As reported by L’Équipe, the already fragile harmony at PSG is under threat following the dramatic loss to Real Madrid and subsequent exit from the Champions League last week.
After rumours of a bust up between Neymar and Gianluigi Donnarumma in the aftermath were denied by all concerned, the sports daily report utter silence in the PSG dressing room at the Bernabéu and on the plane back to Paris, as players stared into space. It took nearly an hour for some to get up and shower having returned to the dressing room.
PSG captain Marquinhos’ lack of leadership has not gone unnoticed by the Paris squad say the paper. Some have complained to those around them that the team lacked a leader capable to stabilising the game at 1-1 or 2-1. The Captain’s lack of calmness during the game has worried his teammates, with some thinking he may not be up to the task of leading the squad despite his popularity.
Lionel Messi’s failure to deliver, after he was given extra holiday this winter, and Neymar’s swift return to posting whimsically on Instagram over his sister’s birthday after the defeat has irked some in the squad who have been concerned by the “7+3” style of play under Pochettino. One club source told L’Équipe last week: “I don’t remember ever having experienced such a heavy atmosphere at the training ground as I have over the last two days.”
Pochettino was reportedly seemingly on the verge of tears at his presser before the Bordeaux game this weekend, throughout which Messi and Neymar were whistled repeatedly. The former Tottenham coach has never seemed so downtrodden and defeated.