Published: 17:13 BST, 16 September 2020 | Updated: 19:43 BST, 16 September 2020
Paris Saint-Germain’s players are losing faith in boss Thomas Tuchel and feel his only tactic is to give the ball to Neymar, according to reports in France.
RMC Sport detailed how the atmosphere in the dressing room following the 1-0 defeat by Marseille in Le Classique was ‘catastrophic’ and led to some players questioning where the group is going under Tuchel’s guidance.
Bemoaning a lack of creativity through the French champion’s midfield, players are said to have joked privately that the main tactic for this side is, ‘Give the ball to Ney (Neymar), have to look for Ney.’
Concerns have also been raised about Tuchel’s management of Mauro Icardi, who joined the club permanently from Inter Milan for £52m earlier this year, after PSG were left impressed with his loan spell.
But Icardi played no part in the Champions League semi finals or final and RMC detailed how the relationship between the Argentine and Tuchel is ‘cold’, another area of concern going forward.
PSG have lost the opening two matches of their Ligue 1 title defence and sit 18th ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Metz.
The joke among players is that the plan is to continually give the ball to Neymar (pictured)
Tuchel has been left bemused by repeated questions over his future in the wake of such a disastrous start to the 2020-21 campaign.
Speaking ahead of the Metz match, he said: ‘It is always like this. If he loses a final, he has to go, if he loses to Dortmund, he has to go. If he loses this, if he loses that, if he loses this… It is always like that.
‘This is not new. It is a sport here. You do this, not me. I do not read what is written about my future, I am calm.’
The 1-0 defeat by Marseille saw the referee brandish five red cards, three of which were awarded to PSG with Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa and Neymar all being dismissed before the end.
Those three players will play no part at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday and Tuchel knows with the club already suffering a ‘crisis’ another defeat could be costly – particularly for himself.
Tuchel described the early season slump as a ‘crisis’ but is bemused by talk of his future
He will be without Neymar (left) and Layvin Kurzawa (second left) as they saw red on Sunday
‘This is the reality, yes, we have a crisis of results. We remain on three consecutive defeats, we are not used to that, but it is important to look at the context and analyse the facts,’ Tuchel said.
‘For me, we had a good game on Sunday. We must not only stop at the result. We were missing our four forwards in this game.
‘Many players had Covid and we started the season without a friendly match and without real pre-season preparations.’
Both Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi had earlier been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 but it remains unclear if they are fit and eligible to face Metz in Paris on Wednesday.
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