Other times, not so long ago, we might have been talking about a warm-up, giving this meeting on the fifth day of the French League the appearance of a warm-up session before the “Grand Prix”, more flashy, of next week. Nice, and this is no insult, are no match for Dortmund and Olympique Olympique who will come on Tuesday and Sunday respectively to give the Parc des Princes its first autumn thrill on the European and national scene.
But Paris has repeated this enough this summer, and expressed it enough in words and gestures, so that we do not forget that nothing today in the capital is like yesterday. Those who left, from Neymar to Messi, including the unforgettable Verratti, knew that behind-the-scenes management, and perhaps even human management, would never be the same again. Those who remained noted that the change extended to the theater, which had not yet offered the leading role to the reigning champion.
No better attack, no better defense: first since 2016
It may be anecdotal that just four days into the tournament, this second place in Ligue 1, two behind leaders Monaco, is a reminder that Paris is a late starter compared to the past two years. After a month of competition, he cannot boast of being, for the first time since 2016, the best attack or the best defense in Ligue 1.
Nothing exciting, of course, but the statistics confirm that Luis Enrique’s training is still continuing. If he maintains two convincing victories, against Lens (3-1) and in Lyon (1-4), it is too early to believe that he has found his breakout speed, as his impudent percentage of possession of the ball does not prevent him from doing so. For example, from being exposed to danger too often.
Paris can certainly rely on their new Spanish coach to keep their troops on alert, even if it is difficult to imagine them being trapped by overconfidence. In fact, the danger may come from the opposite, as the international break may have shaken the certainty that has begun to take hold.
If Marquinhos, author of Brazil’s winning goal against Peru this week, Portuguese Gonzalo Ramos, author of the double, or Bradley Barcola, also decisive in hopes, returned all the smiles, some bad news accompanied the Parisians’ return to the Poissy campus.
Donnarumma was thus heavily selected due to his fault with the team, Marco Asensio joined the infirmary until the end of the month due to a foot injury, Fabian Ruiz injured the thigh and Randall Colo Mwani, and was having difficulty progressing. Tuesday in Dortmund against Germany.
Even more embarrassing is that Kylian Mbappé returned home with patellar tendon pain. Not enough to make him miss training this Thursday. But perhaps that will be enough to force his coach to be lenient with him a little before the summit matches next week.