Thursday, January 19, 2017

Emery well aware of PSG expectations

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 13 Dec 2016

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Unai Emery claims he was not given a minimum benchmark of success upon taking over at Paris Saint-Germain, but realises the team is expected to challenge for every domestic trophy.

PSG won Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue last season, while reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

That was not enough for Laurent Blanc to keep his job at Parc des Princes, the club’s Qatari owners turning to Emery in an attempt to fulfil their European ambitions.

The Spaniard won three successive Europa League titles at Sevilla from 2014 to 2016, but has struggled to replicate the domestic dominance of his predecessor in the French capital.

The reigning champions occupy the unfamiliar territory of third in Ligue 1, four points behind leaders Nice and three back from second-placed Monaco approaching the halfway mark of the season. 

“Management did not give me a goal,” he told a news conference ahead of a Coupe de la Ligue tie against Lille on Wednesday.

“But it is clear that in Paris your goal is to win everything. And we are favourites in all national competitions. The championship is an obvious goal, like the Coupe de la Ligue. The Champions League, we want to grow in this competition.”

Emery was forced to defend his intermittent use of striker Jese Rodriguez, who has started just one league game since joining from Real Madrid in August. 

“[Jese] works daily, with a lot of involvement,” he said.

“And I want him to continue to prepare in this way. Why did not he play more? He is a good player and his adaptation is much better. But he needs to more continuity. When he played 20, 30 minutes, it was fine.”

The former Valencia coach also insisted he is happy with the options at his disposal and does not have favourites within the dressing room.

“All the players who are here have been chosen by PSG with the consent of all the [club’s] leaders,” he said.

“Then it is not because I know the player that he has an advantage over one of his team-mates.

“Some players have small problems, pain, and some are tired. But what is certain is that I will change some players. As for [goalkeeper Kevin] Trapp, it is a possibility that it starts tomorrow. But I’ll make up a team to win tomorrow.”

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