. ”
VIDEO. Verratti: “At PSG, we have four of the ten best players in the world”
However, it remains to be seen whether this new, convincing implication against Saint-Etienne or Amiens will be as effective during a shock in the Champions League and in particular in Dortmund on February 18. “If everyone is there, we can play like that. We also showed it last season against Liverpool or Manchester United, recalls Thomas Tuchel who nevertheless considered until recently impossible to do without three defensive midfielders in the Champions League. After that depends on which frame of mind one plays with, what motivation and what intensity. The most important thing is not the system but what state of mind we play with. ”