Friday, 3 August 2012

Window shopping over as PSG prepare to tackle the mighty Barcelona

Like most football fans I struggle to get excited about pre-season friendlies, described brilliantly by Nick Hornby in Fever Pitch as methadone football - giving us addicts a taste without the kick of the real thing.

But playing Barcelona is always pretty exciting, so I'll probably be tuning in tomorrow night when Messi, Iniesta, and co arrive at the Parc-des-Princes for Paris Saint-Germain's last warm-up match of the summer. It's a shame Pep Guardiola is no longer in charge of the Spanish side, as it would have been interesting to see him and Ibra get re-acquainted. This is what happened last time they met. Maybe.

With just a week to go until the start of the new Ligue 1 season, we might get a few clues as to what sort of team Carletto will pick for the big kick-off against Lorient.

Amidst the usual bland platitudes, the boss used his pre-game press conference to confirm that there will be no more new signings this transfer window. This is sad news because it could mean an end to PSG window bingo until January, but on the other hand it might put a stop to ridiculous stories like today's crop which suggested we might sign Ashley Cole.

"Yes, for us the transfer window is over," said Ancelotti. "I think the club has done a fantastic job this summer. It is true that many rumours still come from the English press, but do not listen to what they say."

A good lesson for life there I feel, never listen to the English press. Hopefully we won't be letting anyone go either. Although the world and his mother have been lining up to predict the departures of Sakho, Chantome, Gameiro, Armand, et al, we don't have the squad depth to cope with those guys leaving. Certainly it seems the club will be hanging on Sakho and Chantome to help them comply with Champions League home-grown player rules.

Sakho, who is likely to start the season in the team with Thiago Silva away at the Olympics, seems to have got over his little hissy fit from earlier in the summer.

"This season, I have big ambitions. Very big!" He told the official website. Note the jaunty exclamation mark, this surely erases any remaining doubt about how big the French international's ambitions are.

He continued: "We want to win the Ligue 1 title and the Champions League is also very, very important for us this season. It won't be easy, but we are building a team here.

"Above all, everyone has that burning desire to succeed. That's important. To hear the Champions League music at the Parc des Princes, that will be something incredible for me, a dream come true."

Bless him, I wonder if he has it on his iPod?

Sissoko and Motta remain on the injured list ahead of tomorrow's match, Menez and Lugano aren't in consideration either due to fitness issues, and Chantome could miss out due to sickness. Kick off at the Parc is 6.45pm UK time.


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