DECRYPTION – Christophe Galtier surprised his world on Monday by acknowledging the status of vice-captain of Kylian Mbappé, and in particular Presnel Kimpembe.
Paris, the art of complicating life. Winners 7-0 against amateurs from the US Pays de Casselthe Rouge et Bleu returned from Lens with the feeling of a job well done and a ticket to the round of 16 of the Coupe de France, with the prospect of a Classic against OM. Full box. Nothing to brag about given the level of the opponent, resident of Regional 1, the sixth division, but all the same. More, Kylian Mbappé took the opportunity to panic the counters, his quintuplet allowing him to return to four goals from Edinson Cavani’s house record (196 against 200). Except that the PSG will always be the PSG, married to troubles and upheavals, to bickering. The proof with this beginning of controversy about the captain’s armband.
Monday, it was Mbappé who inherited it. A great first for the Bondy star at the start of a match in the colors of Paris Saint-Germain. A great proof of confidence knowing that other more experienced players were in the eleven, Neymar Jr, Keylor Navas or Sergio Ramos. Nothing scandalous, however, given the status of the person concerned, of his importance in Paris since his contract extension last spring. Especially since the usual captain, Marquinhos, was on the bench, and his substitute, Presnel Kimpembe, is still unavailable.
For the captain’s armband, it has been defined like this since the start of the season. I had decided that Kylian should be the second captain.
Yes, but here it is: failing to question the status of Marqui, the Parisian coach bombarded “KM” vice-captain in a post-match press conference, a little to everyone’s surprise. “For the captain’s armband, it has been defined like this since the start of the season. I had decided that Kylian should be the second captain. He stayed at PSG. He deserved to have this armband when Marqui is not there“, he said. Problem ? Of the first three matches that Marquinhos did not start this season, three matches for which Mbappé started, the armband went to Kimpembe (Brest, Troyes) and in the absence of the latter, to Marco Verratti (Auxerre). Under these conditions, the words of “Galette” do not make sense. Why say that Mbappé has been the only number 2 since the start of the season?
There is no doubt that Christophe Galtier will speak on this subject on Friday (1 p.m.), at a press conference, two days before PSG-Reims (20th day of Ligue 1). In the meantime, speculation is rife. Our colleagues from the radio RMC for example indicated that Presnel Kimpembe was informed of this change “several weeks ago“. A priori, the message did not get through. “In the last few hours, I have been able to hear and read a lot about myself. I therefore wish to make things clear in order to avoid spreading false information about me. I was not made aware of this decision, this is completely false“, released “Kim” late Tuesday evening, in a message posted on social networks, specifying immediately that he “will always respect the decisions of the club“.
Promotion or downgrading?
Good soldier, but this speech means that the question is not trivial… Especially since the 27-year-old titi does not need that, between a dragging extension, the potential arrival of Milan Skriniar and his last-minute World Cup package. It looks very much like a downgrade, even if it’s a promotion.
We know his importance in the group, his level of play and his ability to be a defensive leader.
Remember, however, that Galtier sang the praises of his French international (28 caps) just before this match against US Pays de Cassel. “We hope to have it in the next few weeks. It is expected that he will return to the sessions in eight to ten days. He works hard, strong, he puts a lot of energy and he is very invested, very serious, but we will see how he feels on the pitch. It is obviously a detrimental absence for us, we know his importance in the group, his level of play and his ability to be a leader in defense. He is also a left-hander and it is important in the axis. But we will see in the days to come if he can return to the field and then, his state of form.“, he said.
We will also see his state of mind. One thing is certain: with the daunting program that awaits Paris in February, in particular FC Bayern in the knockout stages of the Champions League and two Classics in Marseille, in L1 and in the Cup, the return of Presnel Kimpembe will do the greatest good. By then, this controversy will perhaps have flown away as it came? “There are four vice-captains: Kimpembe, Verratti, Mbappé and Ramos. And when Marqui is not there, the coach chooses his captain from the four vice-captains“, we whisper to France Blue Paris . At PSG, it’s never that simple.