Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain might have ended the season with a dismal run of form, but their 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign was still mightily impressive.
The capital club wrapped up the title more than a month before Friday’s last fixture at Reims, finishing 16 points clear of second-placed Lille.
And given PSG’s failings in the Champions League and both domestic cup competitions, it appears it was their Ligue 1 displays that convinced the club to extend Tuchel’s contract until June 2021 on Saturday.
Using Opta data, it is clear to see why the board would be impressed, too, even allowing for the late-season run of three wins in 10 matches across all competitions.
Tuchel won 76.3 per cent of his league matches this term, recording 2.39 points per game – the best returns of any first-year coach in the Qatar Sports Investments era.
The class of 2018-19 also recorded 2.76 goals per game and became the first Ligue 1 team to score in every match of a 38-round season.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 24, 2019
More will be expected of Tuchel in years two and three, but he has put together a first campaign that outperforms predecessors Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Unai Emery.
Ancelotti was the Qatari owners’ maiden appointment midway through the 2011-12 season but fell short in a bid for the club’s first title in 18 years. Top when the Italian took over, PSG subsequently won 57.9 per cent of their matches and earned 2.05 points per game, finishing three points behind champions Montpellier.
But Ancelotti started to turn PSG into the club they are today in 2012-13. They claimed the Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League quarter-finals.
Blanc has not had a job since leaving PSG, yet he established the club as a truly dominant force during three years in charge that returned three league titles, two Coupe de France triumphs and three in the Coupe de la Ligue.
The standards were high in his first season – winning 71.1 per cent of league matches, earning 2.34 points per game and scoring 2.21 goals per game – but he did not reach Tuchel’s levels.
9 – Laurent Blanc has won nine titles in all comps with Paris, the most for a manager of the Parisian club. Stick. pic.twitter.com/yQQz3WtVA2
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 13, 2016
It might have been plain sailing for Blanc when he arrived at the Parc des Princes, but Emery’s first year provided a reminder of the difficulties of this job and the expectations that come with it.
PSG came second to a brilliant Monaco outfit in 2016-17, even though Emery actually matched Blanc’s win percentage. Their 2.29 points per game – more than Ancelotti’s PSG averaged over his whole tenure – were not enough to defend the title.
Frustrations might have boiled over in recent weeks, but Tuchel’s early Ligue 1 success should not be taken for granted.
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