Trophée des Champions – PSG – Nantes: Authority, preparation, tactical choices… Galtier has already restored order to PSG

Christophe Galtier’s adventure at PSG really begins on Sunday evening in Tel Aviv. The French champions face Nantes, winners of the Coupe de France, as part of the Champions Trophy with the ambition of winning a first title this season. This will be an opportunity for the new Parisian coach to validate his successful debut during the summer preparation.

He was not the favorite to become PSG manager and his arrival was met with skepticism by many Parisian observers and supporters. Christophe Galtier has however benefited from the appointment of Luis Campos as sports adviser to President Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The technician has the full support of his management and, unlike his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, he can make real decisions.

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Between calm and firmness

Appearing serene and confident during his presentation press conference, Galtier immediately formed a solid duo with Campos and put in place a well-defined working framework for a group of players who were sorely lacking it. Everyone must now comply with training schedules and respect their individual program. It seems logical but this has not been the case in recent years at PSG.

“Galtier is a mini Didier Deschamps”

Just inducted coach of the reigning French champions, Galtier found that his squad was too large and included players who no longer wanted to earn their place on the pitch. In perfect collaboration with Campos, he decided to do without these demotivated elements.

“The DNA of my players is to play, to take risks”

His speech pleased the other players and even Neymar fell into line after suffering a few verbal stings. The locker room adhered perfectly to his speech and accepted it well when Galtier had never had stars like those of PSG at his disposal and was eagerly awaited at the management level. Renowned for the defensive aspect of his tactical choices, the former coach of Lille and Nice has also been able to develop his principles of play to better match the qualities of his men.

“Even if we never want to concede goals or concede too many chances, the DNA of my players is to play, to take risks, to attack and to score as many goals as possible and above all we must not not seek to change that”, he explained after the 6-2 victory over Gamba Osaka earlier this week.

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The man who began his career as number one coach at Saint-Etienne has set up a precise athletic preparation program after an off-season without major international competition. Several players have returned to training earlier than expected and all of them, from Kylian Mbappé to Leo Messi who is surfing on his last matches with Argentina after a very disappointing first season in Ligue 1, appear to be in full possession of their physical means.

“We trained a lot, we played a lot with little recovery time, explained the technician again at the end of the pre-season Japanese tour. But overall, I’m satisfied with both this game (note, against Osaka) and more generally with the three games we played here in Japan.”

A 3-4-1-2 in place

A follower of the 4-4-2 that he exported from LOSC to the Gym, Galtier chose to switch to another tactical system when he arrived in Paris. While Pochettino did not dare to opt permanently for a three-man defense last year, the French coach did not hesitate. He is betting on Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe and a Sergio Ramos finally recovered from his muscular problems to better use the offensive qualities of the pistons Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi.

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The three players do not lack individual experience but also common benchmarks and automatisms. The other defenders will also have to rise to the occasion when the coach calls on them, which was not completely the case during the Japanese tour. “We need to be more structured and less messy, acknowledged Galtier. It’s a very important line of work, to give the opponent no chance and show a much tougher face in the next matches”.

The new Parisian coach has also decided to place Messi as a playmaker behind two attackers. If Neymar should start against the Canaries on Sunday evening, Mbappé will be suspended. Arnaud Kalimuendo and Pablo Sarabia who have both shown desire and efficiency in front of the opposing goal during the friendly matches are applying for a place in the starting lineup.

The new kid Hugo Ekitike has not yet played in his new colors but he says he is ready to face this tough competition and make his coach doubt. “As soon as he gives me his trust, I will give him back on and off the pitch,” promised the 20-year-old rookie in the columns of the Parisian. Christophe Galtier has a workforce full of talent, all he has to do is use it efficiently.

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