Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that big-spending French outfit PSG are on the lookout for a new head coach.
This speculation seemed to have ignored the fact that the French club already have a boss with a good pedigree in European football in the shape of Unai Emery.
Talk of the likes of Arsene Wenger heading to replace Emery in the PSG dugout must have been unsettling for the Spanish boss.
However, French newspaper Le Parisien claim that Emery could stay in the French capital for next season.
Emery’s position is still precarious
However, the French publication also stated that the situation could change if PSG fails to win the Ligue One title this season. The big-spending French club have won the Ligue One title in four consecutive seasons.
That run could be set to finish this season, as Monaco are currently three points ahead of the champions and are looking strong. Failure to win the French league title would no doubt be a highly disappointing result for Emery and his expensively assembled team.
When the Spaniard took charge winning the French top-flight title was probably a given. The Ligue One title usually just takes care of itself. However, Monaco and even Nice have been superb this season and PSG have actually got a fight on their hands to retain their crown.
Emery’s side are currently second favourites behind Monaco at odds of 8/11. The team from the principality are favourites mainly due to their vastly superior goal difference.
Brought in to win the Champions League
Emery was brought in by the PSG owners with a view to winning the Champions League. Emery had guided Spanish side Sevilla to the Europa League crown in three consecutive seasons. That was a major achievement for the 45-year-old.
I personally rate Emery as a boss. He did good jobs at both Valencia and Sevilla prior to moving to France.
At Valencia, they hounded him out because he could not take them to the next level. Los Ches struggles in recent years have shown how well Emery did at the Mestalla. At Sevilla, he was obviously lauded for winning the Europa League.
The assumption was because he won the Europa League he could help PSG progress in the Champions League. However, winning the Europa League is one thing, winning the Champions League is whole other ball game.
In terms of managing in Europe’s elite competition, he doesn’t have great experience. In fact, Emery’s managerial career at the top level only spans ten years. None of those years have been spent at a major European club.
They were all clubs looking to progress up their league tables. Valencia and Sevilla were just hoping to have a shot at usurping Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was always playing catch-up in La Liga.
Emery’s inexperience at the top level showed at Barcelona in the last-16 of the Champions League. PSG headed to the Nou Camp for their second leg 4-0 up and looking set to go through. It seemed it would be very difficult for the Spanish champions to overcome the first-leg deficit.
However, they did winning the second leg 6-1 to progress 6-5 on aggregate. The PSG players were awful, but even against Barcelona, most top bosses would have found a way to defend a four-goal lead.
The defeat showed that Emery has a lot to learn as a boss at the top level. At 45-years-old of age, he is still a relatively young boss and will no doubt have taken something from the defeat.
Emery could still succeed at PSG
Unai Emery has always come across to me as an intelligent football boss. A football boss that talks a lot of sense and actually knows what he is doing. He could still succeed in Paris. However, the culture of fans and owners demanding instant success could well see him leave his current position in the summer.
If PSG do not win the French title, then everybody associated with the French club will have a right to ask questions of the Spaniard. If they do, though, then maybe he should be given another season in the French capital.
Whether the PSG owners agree with me remains to be seen. However, I do think it is slightly harsh to judge Emery on that one crazy night at the Nou Camp.
Will Unai Emery be PSG boss next season?
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