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With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and Jeremy Menez out injured for the clash with Valencia on Wednesday night, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Kevin Gameiro would take up the mantle up top and lead the attack. However, he was once again thwarted as Carlo Ancelotti opted to utilise Lucas Moura a second-striker to work in tandem with Ezequiel Lavezzi.
With the team set up in a 4-4-2 system, it would have only made sense for Gameiro, as the only recognised striker there, to play some part in the line-up. Paris have used this system more so this season. It is very basic, unoriginal but certainly effective due to our personnel. We have al lot of pace and technically gifted players that can orchestrate the counter-attack to an absolute tee, punishing teams with its intensity. Gameiro fits that bill, he is very quick, nimble but the only thing that lets him down at times is his confidence.
He will have been hurt massively on Wednesday upon hearing the news that he was not to start. Still, you would never have known. He gets on with his job with no qualms, no complaints. He just gets on with being a professional footballer. There have been times this season when Nene and Menez had thrown a strop due to a lack of playing time, which has been detrimental to them and their relationship with Ancelotti. Gameiro has been different and he must be lauded for that. With the talent he has he could easily have thrown his toys out of the pram. I mean he is fighting an unenviable task of competing for the centre-forward role with Zlatan Ibrahimovic which he is not going to overcome but Wednesday was an opportunity that eluded him due to the decision making of his coach. Carlo will have had his reasons and you can see why he opted for Lucas to play alongside Lavezzi as he would have felt that his pace would have hurt Los Che on the counter-attack behind the defence. Even so, not many strikers in France have the potency of KG which we lacked in the game.
Trailing 1-0, he came on for Thiago Motta just before the hour-mark and he undoubtedly made the difference. It was his sparkling run which led to Lavezzi’s equaliser and it was the first real sight all night of a PSG attacker taking real responsibility. Even with his confidence at a low he still had the ability to come up with a dazzling run that swung the tie back in our favour with the La Liga side piling on the pressure.
Zlatan is back tomorrow for the game against Nancy so the Frenchman will probably find himself back on the bench. It is a shame for him because from a professional point of view he has been exemplary and we should not forget that. He will most probably be seeking pastures new in the summer which he cannot be blamed for. A player with his talent should be playing every week but unfortunately that will not be at the Parc des Princes.