It is discussed in the editorial board
Halfway through the match, the outgoing star player, who has two defeats in his last three league games behind him, is within gunshot range of his pursuers. Will Lens, Marseille, even Monaco or Rennes be able to knock it off its pedestal?
Last week we asked you if you thought Kylian Mbappé should be the next captain of the French soccer team. The “YES” won with 52% of the votes. This week we remain in football with the following question: are Paris Saint-Germain, top of Ligue 1 at the end of the first leg, really threatened in the race for the title? On this question, two journalists from the Union/Ardennais sports department disagree. Feel free to voice your opinion by voting below.
Lens and Marseille have the profile
What if this was the year? Some will answer, when the chickens have teeth. Since the arrival of “Qatar Sports Investment” (QSI), only Montpellier (2012), Monaco (2017) and Lille (2021) have broken the grip of Paris Saint-Germain. Others will say we are only on day 19.
However, there is a scent of novelty in this L1 season, and not just because it was interrupted by the World Cup. This return to the league for PSG is complicated, with two defeats in Lens (3-1) and Rennes (1-0), and two lackluster victories at the Parc des Princes against Strasbourg (2-1) then Angers (2 – 0). The crew of Christophe Galtier, the last coach to deprive Paris of the title, is not reassuring at the start of the year.
Of course, the rest of the Paris season will be conditioned by the performance in the Champions League. Thus, no team in L1 can expect to sit at the same table in terms of offensive talent. Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi (also Neymar) will be eternal scouts of compromised situations. But PSG, leaders with 47 points at the end of the first leg, have armed pursuers. RC Lens, second with 44 points and led by an invincibility record at home (10 wins in 10 games), is running at a hellish pace (2.31 units per game) which would have allowed him, mid-season, to be the first thirteenth times in the last twenty years. Even Olympique de Marseille, two lengths behind Sang et Or (42), remains on a very convincing first part of the year.
The two will already have to go far. But if Paris has the strongest individuals, a real collective force emerges from this Racing and this OM, each guided by an ambitious game philosophy. Just enough to make them legitimate contenders to imitate Montpellier. On the evening of matchday 19 in 2011-12, MHSC were three points behind PSG. 19 takes later, René Girard’s band had conquered the moon, giving Loulou Nicollin the pleasure of wearing an orange and blue crest. Eleven years later, Paris must become aware of the danger.
Mbappé and Galtier are on the right side
Paris Saint-Germain will be crowned champions of France for the eleventh time in their history, if not before, during the Clermont reception at the Parc des Princes on 3 June. It doesn’t make any creases. Do you doubt it? Some might think that Lens and Marseille are able to counter his hegemony and that the “anomalies” of 2012 (Montpellier), 2017 (Monaco) and 2021 (Lille) could recur. But, unlike the Rock team’s crowning season where a young striker made himself known to the eyes of the world, the famous nugget named Kylian Mbappé went to the opposite camp and that makes all the difference.
The best player on the planet is thirsty for records, we know it well and wants to bring not only France but also PSG to the top. He said he would never have digested his teammate Leo Messi’s failure in the World Cup final with the Blues against Argentina. He will therefore do everything not to suffer a second in the same season, not to mention the Champions League. And, the Albiceleste demigod certainly doesn’t want to miss even the first six months of the year if he wants to win his 8th Ballon d’Or, which is what we’re heading towards if he shines with the club under the Qatari flag within the end of the season.
We know that egos can play tricks on the team from the capital, the past has shown it too often, but we trust the Galtier-Campos duo, who had already found the right recipe with the Lille Dogues, to stay on course despite the upheavals of the last few weeks. So many arguments that therefore make PSG the most plausible candidate for his succession. Lens and Marseille second and third? Yes, it is very likely, but with a hierarchy that remains to be established.