Angers vs. PSG - Christophe Galtier pre-match press conference: "I plan to be the manager of PSG next season"
PSG will face Ligue 1 bottom-dwellers Angers on Friday for MD32 on the season. It's an early kick-off with the matchup between the leaders and the last-place squad taking place right before the weekend and with the two teams facing very different short-term futures.
Paris Saint-Germain will try to force Marseille to play their game at an 11-point distance from them as OM will face Lyon on Sunday. With only six games left after this one, earning three more points could be vital for the title race, let alone if OM drops points against OL.
In any case, it feels like a question of when, not if, PSG will get crowned champion for the second season in a row and the 11th time in their history, an all-time French record for the top-flight division.
Coach Galtier attended the pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Here are some of the most interesting nuggets ahead of the match against Angers scheduled for Friday as PSG will get back to playing far from their stadium and on the road for MD32 of the Ligue 1 season.
Are you still certain you will still be the manager of PSG in the summer of 2023?
"We're working with Luis Campos on the squad architecture for next season, with the changes we want to make to improve the team, to maybe have more variety in our game, whether that's through different organizations, to have a better balance. We have been working for weeks and also last week more precisely. Am I convinced to be the coach next season? I plan to be the manager of PSG next season."
How are you feeling personally?
"Good. I am very focused on work. It allows me to be active. I am with my staff and with the players. I know the importance of going for that title. I also plan for the future, I have a lot of work in this direction. And my brain is constantly active to stay focused on the game, training and preparing the team to win games."
Do you think the PSG project has lost its credibility and its north this season?
"A report will be made at the end of the season. We must not forget that it was a unique season, with an international competition, the most beautiful, right in the middle. Automatically, it will be necessary to analyze what happened in the first part of the season and the second. Why and for what reasons did it happen? Is there a lack of a path forwards? I do not believe that. Internally, we know what we need to focus our thinking on to improve our squad and our game. Will this season make some players think about the possible desire to come to Paris? A lot of players want to join PSG, believe me."
What is your view of Marco Verratti's season? Will he still lead PSG next season?
"Marco has been at PSG for many years. We all know its importance in the game, in the locker room. Often, he is able to link one and the other. He is jovial but also focused on the competition. His season has been hampered by injuries, but overall he's good. Do we project ourselves with him in the project for next season? He extended his contract. He is an important player in the locker room. Due to his tactical knowledge and his ability to be the binder on the field, he is also the one who triggers very important passes in the heart of the game."
Are you going to go for it this Friday in Angers?
"The workforce is very weak. We have four or five players who cannot play, including three absent until the end of the season. We are entering a period that everyone considers a period of relaxation. I spoke about it with my players today: in Angers, the stadium will be full, the local team will be totally free, without any pressure and they will want to bring down the champion. They drew against Nice and beat Lille. We have no room to relax. Compared to our young people who have been training with us since the start of the season, we will see if we can give them playing time. If we can make them grow a little faster, I will not deprive myself of it."
Is there a problem between you and Hugo Ekitike that we hardly see anymore?
"No, there is no problem. He works seriously. He even works harder than other players as he has no playing time. But there is also the architecture of the team which means that he faces very great competition with the presence of Kylian and Leo. But we will see what will happen in the upcoming matches. There is no problem between Hugo and me."
How do you judge the evolution of Vitinha? Better after he scored against Lens?
"Due to the system in place (5-3-2), we need players who project themselves more going up the pitch. I am looking for midfielders who can project themselves, make assists, and score. This was the case with Carlos Soler in some matches. I ask them, in particular these two circles, to project themselves, to take initiative. Against Lens, he scored. Let's hope he continues to have that desire when he is in contact with attackers close to the final quarter. Shooting is an important weapon against low blocks. Vitinha had a good first part of the season. It was more complicated then, like the team. But there he is coming back well and is in good shape."