GUEST POST BY JON DODD
Jon is an avid supporter of Paris Saint-Germain who has taken the time to write for 1970 PSG. In this article he gives a brief summary on what has transpired at the Parc des Princes and what perhaps the future holds.
Not since 1995 had Le Parisiens looked forward to a season with such excitement. Back then it was to affirm their place as worthy reigning champions – which they just fell short of – but a Domestic Cup double certainly made up for it
This season however, their results are being scrutinised and dissected not wholly from results on the pitch, but also off it after Qatar Sports Investments acquired a 70% controlling stake in the club, rocketing it financially to be on a par with Europe’s elite.
Leonardo was drafted in from Internazionale to become responsible for attracting talent to the Parc des Princes, as the new director of football. He helped lure the likes of Jeremy Menez, Mohamed Sissoko,Salvatore Sirigu and Javier Pastore. The latter for €42M, smashing the previous record – €33.5M for Nicolas Anelka back in 2000 – and resulting in the world of football sitting up to take notice at the new revolution in the French capital.
Before Ligue 1 had even begun, PSG were installed as red hot favourites, a tag that on the pitch seemed difficult at first to cope with. In fact losing the first game at home to Lorient (0-1) combined with a draw away to Rennes (1-1) had many questioning the club’s ability to mount a serious title challenge.
Their results in Europe overshadowed a good run of results in the league including a win against fellow title chasers Montpellier away (0-3) and Olympique Lyonnais at home (2-0). However, with those highs also came the lows. A lacklustre draw with Bordeaux (1-1), a home loss to Nancy (0-1) and a stalemate at home to Lille (0-0).
Lack of consistency and ever growing media gossip proved a huge weight on Coach Antoine Kombouare. Even an away win in Saint Etienne (0-1) before the winter break could not prevent a change being made by the wealthy new owners and ‘Toni’ was replaced by Monsieur Ancelotti at the end of last month.
The new Coach has enjoyed fantastic success in Europe and is aided by a profile befitting a club that is aspiring to compete and be recognised worldwide.
The PSG brand will undoubtedly be enhanced by its financial ability to dig deep for quality, but the players themselves must be the right ones to take the team forward. Qualification for the Champions League would be a massive step forward both on and off the pitch – taking the club to that next level.
Now with everything off the pitch seemingly in place, who or what comes next? New UEFA fair play rules come into effect for the 2013-14 season, meaning there will be a cut back on mammoth spending in the transfer market. As well as investing in players, QSI must also ensure the younger talent at Camp des Loges are nurtured correctly and give them an opportunity to compete for first-team births.
One thing is for sure, there are exciting times ahead as Monsieur Ancelotti looks to map out a prosperous era for those affiliated to the Parisians.
Thank-you to Jon for this article. You can follow him on Twitter @longjonsilver79