We pick up our story following a band of merry Parisian footballers back in mid January 20 games into the season, the squad had just taken to the top of D2 for the first time after 20 games, but a 4 point reduction in the first 11 after reviews and sales to the first team meant that lead was precarious …
Post Xmas the boys had arrived back overweight and bloated by to many glasses of Chateux nef du pape, and our form was collapsing, the high of reach the league pinnacle was becoming a distant memory. A 1-0 home defeat thanks to Liverpool was the start of the 3 game blip including 2 defeats and a draw – that coincided with losing 2 youth cup fixtures, suddenly he lovely green run we were on was looking a very ominous red. The new signings weren’t gelling quickly and the rating drops began to play on my mind, maybe rather than sell him I should’ve personally flown to see Godin and asked if he would very much of minded not leaving Inter Milan IRL rather than playing for relegation threatened Cagliari who my own knowledge of was seeing them get tonked weekly on football italia on channel 4 in the 90s. Come to think of it maybe Godin was playing back then as well based on his age.
A turn in fortune was needed and of course I had full faith in the lads, I promised them all a lovely jambon joint if they pulled their collective fingers out and restarted the promotion chase. And I guess they all like ham as things began to click. We put our foot down stopped conceding and went on a lovely little run which saw us win 6 out of 6, concede just once and return to the top of the division.
Our nearest chasers were all beating each other and while it was nice being top we had to keep an eye on the run in which would see us play most of the top 6 in the final weeks.
Valentines day arrived and as everyone knows Paris is the city of love. This fact somewhat distracted the boys who found themselves caught up in a national scandal involving a 6 players, a brothel, a bathtub full of custard and a single cucumber.
The board were furious and demanded we rotate the squad. What followed was 3 straight draws the last of which was a dogged 0-0 vs Hamburg who left Paris with a well deserved point.
Fate however was on our side as while we picked up single match points the chasing pack also stumbled and slowly the lead at the top became 6 points and dreams of sealing promotion at the first attempt started to look like a solid possibility.
March 7th will forever be the day etched into folklore for the club.
Mahrez still out injured long term with a strained buttock muscle (no relation to the brothel incident) was a big loss but the boys were now unbeaten in 11 league games. We were up against Liege away, a team themselves right in the playoff mix.
Suso was the man to make a hero of himself, goals after 18 and 36 minutes meant the away fans where in raptures, baguettes were flying high as the team strutted not just to guaranteed promotion but thanks to other results the title was clinched with 3 games to spare as we now had a 10 point cushion.
This meant the previous worries around our run in which disappeared as rhe next 2 games were vs 2nd at the time Milan and 3rd at the time Leverkusen.
The 3 game victory parade only yielded 4 more points. Which leads me back to a line from my last blog post
“a lovely article on the blog suggests around 76 points gives you a chance at the D2 title”
How many points did we finish with …. 76
So there it is. 1 season in charge of PSG, 1 D2 title delivered. We were forecasted pre season to finish second so to have lost points to player reviews and actually improve on where we should have finished was a great result.
There are challenges ahead for PSG. Most immediately will be D1 and the level of teams we will face. But longer term is dealing with the age of the squad. A number of our top performers have now passed 30. While still many years younger than their gaffer the squad will need some updates.
Yesterday we waved good bye to top player Mahrez but welcomed Inaki Williams who rarely misses a game IRL and fives us cover for Vardy and Carrasco who now hes back at Atletico is playing regularly and should have a shout at regaining his 91 rating in the future.
Anyway that all from me as we bask short term in some glory.
I’m off for a glass of red and to read up on what this Moulin Rouge place is the players keep talking about.
Merci d’avoir lu.