French giants Paris Saint-Germain have disciplined a pair of star players for returning from their holiday break late.
While the Premier League was in full swing over the Christmas and New Years time, most other European leagues were on an extended break, but with teams scheduled to return next weekend, club training was under way starting today.
Two men who weren’t at training, however, were South Americans Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who both arrived too late from their home countries to participate, and manager Laurent Blanc was furious.
With the club two points back of the top spot, and nothing short of a title expected from PSG just about every year, there is much work to be done, and without all present and accounted for at training today, Blanc says some players need to reevaluate their priorities. In his usual meeting with the media today, he called their decisions “unacceptable” and not only banned the players for two matches, but banished them to train in solitude.
“Cavani and Lavezzi will train away from the group and not play the next two matches,” the club confirmed via Instagram. Reports also indicate the pair was fined.
Normally it would follow that, with relegation-threatened Evian and SC Bastia the next two up on PSG’s fixture list, the suspended stars won’t be terribly missed. But PSG’s problem has often been playing down to lesser competition, so the club will need to be on its best behavior. PSG’s lone league loss this year has come to 12th placed Guingamp, while three of their eight draws have come against bottom-10 sides, and two others came against those eighth or lower.
Cavani has scored seven goals in 18 league matches this season, while Lavezzi’s creativity has taken a bit of a nosedive this season.
The occurrence has also put the transfer rumor machine back into a whirring state, with Premier League clubs Arsenal and Liverpool linked with the two, among other teams.