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DNA, Neymar, new life … Galtier takes stock before PSG-Nantes on Sunday

The new Parisian coach spoke at a press conference this Saturday in Tel Aviv, on the eve of the Champions Trophy against FC Nantes.

Goals : “Seduce, convince or win? To win ! It’s a trophy. Everyone is focused. The environment, the people, the media are focused on the Champions League but the first thing is to do everything possible to win the three trophies. Tomorrow is the first that is at stake. Last year, we did not manage to win (defeat against Lille, editor’s note). PSG have won it ten times. The most important thing will be to win. Convince ? I don’t know if we should try to convince. But the better we play, the more chances we have of winning. We saw during the tour in Japan that there were some very interesting things, but also some situations on which we had to discuss with the players and especially correct. We have worked in this direction. But again, the most important thing is to win.»

Freeze the locker room : “I do not believe that we are in this reflection. We are looking for the best profiles in our system, that all players represent added value. We are not aiming to make PSG more French than before. It is above all a question of profiles and market opportunities.»

The Champions Trophy in Israel : “Since last season, the Champions Trophy has been played here and each team has had a warm welcome. There is no particular interest for PSG but for our football, French football, the French championship, to show an attractive face every time we export ourselves and play in another country.»

It’s a club that is used to winning trophies and it would be very interesting for everyone, and for me on a personal level, to start with a victory.

Christophe Galtier

First official match for Galtier : “Focused and determined, but like the team. Obviously, when you are the coach of PSG, there is more pressure than elsewhere. It’s a club that is used to winning trophies and it would be very interesting for everyone, and for me on a personal level, to start with a victory and a title. To tell you that I’m under pressure, no. It exists, it is permanent. Every day, I am very happy to train this group, very proud to see the players who make it up. We work to win trophies.»

Her first month in Paris : “It’s more a new life for me than for the band (laughs). In terms of work, I am satisfied with what the players provide on a daily basis, with their state of mind, with the group and the way it lived in Japan, almost in isolation. I saw a happy group, who wanted to work, in which some exchanged with others, it’s very pleasant. On a personal level, going on tour meant that I was able to immerse myself more quickly in what the role of PSG coach is, but also on a personal level to exchange with the players in an informal way. I took a long time to observe. My staff works a lot and is at the heart of the work. I observe, I listen, I watch. And afterwards, I exchange with each other. In all the exchanges, in small groups or individually, I always had feedback from the players I had in front of me. They are great players. I was already convinced of it, I’m even more so after having had them face to face because they have great respect for their profession, prepare in a very professional way and release individually, I hope that we will see it tomorrow collectively, a great desire to have a great season.»

Neymar is a cheerful, happy and very professional player, a world class player

Christophe Galtier

Neymar Jr : “I have a cheerful, happy, very professional player. It’s a very important season for the club but also for each player, some who will take part in the World Cup (November 21-December 18 in Qatar). It will be a long season. He arrived prepared, fit, he hasn’t missed a session so far and he’s working. He is in sharing and listening to the expectations we have of him. He’s a great player, world class, and it’s always important to have world class players to have very high goals.»

The tactical scheme on Sunday : “We have several possibilities. Kylian is not there, it is an important absence. We played our matches in Japan with Kylian in the 11th or returning during the match. We also have the possibility of playing with three midfielders. I would not change defensive organization. It is clear in my head, that of the players.»

The physical condition of the players and the preparation : “Changes for the World Cup? No, I do not think so. It will be a very busy season. Until the World Cup, there will be 26 matches between the club and the selections for our players. There is a great reflection on this with the sports management and our president on the composition of the workforce. There will be fatigue. It will be necessary to have a very intelligent management in relation to the accumulation of matches and it will have to be accepted by everyone. On the preparation, there is nothing special. I worked with this staff for three and a half seasons in Lille. We haven’t changed anything from what we were doing in terms of preparation. We very quickly got into the technical-tactical work by increasing the training loads as we went along. We may have pushed less than we could have done because the players had long vacations. We were very careful to avoid accumulating fatigue or injuries. From what I have seen of our matches, especially those in Japan, there is an energy of enthusiasm, we will have to be like that tomorrow.»

Nantes, a committed team, which has great mental strength but also plays good football

Christophe Galtier

The reunion with Nantes, his executioner in the Coupe de France final with Nice : “I’m always very happy to meet Antoine (Kombouaré, the coach of the Canaries, editor’s note). In the final of last May, FC Nantes deserved their victory. We observed what we observed from Nantes. Antoine sticks to his principles. I also looked very carefully at what happened at La Beaujoire last season between PSG and Nantes. We expect a tough game. It’s a committed team, which has great mental strength but also plays good football. There is a great desire from Antoine to thwart the first outings of the ball and to hurt in the verticality of the game. I do not think that the characteristics of FC Nantes tomorrow will change compared to what we saw the last season. We will be in the same state of mind on the side of FC Nantes.»

Tactical progression in preparation : “It’s a new system. We did not start working on what the contours of the workforce should be in relation to a game system 24 hours before my arrival with Luis Campos. Last season, I had the privilege of watching, observing and even supporting PSG in international competitions. We saw good things and others that were more difficult. I also chose this system in relation to the players who are part of the workforce, in relation to strengths. The preparation matches were interesting on certain points, it gave us information. Defensive settings, depth management… We are working on that. We came back to it in pictures with the players. The DNA of PSG is to attack, to make sure to take the ball and return it to the opponent as late as possible or to finish our actions well. Last year, often when PSG was in danger, it was in the transition game. I insist a lot on this balance. We must be able to attack with six or seven but also to keep a good balance to thwart the transitions that the opponent can impose. There will still be adjustments to be made over the weeks to fine-tune certain movements. Afterwards, on an offensive level, there are principles, but above all you have to let talent express itself, encourage it to express itself without restraint.»

Statements taken at a press conference

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