Name of club: Paris Saint-Germain
Pre season: Good, bad or ugly? Just fair. A loss and a win against Austrian clubs, a narrow victory in Sweden, a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid and finally an unconvincing win against Bordeaux in the Trophée des champions (our charity Shield, played this year in Libreville, Gabon). That’s one more trophy to display at the museum though.
Hopes for the season: Simply go a step better than last year. League title and Champions League last 8 are mandatory things. To this we should add a domestic cup and/or a little something better in the Europe tournament.
Fears for the season: Being annoyed more than expected by hungry newcomer Monaco. On paper they aren’t yet a match for our squad but a bit scary anyway.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept: A league title and 3 good excuses for disappointing cup runs is the least we can tolerate now. We’re getting arrogant, I know.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to? Having no major domestic encounter to play before October, the date I am awaiting is the 29th August, corresponding to the Champions League first round draw. We need a Premier League team this year. We proved to Spain what we were capable of, we need to deal with England now.
Got the right manager? That’s an interesting question. Following Ancelotti’s leave, the club unsuccessfully chased Wenger, Mourinho, Benitez, Pellegrini, Mancini, Hiddink, Laudrup, Villas-Boas and Capello. And we end up with Laurent Blanc. How can you rate somebody who is the club’s 11th choice? His pedigree is way shorter than most on this list (but Laudrup) but deserves credential for the few he accomplished thus far with Bordeaux and the French squad.
In the end, I cannot answer that question!
By Christmas you’ll be… Sitting on a comfortable cushion of points in the league and still alive in the three cups we are engaged in. And I’ll be happy.
Player you’d most like to sign? Rooney would have been great even if our attacking line is pretty much over packed at the moment. Defensive wingers may be our least advantageous positions. Dani Alves, are you there?
Which player should we look out for? Well I won’t quote the obvious Ibrahimovic, Cavani or Thiago Silva. Keep an eye on Lucas instead. The Brazilian winger had a convincing first 6 months in Paris despite a goal less stat sheet. He should now be more accustomed to European football and display his talent to all in a season leading to a home world cup for him. At the back, look out for Lucas Digne. A newcomer from Lille, the left back has been crowned U20 world champion this summer and much is expected from him.
Which player would you love to ditch? Alex and/or Pastore. The first is now way passed his best even if you have to admit that his aerial game is still impressive. Make room for Sakho or Marquinhos please. The second one was the first big transfer signed by Qatari owners. That was 2 years ago and he did not yet prove that he is the future star announced.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club? Paris SG, despite being the most talked about club is far from being the most successful. Last year’s title was only our 3rd and came 19 years after the second! Yes, that’s 1 year better than the Arsenal drought of the 70’s and 80’s...
What won’t happen this season? An earthquake. I mean that into their third year, the Qatari proved us that they are great at communication. If anything goes wrong, it would be solved smoothly even if local media are putting a huge pressure on the club. Blanc can be sacked in September for poor results, it would be done with class and respect for everyone involved.
Favourite chant? That makes a few years now since we haven’t had a proper fan song in the Parc des Princes... Rich spectators have mostly replaced usual suburban supporters a few years back and that was the end of any musical creativity within the stadium.
Where will you finish? Up top. Simply up top.