According to a report by Jonathan Johnson of Bleacher Report and ESPN, Laurent Blanc is on the hot seat at Paris Saint-Germain.
If the French giants aren’t able to defeat Barcelona in Tuesday’s Champions League clash, Blanc could be under serious pressure from the club’s hierarchy and according to Johnson, this weekend’s league draw with Toulouse has ratcheted up the heat even more.
The assessment of Blanc’s position may be a bit of an unfair one, given that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out for the forseeable future with a heel injury.
To see how PSG fare without him, just look to last year’s competition when the club crumbled to Chelsea in the second leg of their quarterfinals, unable to get just one away goal which would have seen them well through.
Zlatan was involved in nearly half of all PSG’s Ligue 1 goals last season with 26 goals and 16 assists (PSG scored 84 goals altogether) and scored 10 of their 25 Champions League goals during the previous competition.
“The only way we will find our level again is by playing because it is our philosophy and the players adhere to it,” Blanc said about his team. “Barcelona have had this philosophy for 30-40 years and see where it led them. We lack aggressiveness when we don’t have the ball.” A harsh but true assessment of his side.
If that wasn’t enough of a shot to PSG’s chances, captain Thiago Silva and electric winger Ezequiel Lavezzi are also injured, with both likely out as well.
The club is currently in fourth place in Ligue 1, and although they have yet to be defeated, the Parisians have been held to draws against Stade Rennais, Lyon, Toulouse, and Evian as well as against Ajax in the Champions League.
Johnson’s report says that it sounds cruel to say a loss to a club like Barcelona could doom a manager of Blanc’s quality, but he says previous results have made it that way.
“It sounds harsh to say that Blanc could be facing the sack if PSG do not beat Barcelona, opponents who it would be understandable if the French side lost to,” Johnson writes. “But that was always going to be a possibility once they failed to take maximum points from their trip to Amsterdam. If there was a game that is likely to truly hurt the former French national team boss, it is that draw with Ajax.”
It correctly states in his report that PSG will ultimately be judged on how they do in European play, with the club’s aspirations always looking towards making noise among world soccer since they began spending insane amounts of money. However, should they slip in league play that would be another dark spot on Blanc’s resume as well.