DECRYPTION – Much more prominent than at Newcastle, but still clumsy and nervous, the Parisian remains an enigma at the start of the season.
We were waiting for them at the turn, the Parisians responded. With goals from Vitinha, Achraf Hakimi and Randal Kolo Muani, PSG defeated Rennes (1-3) Sunday, at Roazhon Park, at the end of the eighth day of Ligue 1. “The Parisian victory is logical and deserved, it could even have been wider“, recognizes Bruno Genesio, whose team started very well before being dominated by the visitors, good, serious and efficient if not brilliant. There was this goal from Amine Gouiri, to bring the score to 1-2. But there was no photo. It must be said that Rennes dry cleaning is not of the same ilk as that of Newcastle, which swept Paris (4-1) last Wednesday. Hakimi always on top, Warren Zaire-Emery’s candy, “Viti” rather than an attacker even if the system has not changed that much… There are many things to say. And Kylian Mbappé?
The numbers first: after scoring eight goals in his first five matches, the 24-year-old French international (71 caps, 40 goals) has just completed a fourth match without scoring, Clermont (0-0), Newcastle and so Rennes. There was also OM (4-0), but Mbappé, hit in the ankle in the first minutes, had to give up his place half an hour into the game. But beyond the statistics, there is everything else, this palpable nervousness, an unusual clumsiness, the diffuse impression that he is not himself since the start of the season, including when he was scoring goals like pearls. So much so that we are entitled to ask ourselves a certain number of questions.
He was tired but not frustrated.
Starting with those that concern his physical state. Is he fully operational after his sprain against OM? “Yes“, hammered “Lucho” before Newcastle. We can also wonder if his summer preparation allowed him to start the campaign in optimal conditions. Remember that Mbappé trained for a time with the lofters, before returning to the good graces of Ner Al-Khelaïfi and therefore to rejoin Luis Enrique’s group. This may be something to take into account. “I think he was also tired, analyzes his friend Ousmane Dembélé. We play every three days, it weighs a little, but he wasn’t frustrated. He will quickly score again“. Perhaps against the Netherlands on Friday or against Scotland, in eight days, with the France team. A goal that would allow “KM” to equal Michel Platini in Blue, just that. As for PSG, we will have to wait for the Strasbourg reception on October 21 (5 p.m.), during the ninth day of the L1 championship.
One thing is certain: its use is optimal in selection. And in Paris? One may ask. Transition team yesterday, PSG wants to be dominant under Luis Enrique, with a lot of possession, control, and therefore perhaps less space for Bondy’s arrow. Mbappé does not, however, lack freedom, on the contrary, knowing that the Spanish coach often adds a player who takes the left side in phases of possession, whether it is a pure attacker (Barcola, Kolo Muani) or a midfielder (Vitinha ). A freedom which takes him away from his comfort zone and which requires him to have more responsibility for creation. Which is not necessarily his cup of tea, even if we are of course talking about a multidimensional player, an exceptional finisher, yes, but coupled with an outstanding per.
Sunday evening, Mbappé also showed himself to be particularly altruistic. If some of his little comrades had not themselves been struck by clumsiness in front of goal, he could have been credited with one or two ists. Cleared at St-James’ Park, the captain of the Blues did not hide at Roazhon Park, as his statistics attest: 50 balls (that’s relatively few), eight strikes including three on target, three successful dribbles, five duels won. Like his incredible miss at the end of the match after eliminating Steve Mandanda, there is something wrong. Even he can be struck by the lack of confidence. “He didn’t score (Sunday), but he’s been playing at a very high level since the start of the season, corrects Luis Enrique. He made some good plays, pes and had a lot of chances. Actually, it’s a bit weird that Kylian didn’t score, but it’s just an anecdote. For my part, I remember what he brings to the team in defense and attack», continues the Spanish technician.
Which Luis Enrique joked ironically before Rennes-PSG, at a press conference, remembering that we spoke to him about “Mbappé-dependence two or three weeks ago and the fact that it was only him who scored in the team. Now you ask me what he should do because he hasn’t scored in the last few matches… We have to be consistent“, squeaked the ex-Barça coachclaiming that his number 7 “gives 100% but he is like everyone else: the players go through different states during a season“. And to add: “He’s not Superman when he scores eight goals but he’s not a normal player when he doesn’t score either. Everything is not all white or all black. There are nuances all the time. Kylian is a vital, decisive and decisive player for us.»
He too has the right to have a period in which he is a little less well and a little less effective.
It is obviously also in the selection. And Didier Deschamps is not very worried. “He is not in a period of efficiency, as he has so often experienced… Obviously, for a player like him, it shows a little more, recognizes the coach. But through yesterday’s match (Sunday), especially the second half, he was much more available, mobile, the repetition of efforts… We are not going to go over the history again, but there was also everything that he has (lived) this summer. Even if he is in full possession of his means, he also has the right to have a period in which he is a little less good and a little less effective in this infernal pace of matches.“. As for the state of mind of the person concerned, no worries. “He has a smile, he is happy to be there and he knows that he has an important role with the French teamunderlines Deschamps. It would be very good if he regained his effectiveness with us, of course (smile).» As far as effectiveness is concerned, it is indeed only a matter of time, no doubt. And for the rest too?