Rennes 1-0 PSG: Galtier thinks "God knows I have work to do right now"
PSG visited Rennes and lost (1-0) their second game on the road this year at Roazhon Park on Sunday, Jan. 15, as part of match day 19 of the Ligue 1 season. Paris Saint-Germain put on a very mediocre performance that not even the MNM of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe could fix through the 90 minutes of play.
PSG fans the world over were excited in anticipation of the return of the feared MNM to a football pitch for the first time since Nov. 13, 2022. More than two months had elapsed since the last time Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe graced the same patch of grass. The reunion, sadly, wasn't one ending in celebration for the Paris Saint-Germain trinity.
The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media after the match between the leaders and fifth-place Rennes in his post-game press conference. Here are the most interesting thoughts he shared.
Asked about whether the bad run of results (two losses in the last three league games) is just a matter of coming back from the World Cup or rather something more troubling and with deeper roots...
"If it's a matter of time, it's urgent."
"We have to find a better collective play, more connection between the lines. We knew we would have a difficult game and we got it."
"Our goalkeeper was very much in demand, the opponent's less so."
Christophe Galtier: "I'm focusing on my team's performance. And God knows I have work to do right now."
"We need to find more rhythm, more intensity, but above all, more connections (between players)."
"We have to find people closer to the box. We had possession but without creating any danger. And that's the problem."
"We have to find this rhythm, this intensity, and keep our players high enough, including being in touch with the defense and the midfielders. More presence (from everybody, overall)."
About whether the bad play comes from the defense or the midfield...
"In the good games we played, we had the ability to find players with balls to the back of the opposing midfielders."
"Messi and Neymar dropped deep, so naturally we were missing people up front. It has to do with the technical quality (of the rest of the players) and the control to break the lines. We have to work on that, insist on it. We lacked that tonight. Against Angers, it was the same thing.
About being worried about this lack of intensity...
"That's something to explore."
"I'm not going to talk about (being) concerned. But there must be awareness."
"We can find a thousand excuses, a thousand reasons. But the World Cup is over."
"Even if we were scattered (throughout and after returning from the break), we must find cohesion, rhythm, and intensity."
"We'll have ten days (before PSG's next competitive game) to work on our verticality, our technical skills, and our intensity."
About not having a successful plan to break Rennes' low block...
"We were [high up the pitch] a few times but we didn't take advantage of it. Rennes played a good game."
"Rennes defended with enough comfort because we didn't go and put our nose on their central defenders often.
"We lacked verticality and speed."
About what he is planning to do to get PSG back on track...
"We will analyze the game. We will also study the game against Angers, and compare the team's good periods in both matches."
"There have been some (good stretches) since the beginning of the season."
"What is happening now... the images will speak for themselves. There will be an awareness (from everybody, mostly the players), and then choices (will be made)."
About teams chasing PSG in the Ligue 1 table and getting closer to them in the standings...
"[There are] two teams, three, that have an incredible amount of points at this point in the season."
"Last year, at this stage, PSG had 46. We have 47 (this season). But this time the championship is very tight."
"I'm focusing on my team's performance. And God knows I have work to do right now."
About whether or not he is thinking about returning to a four-man defense or sticking to the five-man line brought back this week...
"We played 16 or 18 games in this (five-man defense) configuration, with very good results."
"There can always be a debate about the organization, the formation, it is also your job (the media; to bring it up in press conferences)."
"If tonight, at this moment, we are less efficient, it's because we lacked verticality and a lot of speed in our transitions so we were not able to clear the opposing lines."