Messi at PSG is wildly interesting. It also kills football.
Admit it, it will be much more interesting for you to follow PSG? And so the star squad, overloaded with attacking players, will have to be rebuilt again. Di Maria, Icardi, Neymar, Mbappé and Messi , even in theory, cannot be placed on the field at the same time, although they all claim a place in the start (poor Sarabia). And this is just one of the intrigues.
Messi and Neymar. Messi and Ramos. Yes, just Messi in the new team. These are also stories with an excellent background and intrigue. But there is also the theme of Messi and Pochettino. The PSG coach has already shown himself to be relatively adaptive: having given up his trademark high pressure, he reached the Champions League final with Tottenham. Still, compromises with style degrade the quality of his work. And now he will have to deal with Messi – a player who poses the most difficult task for the coaches, to whom he needs to adapt.
But that’s not all. It is simply impossible to defend against Messi, Neymar and Mbappe at the same time: neither pressure nor low block will work in big matches. This will also require creative solutions. Perhaps some of the stars will sometimes have to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the team and work out in defense on the flank. Is it possible? Even within five or six matches per season?
Try to imagine how Pochettino is feeling now . Well, that is, for you and me, the audience, all this is just interesting. And for him, all the summer developments and plans for a game model for the season have just collapsed. Everything will have to be done again and already during the matches. But with Messi.
But Messi wanted to stay at Barcelona. At Barcelona, which is clearly going through hard times and has won only one Spanish Cup in the last two seasons, and at the same time is drowning in debt. His departure is a personal drama, but in return he gets the opportunity to easily make up for the trophy hunger of recent years. PSG is a trophy vacuum cleaner in France, 17 in five years (not counting the 2018/2019 season not yet played). That is, the choice itself – if it is impossible to stay in Catalonia – is quite understandable and logical.
The desire of PSG is even clearer and more logical. It doesn’t even need a serious analysis. Just imagine: would you like Messi to play on your team, yes or no? Now you can afford it. That’s it, the analysis has been done.
And all this is so interesting and so intriguing. But.
One of the reasons why football has become the most popular sport and has gone beyond sports in general (the main football stars are as popular as pop stars) is the sporting aspect of the game. It is in her that the intensity of emotions and drama are always contained. A weak team wins a strong one, the favorite squeezes the outsider in the last seconds, the goalkeeper kicks off the penalty, the defender goes into someone else’s penalty area and scores – all this is contradictory and sometimes illogical. Even so: football in general is logical, but in particular it is unpredictable, and this is great.
Rennes will not win the French championship, but in a separate match, PSG may also be worn out. Even the strongest team cannot put up 11 stars and break everyone in the class, because it just doesn’t work like that.
Or does it work?
Jokes about PSG and the football simulator are outdated for a long time, but now they are more than a joke. Sitting at the computer, you can afford not to think about the consequences of transfers, because responsibility on the other side of the monitor costs nothing. And in real life, an unbalanced lineup is costly – literally.
A few paragraphs ago, you read the question “would you like Messi to play on your team?”, And you can guess how you answered it. But the fact of the matter is that the owner of a football club – that is, a huge business – should not think in terms of a fan. And if he doesn’t know how, then the sports director should do it. The roster imbalance is not one of the rumored problems of the top clubs, but this does not make it less serious. The proof is Juventus and Barcelona in recent years.
Yes, Messi at PSG is incredibly interesting, but still, the club’s management must think about how to make the team stronger as an integral structure. At least a team with which it is clear in what style to play. But there was no question of that. Seeing Messi on the market, PSG behaved instinctively: he grabbed the beautiful and shiny. Like a child.
In the sane world, the purchase of Messi is the starting point from which the reshaping of the roster is just beginning. Now it would be worth thinking about changing the trainer (to a more adaptive one) and buying a defensive midfielder of the level of Casemiro or so. With such a breakwater in the center of the field, one could try to defend himself in all possible ways. But PSG had already managed to reshape the roster, having signed three field players at the start, and only then bought Messi, having demolished all its previous logic. Risk? Not that word. Absurd.
Then why is PSG doing this? Because maybe there are no other versions. You’ve probably heard the hackneyed phrase about the comparison of a team of stars and a team of stars. Only the phrase “order beats the class” is even more hackneyed. So, the purchase of Messi is an epic attempt by the club to overturn these ancient laws of the game. Collect so many class that it will beat any order.
If this team does not win everything at once, then the crash of failure will be heard in space. And if he wins, this is a strong blow to football. Tactics, long-term planning, scouting can all be thrown away. Because you just need to be the richest and collect all the best players. And that’s all, you can forget about planning and tactics. You can afford the absurd transfer policy and inconsistency, but still win. The next step is to release 10 attackers and defeat them. Interesting, but not football.
This will kill the unpredictability and emotional intensity that made football the number one sport and took it out of the sport altogether. If that works, watching Transfermarkt will suffice instead of matches. Hence the ambivalence of feelings: on the one hand, I want a great player to do well at the end of his career. On the other hand, it’s still better for football if PSG didn’t work out.