'The Champions League stops and it's all over' – Blanc identifies PSG problem 'at all levels'

By Sports Desk April 03, 2023

Paris Saint-Germain are struggling to come to terms with again failing to win the Champions League, according to former coach Laurent Blanc.

Blanc led Lyon to a 1-0 win at PSG on Sunday, potentially breathing life into the Ligue 1 title race.

PSG looked to have the championship all but wrapped up before back-to-back defeats, with this latest reverse following another home loss against Rennes before the international break.

The gap to second-placed Lens and third-placed Marseille is now just six points; Lens are the next visitors to the Parc des Princes.

But Blanc does not believe this slump is anything new, identifying a long-standing problem at a club where he was coach between 2013 and 2016.

PSG exited the Champions League to Bayern Munich last month, meaning their wait to win that trophy will go on, and the Lyon boss suggests their subsequent form is linked.

"I know a bit about the place, the club, et cetera," Blanc said. "The problem with Paris is that when the number one goal and the goal that interests you and all the fans is no longer achievable, it seems that the season no longer exists.

"At all levels, at all levels, that's the way it is. That's how it is, you feel it, you perceive it.

"The Champions League goes on and everything is fine. The Champions League unfortunately stops, and then it's all over. The season is over and we talk about the next season. We talk, we anticipate everything.

"It's very difficult to motivate ourselves and all the players for the objective of the league.

"I think that Christophe Galtier will succeed, but it's hard, it's hard, it's hard, because the environment is not easy either.

"That environment goes in all directions, it goes in all directions: the next season, the recruitment... You hear things, it's difficult to bear, because the season is not over and there are still nine games left.

"So, we have to be aware that the season is not over, that we have to motivate everyone. It's not easy, I tell you; it's not easy.

"But Christophe will succeed because the pride of the players also, at some point, takes over, because the players are also very, very down when they haven't achieved all their objectives.

"So, there is this period; they are in the middle of it. Paris is in the middle of this moment, which is a bit tricky. It will come back."

Blanc won the league three times as PSG coach, including two domestic trebles, before he was replaced by Unai Emery.

But Blanc dismissed a question about "personal revenge" following Lyon's win, saying: "I'll stop you, I'll stop you. That's the stuff of journalists, of the media.

"The image, I don't care about that, I don't care, I don't care. If you know how much I don't care about that, then it's incredible.

"There's nothing personal about a football team. If you want to have personal feelings, you have to play an individual sport. It's a collective feeling.

"I'm happy to have won at the Parc for my team, for myself, of course, but that's where it ends.

"I don't have any revenge. Revenge on who, on what, on how? I had a great time here in Paris. It ended sooner than I expected. And that's life, that's life.

"All coaches are subject to this. And that's it, you have to accept it. There's no revenge."

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