It would have taken something drastic to overshadow tonight’s meeting with Chelsea in the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League but Serge Aurier has managed to achieve that. One of PSG’s stars of the season looks to have committed career suicide in the French capital following his disparaging remarks about coach Laurent Blanc and his fellow teammates. Homophobic taunts as well as nasty comments about his fellow pros have led to him be indefinitely suspended by the club until a concrete decision is made regarding his punishment. Quite simply, his Paris Saint-Germain career looks to be over.
Here we were this time last week raving about another top quality performance from the Ivorian after a stellar campaign thus far and now he may never play for the club again. How can he? The level of disrespect is off the chain and poor Laurent Blanc, a man of integrity/honour, came across as massively let down by his player’s actions in yesterdays pre-match presser.
LB said; “I took it very badly. I think everyone can have their opinion but, two years ago, I really went to bat with my directors to bring Serge to the club. And that’s the thanks I get. I think it’s pathetic. I won’t say any more because we’re just a day out from a very important match. He has penalised himself. He should have been preparing for a Champions League last-16 tie. What I’m not admitting is that it penalises the club as well. He will have to accept the consequences for himself, but he has also hurt the club by saying what he said. There are lots of people in this younger generation who spend all their time apologising for things. Perhaps they would be better off thinking about what they’re saying before finding themselves in the position of having to apologise.”
You have to feel for the coach who just last week signed a brand new contract. He is right in what he said. He aided Aurier’s development, it was his call to bring him to the club and despite a tricky start to his PSG career last season, Blanc supported him. That really counts for nothing now. I cannot see anyway back for the player. If Blanc was to somehow forgive him – which is unlikely – then I doubt the players will. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Salvatore Sirigu and Gregory Van der Wiel, who he labelled as “s***e”, were all at the brunt of verbal taunts. It fathoms believe that he would say such things. Whether or not he knew the video would go viral from periscope doesn’t matter. It was incredibly stupid but also emphasises what kind of character he is as a person and that is a deceitful one.
The irony is that VDW who he insulted will compete with Marquinhos for a stating place tonight. Blanc is yet to decide who will start. Aurier will be sat at home mulling over his actions and left to sweat as the club’s hierarchy plot their next move. He has came out an apologised but the damage is already done you feel. I would be massively surprised if he was to adorn the navy blue shirt again.
In brighter news, Marco Verratti has signed a new one-year extension to his contract that keeps him at the Parc des Princes until 2020. Blanc was far more enthused to talk about the little Italian yesterday. He said; “I love this player and the way he goes about his game. He’s still young but he has a very mature game. He always lives up to his responsibilities. He wants to play and enjoy himself. You can feel it, and everyone else can too. It’s great to see him extend his contract. Will he start on Tuesday? There are some things to take into consideration. Marco has taken good care of himself for the last two weeks, but he is still short of match fitness. He has no more pain, and that’s very important. So we’ll see. He doesn’t have 90 minutes in his legs, which is understandable. But he will participate in the match. Will he start the match or finish it? That’s the question.”
As for the game itself, Chelsea captain John Terry has been ruled through injury. The former England international had to come off injured during their victory over Newcastle United last Saturday. As for ourselves, we do not have any major absentees with exception to Aurier – we can get used to that – and Ezequiel Lavezzi who is still mulling over a move to China.