Hey James, agreed. However, I think that people are still far too quick to harshly criticise PSG and Blanc. Le President is yet to have a fully fit squad to choose from (still!). Not once have we seen him pick his first choice XI so far this season. Also, some of the players under the most pressure/getting the most criticism (Matuidi for example) have been run into the ground. Not only did Blaise play almost every match last season, he featured heavily at the WC and has played a lot since the start of this season. When he was suppose to be rested (after his operation) a few weeks ago, he had not choice but to play because of the problems in CM. A lot of the criticism of certain individuals is unfair. Yes, Blanc could work more on accommodating Cavani & Ibrahimovic better, but injuries and unavailability have impacted on every single squad selection Blanc has made this campaign. I am not sure if we will see that situation change before the end of 2014. Once it does, though, I think we will see Blanc experiment a bit more and look to accommodate Zlatan & Cavani better. Winter tour is a a bad idea this year, as a lot of the players need some rest.
Hi James, sorry for my delayed reply. Thanks for your question though! I don't always see these messages when they first arrive, hence the belated response.
I'd say that the chances of Blanc switching from his preferred 4-3-3 are small unless one of Ibra & Cavani gets injured. However, a lot will also depend on the wide players. At end of the day, PSG lost out to Barca last year because they did not take their best chances (particularly at home). Lavezzi was guilty on a number of occasions & because of that, Cavani will start alongside Ibra when fit.
Whether or not Lavezzi, Lucas or Pastore start is another question.
Whatever happens, Blanc will not abandon his 3-man midfield unit. I think seeing someone like Cabaye or Pastore drop into number 10 role behind Cavani & Ibra is more likely. However, that leaves PSG with very little width.
Bottom line is, this team is very close to being finished article, but it needs 2 things.
1- it needs better options out wide. Or at least one better option. I would say Griezmann in with Menez & Lavezzi out.
2- PSG need greater strength in depth. Bring in Mangala & shift out Camara with Alex becoming the backup. Bring in Pogba & have 6 midfielders capable of rotation like Bayern have. Possibly need 1-2 more experienced players too, certainly a backup striker.
IMO it would be a mistake to sell Lucas & Pastore is unsellable in his current state. Cash in on Lavezzi, let Menez go for nothing, force Camara into retirement or sell him. Also need new substitute RB. Once signed, sell Jallet.
I hope that answers your question adequately! Once again, sorry for the delayed reply!
I agree entirely. The big issue Blanc has is:
Lavezzi - inconsistent
Pastore - very inconsistent
Cavani - out of position
Lucas - frequently makes bad choices
It's pick your poison out of 4 options that are good/great, but not world-class. There's a drawback with each one, and that must be seriously annoying!
Lucas is the best fit of all on the right systematically but often shows bad decision-making. The way to improve this is to give him a run of games/extended run in the side, but Blanc can't do that because of the presence of Cavani.
Can't win! Who'd manage, huh?
I watch a bit of PSG, fairly well updated.
Cavani has done very well from the right, but I honestly put it down to individual quality of his rather than a victory of any system. I think he's shoe-horned in on the right and there are formations, as you say, that could be better suited.
It's difficult to criticise them at this point as they're dominating Ligue 1 and are into the QFs, but I thought it was a blessing in disguise for Blanc that Cavani was injured this week. It meant he play Lucas—a player more suited to the system imo—without annoying Edinson.
I've come to respect your analysis on all things Brazilian, so I was wondering if you wouldn't mind taking some time to talk a bit about Willian? I've only rarely seen him play and I have yet to find any really great write-ups about him.
I'm interested in knowing what you think of him. Is he a strong finisher? Is he selfish at all? Does he work defensively? Just how good is he? So on and so forth.
Honestly what is it with your holier then thou commentary ? Douche !