Beaten by business, Paris Saint-Germain must above all avoid losing a title of champion of France which is still reaching out to them, with a trip a priori not very dangerous to Troyes on Sunday, even without Lionel Messi or Neymar.
In the hell of the “gates”. Shaken by the “Messigate” and the new “Neymargate”, while the embers of the case of suspicions of racism around the Nice period of Christophe Galtier are still hot, the PSG has an eleventh crown in Ligue 1 to seize, with three points ahead of Lens, winner of Marseille (2-1) on Saturday evening.
The atmosphere has become so harmful around the Parisian club that it obscures the major feat that PSG is about to accomplish, becoming the most successful in the French Championship, when he was only born in 1970 (against 1919 for Saint-Étienne and its ten titles).
The internal suspension of Lionel Messi for several days, for his promotional jaunt to Saudi Arabia without the permission of the general staff and the siege of Neymar’s home by a hundred angry supporters have stained the atmosphere.
A little pressure fell with the public apologies of the “Pulga”.
The atmosphere remains tense
“I apologize to my teammates and I wait for what the club will decide. I apologize to my partners and the club,” the player, dressed in a suit, explained in a short video posted Friday on Instagram.
But the atmosphere has remained tense for several weeks, between the elimination without firing a shot in the Champions League against Bayern Munich (1-0/2-0), the quarrel with the town hall of Paris for the takeover of the Parc des Princes, the rebellion of the supporters in front of the club’s headquarters or the post of Kylian Mbappé, unhappy with the use of his image for a renewal campaign…
Sportingly, the results are down sharply in 2023. While PSG had finished 2022 unbeaten, it has since January 1 conceded six defeats in L1, plus one in the Coupe de France, in Marseille in addition, and therefore two in C1.
Galtier, who still assures that he sees himself there again next year, cannot find a solution, his team has not played two intense halves for ages and remains on a completely failed match at home against Lorient, with another defeat (3-1).
But the coach minimizes the effects of pitching. “There is a big gap between everything you can read, write and invent and the reality of the locker room,” he replied in a pre-match press conference.
Troyes one foot in L2
He does not evade “the news of the beginning of the week, the suspension of Leo (…) the poor performance, we are not hiding behind anything. Tell you that we are living a pleasant period? No , I grant you that. But there is a goal to achieve, the players are working”.
Fortunately for them, their Sunday night opponent has one foot in Ligue 2 and the other on a banana peel. Troyes is ten points behind on maintenance before the start of the 34th day, almost eleven with its disastrous goal difference (-29).
Estac has not won since January 2, in Strasbourg (3-2), a victory then precious in the fight to maintain. The Aubois were then 13th, with a five-point margin on relegation.
This is the only match ever won in France by Australian coach Patrick Kisnorbo, appointed during the World Cup break.
Galtier warns that Troyes “still has hope mathematically of being able to get out of it, even if it’s going to be difficult”, and will “want to beat PSG”.
Finally, he intends to “try to maintain a dynamic outside, because we are surely better outside than at home”. This is perhaps the only upward curve at PSG at the moment…