What a strange old week it has been for Paris Saint-Germain. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s outburst has caused uproar. Public apologies galore. Politicians airing their disapproval. UEFA dishing out bans. And a high speed car chase involving a PSG supporter in California made the news in Le Parisien. But, at least Maxwell signed a new one year contract until 2016 which is wonderful!
Ever since the 3-2 defeat away to Bordeaux last Sunday, Ibra’s comments about refereeing standards in France – and his terminology which has been interpreted in different ways – has left a blemish on the club. The defeat at the Stade Chamban Delmas was disappointing but to be honest, after the heroics in West London against Chelsea, you can forgive it in a way. But it does not excuse the fact though that the performance was one of our worst of the season. Ibra’s comments afterwards seemed to overshadow that.
Serge Aurier has been given a three game ban for his outburst at referee Bjorn Kuipers on social media last week. UEFA have also given Zlatan a ban for the first-leg of the Champions League quarter-final after his red card against Chelsea. But good news! Maxwell, Mr Underrated, has signed a new one-year contract which sees him tied to the club until 2016. He did however reveal that it is more than likely that next season will be his last before he hangs up his boots. In an interview with the club’s official site he said; “My last contract, yes. You never know what will happen, but I am planning on ending my career here in Paris next season”.
Whatever he does, he along with Thiago Motta have been two of the club’s best signings in the modern era. I remonstrate this all the time; their value to the Parisian cause in these last three years has been massive! Maxwell is an exceptional player and equally as a human being. Will be a sad day when he departs the football club.
Back to matters tonight, Lorient make the visit to the Parc des Princes. With ‘Le Classique’ in two weeks, it is imperative we pick up three points later on. We can go top of the table, at least temporarily – again! Lyon and Marseille’s stalemate last weekend was a real blessing for us.
I think a break will have done the players good. There were no games during the week but most of the first-team squad will depart for international duty on Monday. Coach Laurent Blanc will only have his squad back in full for a few days ahead of that massive duel at the Velodrome.
Victory over FCL will sign us off nicely for the break. Blanc knows that this is a crucial stage of the season and wants his player to earn all three points. He said in his pre-match presser; “We want to take the three points. This is the most important thing. We are entering the final sprint, with three or four clubs who hope to be champions…Lyon, Marseille,but also Monaco. We must return to winning ways in the league, at home, in front of our fans”.
We came out on top in the reverse fixture last November on the infamous artificial pitch but Lorient have not beat us in Paris since that rain sodden night on the opening day of the 2011/12 season. It will be a downpour of sorts if that was to happen tonight.