PSG Early Pre-Season Review, Part 2: Luis Enrique goals for 2024

Luis Enrique, PSG, Paris Saint-Germain Press Conference
Luis Enrique, PSG, Paris Saint-Germain Press Conference / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

It's been a little more than a month of off/pre-season at PSG but it's fair to say that we have had all sorts of drama and news coverage for the past few weeks already.

The players of the first-team of PSG have yet to report to the training ground (they'll do so starting on July 10 for non-internationals, and July 17 for the rest of players), but it's not that PSG have not been forced into navigating many storylines.

Here is an early review of everything that has gone on around PSG for the past month after they wrapped up the 2022/23 season by lifting their 11th Ligue 1 title, split into four parts for easier digestion.

PSG Pre-Season Review (2 of 4): Christophe Galtier sacked, Luis Enrique appointed as new manager

It has been obvious since the end of the season that PSG aim to leave behind past controversies and embark on a new era, referred to as a "new cycle" by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and moving away from the oft-labeled "bling-bling" model PSG have used in the past and pretty much since the arrival of QSI in 2011.

While PSG has achieved success, their on-field performance has often been overshadowed by off-field drama. However, this week marked a turning point as the club announced the departure of Christophe Galtier and introduced Luis Enrique as their new manager.

The allure of overseeing a new era, coupled with the exceptional training ground, likely contributed to Luis Enrique's decision to join PSG despite the challenges and the surrounding noise that often accompanies the club.

Managing PSG is not the easiest job in the world, but it's fair to say that this is a job where you can hardly fail because of PSG's dominance of the French competitions and their rivals if only because of their financial power in comparison to all other teams in France's top-flight division. A 12th Ligue 1 title is not guaranteed, but it's considered an easy target for the team even if it just doesn't fully commit to giving it all when facing lesser opponents, as it was the case in 2022/23 already.

The primary and ultimate objective remains to be lifting the long-chased UEFA Champions League. PSG have consistently fallen short in Europe's elite competition, with only one final appearance in 2020 in which they lost to Bayern Munich in the reshaped, COVID-impacted tournament a few years ago.

However, the inability to achieve European success has seldom hindered top-level coaching careers, with all of Carlo Ancelotti, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, and Unai Emery taking the reins of PSG at some point earlier in their careers only for them to then proceed to achieve great success away from Paris and join football giants such as Real Madrid or Chelsea on their way to even winning Champions League and Europa League trophies at them.

Luis Enrique was upbeat in his introductory press conference, he said that he embraces the ambitions of the club he's signed with, and he also set his sights on bringing out the best in the team (that means, winning the Champions League) although he also acknowledged that it's going to be a complicated challenge giving the knockout nature of the competition.

Enrique just become the fourth coach of PSG in five years, but he arrives with a rather distinct and offensive footballing philosophy that he labeled "non-negotiable."

Truth be told, and in a rather sharp contrast with the last club Luis Enrique managed (Barcelona), PSG have lacked a true footballing identity and never developed a particular style recognizable and attached to the club's brand. Luis Enrique, who is renowned for his possession-based positional and offensive style (he won the UCL at Barcelona with it), will try to change that and start to build something bigger at PSG if he is given enough time to plant those seeds and let them grow.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi praised Luis Enrique as one of the world's finest coaches, emphasizing his attractive attacking football and the desired style of play. While ambition and results are important, Al-Khelaifi's ultimate goal is to savor the team's enjoyable and captivating football on the pitch.

Whether he's patient enough to keep Luis Enrique around for longer than a season or two, we don't know yet. And judging by the past actions of the president of PSG, the new coach better work his magic sooner rather than later if he doesn't want to get insta-sacked.

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