Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti called out his team after a second consecutive Ligue 1 home loss on Saturday. PSG dropped the match to Rennes 2-1 despite Rennes playing with nine almost the entire second half.
In his post game remarks, Ancelotti had some strong words for his players. It is not very often you hear a manager use the term crisis, but Ancelotti may have come to the point where he sees his time in Paris may be running out. PSG ownership may not allow this team to continue down this path for long, and changing managers is usually the first step in turning a team's fortunes around.
France 24 reported Ancelotti's post match comments as follows:
I’m very angry. I don’t think we showed the right attitude out on the pitch. It’s a very difficult time for us...Yes. I’m not afraid to say we’re in crisis. We have to get out of it quickly.
Sometimes we play too much as individuals...We need to be more attentive, concentrate more, more of everything. In every game we’ve played at home, we always have problems at the start of games.
The problem is with the attitudes. Something has to be changed and we will do it...Two defeats in a row at home is not acceptable. We’re not a team yet, we will change things.
PSG did play this past weekend without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but even when Ibra is in the side, PSG have struggled to find consistency. The star studded lineup has yet to mesh, and the root cause may be in attitudes as Ancelotti said, or it may be tactical as well.
A case could be made for going with a different formation then Ancelotti's favored 4-3-3. Teams have found success against PSG by using speed to attack out wide, forcing PSG's midfield to spread out, opening running lanes. Defensively, teams have jammed the midfield through numbers, effectively cutting off the link up play to PSG's front line.
Ancelotti could counter this by going with a 4-2-3-1. Using Ibrahimovic up top, PSG can use Menez, Lavezzi or Nene out wide, with Pastore in the central play making role. Ibra can be used as a target man and a distributor from the top. The wings would still have plenty of space for their runs, and Pastore would be able to use his vision and skill to greater lengths in a centralized role.
Using a combination of Matuidi, Verratti and Motta as the two defensive midfielders will offer plenty of protection for the back four, and should help to contain the inside runs that have plagued PSG's defense this season.
Having the five players staggered in midfield will help with the connection between defense, and will keep teams from being able to outnumber PSG in the middle of the pitch, helping the supply lines to the attack stay open.
Whether Ancelotti would consider a change in formation to try and open things up is anyone's guess. It is easy to second guess the tactical decisions after they have played out, but what everyone agrees on is the current form of PSG is unacceptable. Changes must be made whether they are personnel, attitude or tactical.