After Nantes – Paris Saint-Germain (0-3): Neymar, or the art of management by Christophe Galtier (PSG)

After Nantes - Paris Saint-Germain (0-3): Neymar, or the art of management by Christophe Galtier (PSG)
It was a first. Until now, Christophe Galtier had systematically aligned his Messi-Neymar-Mbappé trio when the three stars of the Parisian attack were operational. But the Parisian coach had warned that there would be a rotation. That one of these three men could occasionally start the game as a substitute. Three days before the meeting with Juventus Turin in the Champions League, Galtier kept his word. Saturday, against Nantes (0-3)Neymar had to resolve to start on the bench.

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The Brazilian did not seem particularly marked by the choice of Galtier. Less than when the Parisian coach decided to take him out during the match against Toulouse (0-3) on Wednesday. Face closed, the former Barcelonan had joined the bench dragging his feet. At La Beaujoire he was in a much better mood. Smiling, relaxed, not hesitating to joke with the other Parisian substitutes, Neymar accepted his situation until his entry, shortly after the hour mark.

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Galtier had taken care to prepare the ground. It wasn’t easy. Not just in relation to Neymar’s personality. Also because the Brazilian was the strong man at the start of the Parisian season, with 7 goals and 6 assists in 5 league matches before this meeting. “There is always the risk of breaking the dynamic from the moment it is not accepted by the playerexplained the PSG coach at a press conference. But I had a long discussion yesterday (Friday, editor’s note) with ‘Ney’, I made the decision and he accepted it very well.”

“Promote partner entries”

It didn’t take long for Galtier to achieve what his predecessors never really attempted. Even if the context may be more suitable for the former Nice coach in a very tight season. “It is an obligation in relation to the busy schedule“, he recalled at the microphone of Canal +, using a term he had already used after the victory in Toulouse.We play a lot, after there will be the World Cup. I talked about it with each other and with the whole group. You have to have the right attitude and value the entries of partners.”

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Exactly. His choice to bring in Neymar in place of Mbappé, beyond the need to manage the playing time of the two men three days before a crucial meeting against Juventus, was not trivial. The French striker has sometimes reacted badly when he has been substituted in the past. The pill was certainly a little easier to swallow when he gave way to Neymar. Another star who had just spent an hour on the bench waiting his turn without showing his displeasure.

If Galtier left Leo Messi on the pitch until the end, after having taken him out at the end of the match in Toulouse, he had made another remarkable choice by doing without Sergio Ramos at kick-off. The Parisian coach shows that he is capable of making strong decisions. But above all its ability to make them pass smoothly. This is a crucial issue for a coach who had never coached players of this caliber in his career. His ability to impose himself in Paris will depend a lot on his management of egos. The way is still long. But he seems on the right track.

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