After the season that Paris Saint Germain has had, it feels awfully strange to be sitting here and questioning the job that Laurent Blanc has done for the French champions. He has guided the Parisians to the Ligue 1 title for the fourth year, and has dominated France for the same amount of time, but that doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter, because what do you actually achieve by doing that?
For the longest time, I have tried to defend Laurent Blanc, Ligue 1 and PSG and how they can be a dominant force in Europe, but after watching the Champions League tie against Manchester City, I was left completely baffled by everything I had watched. Lining up in a 3-5-2 was always a risk for a team that has never played the formation, but to see how they played just ruined the occasion.
Not taking anything away from Manchester City, but they gifted Paris with an almighty chance to go through to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League, with Sergio Aguero missing a penalty, and City didn’t really put the game to bed until the goal that eventually settled the tie. PSG had the chance to win and advance, but they didn’t take it.
Sure, the players have to be held accountable for not showing up over the two legs, but the problem is more than just the players. Blanc hasn’t helped PSG past the Quarter-Final stage of the Champions League in his reign, and that is his problem.
Blanc is not a bad manager by any stretch of the imagination, but for a club that wants to make progress, he can’t give them progression. It’s very like Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, where he delivered the Premier League trophy, but his Champions League record just didn’t cut it. Mancini was let go, replaced by Manuel Pellegrini and the Chilean has finally reached the Semi-Finals.
Meanwhile, Laurent Blanc can’t get past the Quarter-Finals. Granted, they played Barcelona last season, but they let a 3-1 first leg lead against Chelsea, and couldn’t dispatch of the fourth best team in England. The fourth, they’re not even top! Blanc can’t take this team further, and as much as I want to defend him for what he has done domestically, none of the top stars in world football would want to play in a team where the manager lets a player play in the most important game of the season, despite said player calling the manager homophobic slurs.
Would I expect to see the Frenchman at the Parc des Princes next season? If PSG find a replacement, not at all, but finding someone to take that job will be a tough task. In my opinion, and on the back of the Champions League exit, it will take a massive job to clear out some of the players at Paris.