Monday, 20 May 2013

A weekend in Paris: Ancelotti's exit, Beckham's tears and PSG's title

Those who remember Paris Saint-Germain from the pre-QSI days will know the club has a habit of flitting from one disaster to the next.

Though the relegation battles and financial strife of the 2000s are now a thing of the past (we hope), there was something decidedly old-skool about the weekend's events.

Because despite the fact that the club was celebrating it's first title win in 19 years, and was officially presented with the trophy before Saturday's 3-1 win over Brest, all the talk since has been about two men who are leaving: Carlo Ancelotti and David Beckham.

Ancelotti has been dodging questions about his future for several months, but confirmed the worst-kept secret in French Football - that he wants to bugger off to Real Madrid this summer - to reporters at last night's Ligue 1 awards ceremony, where he was named joint-coach of the year with St Etienne's Christophe Galtier.

“We had a meeting [with club president Nasser al Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo] and I asked to leave the club," said Ancelotti, who is likely to replace Chelsea-bound Jose Mourinho.

I've discussed the Ancelotti issue at length before, and I think the important thing now is that it's sorted quickly one way or the other. The last thing we need is a long, drawn-out, process of changing coach which disrupts the preparations for next season. Ancelotti has done a decent job - not great, but decent - and I'll be sad to see him go, but usually in football once a player of manager has had his head turned, there is very little you can do to unturn it.

President Nasser reckons he can do some unturning, presumably by stuffing a even bigger bag of oil money in Ancelotti's pocket

"We talked [with Ancelotti] and he asked us to go to Real Madrid, but I told him it was not possible because he has one year left on his contract," he said. "I'm not angry, but disappointed. I hope we can change his mind".

I admire Nasser's optimism, but he sounds like a poor deluded husband whose wife has informed him she's bored and is considering going off with a better-looking bloke.

Speaking of better looking blokes, Beckham has left the building after a teary finale on Saturday night.

"It couldn't have been more perfect," said the former England skipper of his final match, which saw him take the captain's armband and provide an assist for PSG's second goal, a corner which was converted by Blaise Matuidi.

"The emotions started kicking in earlier today, when the manager called me in and said 'we've spoken to the players, it's the players' idea - we want to make you captain.' It's really special for an Englishman to be captain of PSG - especially on a night that meant so much to the club and the players. It was an amazing gesture and one I'll always be thankful for.

"Tonight was a nice way to go out, in front of my own fans. It was a capacity crowd that were excited because we have won the league. The celebrations have been incredible so it was a nice way to walk off the pitch."
Such a perfect day, and I'm glad we spent it with you Becks.

In Zlatan's head, Zlatan is the only story that matters, and he continued his quest to become the first player since Jean Pierre-Papin in 1989/90 to score 30 Ligue 1 goals in a season, netting a brace as PSG cruised past already relegated Brest. 

Visiting keeper Alexis Thebaux might feel he should have done better on all three goals, with Ibra's first shot going through his body, and Matuidi's bouncing effort spinning up over the goalkeeper. Thebaux also got a hand to Zlatan's second, a 25-yard free kick, but could only help it on it's way into the net. Charlison Benschop notched a late reply for Brest, beating substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who joined the action in the second half to make his first appearance of the season and ensure he would pick up a league winner's medal.

Zlatan has since been crowned Ligue 1's player of the year, and joins six team-mates - Sirigu, Jallet, Thiago Silva, Maxwell, Matuidi and Verratti, in the divisional team of the year, which is nice.

While Becks and Carletto are getting out, Carlos Tevez is very much warming to the prospect of a move to France. You may remember that we were heavily linked with Tevez in January 2012, but the striker wasn't very keen and remained at Manchester City. Now Kia Joorabchian is feeling a bit poor the PSG project has moved on and Tevez says he would be happy to pitch up in France, be it a PSG or Monaco.

"There was interest from PSG for me, and we talked with Leonardo, but we could not reach an agreement," Tevez told Telefoot, while making the little 'call me' sign with his hand into the camera.

"But it remains an interesting option as the French championship is moving very fast. If Leonardo called me, it's not a problem for me to come, really no problem to come to Paris and France."


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms