Paris Saint-Germain slumped to a huge defeat against Arsenal in their pre-season friendly when the two teams met at the Singapore National Stadium. PSG were helpless to stop the onslaught which saw them let in five goals.
Barring Christopher Nkunku’s penalty, the French side only managed two other shots on target. Perhaps it was the heat, or the lack of their World Cup stars – but the PSG youngsters looked lost when Arsenal poured forward.
Here’s what Thomas Tuchel had to say about his team’s performance.
Your thoughts on the match.
It was a very open and intensive match from the start. Obviously we did not want it to end like this, but it did. We had a good start in the first half, but we were too open in the middle and conceded a transition goal. We lost confidence and made too many easy mistakes.
Perhaps the approach was too optimistic, we wanted to control the game and have the confidence to do so. It was my approach today and i take the blame because the guys were training well.
The quality on the other side was a English Premier League team that could play in any competition in Europe, the quality was too high to dominate them on the ball. We had a great start in the second half, were more calm and in control. We deserved the equalizer, but after the changes made by Arsenal there was no chance for us to come back.
It is very important that our players don’t get injured because the intensity is so high.
PSG was without their key players due to the world cup, but Arsenal had almost a full squad – is that an advantage for them this season?
Yes of course. Are they in Europe? Oh Europa league, okay.
We saw this with Chelsea three years ago when they became champions, it’s a big advantage there. These kind of preseasons is complicated for teams with players who are on extended holidays, it’s almost impossible to manage.
We need our players to rest, at the same time we want them back to adapt to the team. The league starts very early and we have to manage all this without complaints.
Your thoughts on Timothy Weah and the legacy he has to fill?
It does not change anything, it maybe hard for him to step out of his father’s name and achievements. He has an outstanding combination of endurance and speed and we are making him aware that this is his main weapon.
The basics are there on a very high level, but for now we are pushing him in every training to step up his game.
Any chance for Arsenal to lift the English Premier League trophy?
I guess so, but i’m concentrated in my team. It’s hard to predict what will happen in the EPL. we have to focus on our own team and preparations.
Any reinforcements coming to Singapore?
Angel Di Maria is coming, with two more players. They might play in our next match and help us. Thiago Silva and Marquinhos will be here as well, then we have to fly off to China for the Super Cup.
We have the responsibility to train them and ensure they have proper rest. We need to add players to the squad because its really tight and we cannot expect the current team to shoulder everything.
Top Clubs are missing players due to the World Cup, what is the impact of this?
It has a big impact, everyone wants to watch it and we all love it. There must be a solution to the World Cup years for leagues to be started later. There is no reason we can’t tweak the schedule to ensure our players have enough rest.
It is a players game and we have to protect them, but it gets complicated during preseason and the season. I would love for them to have enough rest as well as a good preseason, but as a coach – i can’t do much.
What is the best way to use VAR?
I loved the way it was used in the World Cup. it was very straight and clear, the referee could check it immediately to help him. The game doesn’t usually have many goals, and one goal could make the difference.
In my opinion it’s very important we control the goals and the situations surrounding it. I appreciate the way it was used in the World Cup.
PSG’s coach openly admitted that his squad is significantly weakened due to the absence of his key players. Will their preseason plans be hindered because of this? Or will the team be able to gel together once everyone is back?
Only time will tell once the French league kicks off. However it is hard to imagine a team boasting the likes of Neymar and Mbappe falling too far behind.