"No more celebrity behaviour" PSG president demands big changes

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Time for a change in Paris?

Ever since Nasser al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) completed his purchase of PSG back in 2011, the Ligue 1 outfit has been one of the most talked about football clubs in the game.

The Parisians have gone onto to achieve absolute dominance in France since they began flexing their financial muscles, winning pretty much every piece of silverware on offer domestically barring the odd hiccup.

Ligue 1 gets a fair bit of criticism and is often referred to as a 'farmers league' and even though PSG will obviously never admit that, it's evident that their ambitions have long outgrown the domestic game.

Supporters and senior officials have made it clear that their no.1 objective is to lift the UEFA Champions League for the first time. No French side has done this since Marseille back in 1993 which highlights the challenge that they have on their hands.

PSG have one of the most well paid, star studded squads in world football but for whatever reason they just can't get it right in Europe. Now in their 8th year since the astronomical QSI investment, they've never made it further than the quarter-finals of the competition and things aren't right at the club at the moment.

The ridiculous wages, number of egos and in particular the signing of Neymar has led to "celebrity behaviour" at the club. Players are undermining management, the club and the fans and it's led to al-Khelaifi sending out a stark warning.

When talking to France Football, he claimed "I do not want to have any celebrity behaviour anymore. Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before.

“It must be completely different. They will have to do more, work more.

“They are not here to please themselves. If they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao!”

A big threat to the current PSG stars and it seems to be directed at Neymar in particular, who's erratic behaviour has made him something of a target for criticism and rightly so.

He's been involved in a number of high profile incidents since joining from Barcelona, but recently hit out at a fan after the Parisians were beaten by Rennes in the Coupe de France final. Which led to him being slapped with a three game ban by the French Football Federation, whilst also being stripped of the Brazil captaincy, simply not good enough for someone so high profile as him.

Last year saw them win just the Ligue 1 title which you'd think isn't good enough for a club like PSG, but it was enough for Thomas Tuchel to be handed a new deal. He has a job on his hands managing all these egos but it appears that he has the full backing of the board which is very important, as it could take a lot of time of get the dressing room functioning properly.

A big warning to Neymar

QSI have pumped absolutely staggering amounts of money into PSG to make them France's most dominant force, but their lack of success in the Champions League along with the behaviour of some of the clubs senior players is clearly taking its toll on them.

The wages and fees paid out by the club makes them one of the games biggest spenders and with that comes a certain level of responsibility on the shoulders of the players. And quite frankly, a number of them have been letting themselves down.

Neymar is immediately the first one who comes to mind. PSG shelled out a world record £198m to sign him from Barcelona and despite being immensely talented and one of the best players around on his day, he's yet to really deliver what was expected from him.

On the pitch his goal involvement statistics are superb with him netting 51 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. But his never ending battle with *injuries*, coupled with his party lifestyle and erratic behaviour has led to rumours that al-Khelaifi could be willing to sell the Brazilian back to Barcelona - which was absolutely unthinkable not long ago. He joined to get out of Messi's shadow and win the Balon D'or, something which is someway off at the moment.

Neymar
Neymar's antics on the pitch have generated just as much talk as his behaviour on it, with his diving and showboating drawing plenty of criticism

He's featured in just 37 league games over the last two seasons (20 & 17) in the French capital, compared to playing in 123 for Barca in La Liga over four campaigns (26, 33, 34 & 30). Obviously injuries cannot be helped in the majority of cases but his lack of minutes for the Parisians draws plenty of headlines as he's often pictured back in Brazil rather than fully focusing on his rehab in Europe.

The sheer number of big egos at PSG over the years has always led to worries of unrest, dating back to the Zlatan Ibrahimovic days. But since Neymar arrived it's escalated to new levels. Hitting out at fans, diving around on the pitch, partying and of course his profile spats with Edinson Cavani over penalty duties. Despite the Uruguayan being selected as the man to take them, Neymar kicked off back in 2017 and eventually won the battle to be their man taker.

That was the real beginning of the friction in PSG and it gave us an indication of what was to come over the next couple of years. Cavani has long been their talisman when it comes to scoring goals and it's evident that he's not a fan of Neymar after they came to blows in a friendly between Brazil and Uruguay - not what you want to see from two teammates.

He may be the clubs top earner by some distance, the worlds most expensive player and arguably PSG's best player on his day. But you have to respect your teammates, your manager and the club. He hasn't done this and it's leading to plenty of unrest, hence al-Khelaifi's comments.

More following suit

Once you have one toxic figure in the dressing room, the negativity can soon follow suit and that's certainly the case in Paris. You'll do well to find a dressing room with more egos and it's led to Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot making several comments about their future, which hasn't gone down well the fans.

Mbappe is widely regarded as the best young player in world football which has led to regular links with Real Madrid since making his massive £166m move from Monaco to Paris last year. As ridiculously good as he is though, his behaviour has often been a talking point which has led to plenty of speculation surrounding his future.

Some of it may be true but he recently spoke out on Twitter to quash rumours of an apparent list of demands he submitted to the PSG hierarchy which may satisfy some supporters, but then days later he goes on to declare his desire for a "new project".

When speaking at the UNFP Awards where he won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award, he said “It’s a very important moment for me, I come to a turning point in my career,”

"I have discovered a lot here, and I feel it is maybe the moment to have more responsibility.

“I hope that can perhaps be at Paris Saint-Germain, that would be a great pleasure. Or maybe elsewhere with a new project.”

Mbappe
Only Lionel Messi scored more goals in world football than Kylian Mbappe in the 2018/19 season

Reports suggest that he wants a new bigger deal in Paris if he is to stay, one that represents his importance to the club. He's become a massive brand for them due to his unbelievable success and on the pitch he's been the man when it comes to goals in the absence of Neymar, netting 32 in 28 league games. The Brazilian is apparently on €36m a season, a crazy figure and almost three times as much as Mbappe (€13m).

And away from the two main figures in attack, midfielder Adrien Rabiot has also been cited as a toxic figure at the club. The 24 year-old has risen through the ranks at the club but a refusal to sign a new contract after giving them crazy demands, along with more erratic behaviour at the club has led to him being frozen out.

Easily a £50m player if not more on his day, he's become public enemy no.1 for PSG fans and his battle with the club is set to end very soon when he can walk away as a free agent - with Juventus linked. Like Neymar, he's been pictured partying several times in Paris and his mother has slammed the clubs treatment of him, labelling him as a 'prisoner'.

So all-in-all, the situation in Paris is pretty out of control. Nasser al-Khelaifi, the PSG board and Thomas Tuchel have some job on their hands managing these egos if they're to finally win that elusive European crown - which in all reality looks unlikely anytime soon despite their embarrassment of riches.

This is a mess that needs resolving very soon...


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