French football

Champions League – PSG: With his 4-4-2, Thomas Tuchel still tests, but works on the field – Champions League 2019-2020 – Football – Transgaming

by: Adam Smith


LEAGUE CHAMPIONS – On Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain has largely imposed on Galatasaray. Once unusual, Thomas Tuchel decided to change the tactical system and adjust a 4-4-2, which gave him satisfaction.

Video – "The Mbapé-Neymar duo is the deadly weapon and Achilles heel at the same time"


Tuchel was very pleased with the way his team played: "We played together as a team (…) we worked defensively together, always in block, always with very short distances between players. (…) We had very good recovery. (…) We can continue with 4-4-2 if everyone is ready to defend, if everyone makes an effort. If we do, we are very dangerous."

A system, still a lot of "if"

All the difficulties with this 4-4-2 are in these "ifs". This is the first time since the beginning of the season that we see Mbappé and Neymar make as many defensive attempts. Do not neglect the weakness of the opposite layer. It was obviously not a Galatasaray for the big nights. Will the tactical scheme be so effective against a stronger team? This is where 4-4-2 has the characteristics of its shortcomings: if Neymar, Sarabia, Mbappé, Icardi or Di Maria (Wednesday package) do not make the necessary efforts, the team can very quickly be cut in half.

It is a physically and tactically demanding system, which requires offensive players, in addition to their efforts, to come down to defend and then move on. It is a system that also assumes to have defensive, very, very strong environments. Parades and Kouassi (then Verratti) were quite convincing in practice on Wednesday. This 4-4-2, so there is a lot of "if". It's all going to be a matter of persuasion for Tuchel and especially for balance. The German has until February to perfect his system for the eighths, and it can start Sunday, against Saint-Etienne.

Neymar (PSG) was sparkling against Galatasaray

Neymar (PSG) was sparkling against GalatasarayGetty Images