Last season, Paris Saint-Germain became champions of France for the first time since 1994. It was a historic achievement and one that needs to be the start of a successful new era.
Dominating domestically has to be the priority. Ask Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus and co what their No.1 aim is next season – they will say retaining the league title. It should be the same for PSG. Chase too much too quickly and everything you have fall apart. So, PSG need to use what made them successful in 2012/2013 and build on it from August onwards.
This of course applies to Ligue 1 and the Champions League too. After all, Carlo Ancelotti’s men nearly knocked Barcelona out of the competition and didn’t lose to them over two legs. This proved that PSG can compete with the best. They can raise their game on home soil and get all over high-quality opponents, while they are not intimidated by some of the biggest challenges in football. Competing is one thing though – can PSG go on to conquer all and win the Champions League? Of course they can, but it is not going to happen overnight.
Patience is not a massively common trait in modern day football, but PSG need to have some. It is about adding a couple of top quality players each transfer window, not scratching things out and starting again.
Looking at the results in the Champions League last season, PSG only lost once – 1-0 reverse to Porto. Three of their four knockout games ended all square though and this needs to change. You cannot criticise it too much, but if PSG are to go to the next level, they perhaps need another match-winner in their ranks. When games are evenly poised, you need someone to swing it in your favour.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is obviously more than capable, but the top European teams have three or four players in this bracket. Someone like Wayne Rooney or Gareth Bale joining would be massive.
Clean sheets were a slight issue in Europe last season too, with just one on home soil. Perhaps a top-class defender to partner Thiago Silva is needed. A natural leader in the mould of Vincent Kompany would go down well.
Team spirit is then a massive factor for PSG. They need everyone working together as one and not motivated by money. Chasing success for the French Champions needs to be the priority.
Therefore, buying players for the sake of their high-profile name is not the way forward. They need to buy into the PSG way, understand where the club wants to be.
So, in summary, PSG are not TOO far away from being genuine Champions League contenders. At the same time, to get to that next level, they need to improve in certain areas. A world-class match winner alongside Zlatan, a leader at centre back, patience and willingness to keep the current crop together – this would be a start.