Paris Saint-Germain started shocking the football world recently when they started splashing major cash and persuading some of the finest players in the world to move from some of Europe’s premier leagues and into the French Ligue 1.
With the millions they spent (they broke the French records for spending this past season) and the increased role that Qatar Investment Authority seems to want to take in the French club, the results have to start heading towards the positive so that PSG and their investments can be seen as a good move. Although we are relatively early in the Ligue 1 season, PSG are already hitting a few snags that many big spending teams have hit. Real Madrid and Manchester City both had to suffer through some serious “growing pains” once they started splashing the cash, but with the French teams in France’s top league not having the quality against them that City and Real had to deal with, anything less than PSG winning the league and having serious Champions League success will surely see them branded as a “failure.”
PSG have not started the season well. Their attack laden squad has only managed four goals so far (tied for the 11th worst scoring record in the league) and their defensive record, while a little more impressive, should be on par with the quality of their squad. Although I have already been ripped for reacting too quickly to certain things that have occurred this season, the amount of money spent by PSG and the level of competition in the French league should have them already challenging for the top of the league. It should also have them outclassing their opponents by a fair amount even at this early stage, certainly not having already played to two nil-nil draws and it also should see them with more than one win from four fixtures.
If the league becomes out of reach, or even if they are able to claim the league, not advancing far into Europe’s elite competition will also lead many to label Les Parisiens as something that did not live up to its true potential. The Champions League is always a tough road to navigate, but PSG definitely have players and a coach that know how to succeed in the CL. You also have to consider that their group seems (I say again, “seems”) to be one of the easiest in the competition, and it would seem likely that PSG will easily get through to the knockout rounds. Then, it just becomes a matter of progressing as far as they can. Will the first round of the knockout stages be enough to justify their massive spending? Or will it take a much stronger showing, possibly resulting in a semi-final or, dare I say, a place in the Champions League final to ensure that PSG will not have to suffer through a summer of people pointing their fingers and making jokes at their expense?
At what point do we label the PSG money-spending as a disappointment? Do we give them an excuse this season? Next season? Will PSG be able to put together a squad that can work together before FIFA’s FFP rules come into effect? On the flip-side, if Paris Saint-Germain win every trophy available this season, will we see other teams soon follow in the footsteps of the big-money spenders? Leave your thoughts and comments below, and tell us what you think of PSG so far…