It was Christophe Galtier who was not very pleased with his team’s match who appeared at a press conference after the victory against Troyes (4-3). The French coach had very little taste for the imbalance observed in his team, making it a very recurring theme in his speech, while he commented on a few individual performances such as those of Soler, Mukiele or Kimpembe. Here are his comments in full.
Your team enjoyed attacking but appeared unbalanced from the start, how do you explain the imbalance of your team in this game? Is this something identified on this new system?
“Already, we had a very bad start to the match. I don’t know if it’s the schedule (5 p.m.) or the fact of having had a very good victory in the middle of the week, but obviously we started the match very badly. In my mind, there has been for a few weeks a search for the best animation with the best possible relationships on the offensive level. In that sense, it was good and even very good since we were dangerous with four goals but also a lot of situations. But paradoxically, we were completely open. With the players concerned when we were very high in our offensive animation to try to animate and score, we were in a very big imbalance.
“We won very few balls, which gave Troyes the opportunity to be on their strong point”
And on the reactions to the loss, as much as there was the desire to do it but we did it very badly. We won very few balls, which gave Troyes the opportunity, who had a very good game, and we must congratulate them, for being on their strong point. It’s a transition team, with a lot of percussion and technical quality. From the moment when the balance was not respected because everyone wanted or thought a lot more about playing to attack, no, it can’t be like that. There are players who attack, there are animations to do so, but there is also a balance to be had.
From the moment when the balance was not respected, it gave this kind of matches with very favorable situations for Troyes. In the transitions, it was always very limited and, I repeat, in terms of intensity and aggressiveness on the reaction to the loss, we won very few duels, which gave a match surely interesting for the spectators but it’s not a very interesting match for the coach because we have a lot of things to correct. And obviously we have a lot of things to correct. f
Were you seduced by the performance of your attacking players, in particular in their relationship? And do they lack the game without the ball?
“I was very happy with my forwards. The four attacking players scored, all four. I add Carlos Soler who also gets the penalty synonymous with victory when you see the history of the match. I wish they would play like that, but for those who were in charge of balance: when we were on the left, the balance on the other side was not done. And when we were on the right very high and very offensive, the balance was not done either. And we really lacked intensity to win that first ball. There has been a lot of progress in this direction in previous matches, not just the last one, and we failed this time. Did fatigue or the schedule or the fact that we had in mind the offensive performance with the number of goals scored against Haifa make us forget basic principles? And when we forget them, winning the ball very quickly and giving that right balance, we were very open and enormously put in danger. »
What did you think of Nordi Mukiele’s match at this right-back position in a four-man defense, he who has more benchmarks at five?
“Nordi was very interesting defensively, with a lot of power, and he won a lot of duels. »
“Nordi is shaped a bit like a plunger and he can also play as a third central defender. He showed me in matches that he can also be interesting as a full-back. He had a little trouble finding his bearings, especially in the first 10 minutes. But because there was in front of him Carlos Soler who also took a little time to find his good position and come to help him on the right side which allowed them to create a lot of excess on the right side over the first ten minutes then it was fixed. But Nordi was very interesting defensively, with a lot of power, and he won a lot of duels.
He brought what he had to bring in the offensive position but it is also from the position of our very open side that the opposing transition situations came about. As much as I am satisfied with everything he was able to do, but we forgot the balance of it, whether it was Nordi or Juan (Bernat) on the other side. We have to work on that, and very quickly because if you concede 3 goals in the Champions League you have very little chance of winning and god knows we have a very important game for first place on Wednesday. This is obviously a very important issue. »
Is the sometimes somewhat static return of Presnel Kimpembe normal? Or is there a job to do?
“It’s a back-to-school game, it’s been six or seven weeks since he played even though he participated in Tuesday’s victory. There, he started but he obviously has problems with benchmarks and confidence also in his races after a fairly serious muscle injury. It’s a recovery match in a context where our defense has not been greatly helped. »
Did Carlos Soler convince you?
“Soler has the technical quality and the ability for a three-man midfielder to project himself into the penalty area”
“I was satisfied, like when he entered the Champions League where he scored. We know the qualities of Carlos and he has to adapt to our system, to many things. Generally, when he plays in a triangle in the middle, he is rather on the left but I didn’t want to upset Vitinha who is very often comfortable in that position. So I left Carlos on the right and he had a little moment of hesitation in his defensive positioning in the first ten minutes, which created two or three transition situations where we were very unbalanced and there was the goal (1-0). Afterwards, he has the technical quality and the ability for a midfielder to project himself into the penalty area. He is a player from the Spanish school, therefore with a lot of technical quality and a short relationship. He hasn’t started many games since the start of the season and I knew he was going to pick up a bit at some point. He is a scorer and gets the penalty, it’s obviously a good game for him. »
Is it a booster shot before going to Turin on Wednesday night to face Juventus?
“With the attacking quality that we have, we cannot and we must not give the opponent the possibility of hoping”
“We’ll see, we’ll work, we conceded three goals, that’s more than we had conceded in the league since the start of the season (at home): we conceded five goals in the week, that’s really way too much. Admittedly, we scored eleven. But we will work, I will talk about it with the players, we will correct things. Because with the offensive quality that we have, we cannot and we must not give the possibility to the adversary to hope, we must forbid it. In this sense, there are positions, very strict balances (to be respected). It will take a great rigor, a great requirement in terms of reflection not to repeat this kind of error. »