The French media are building up to PSG’s first Champions League match of the season. Unai Emery’s men haven’t had a good start to their league season and victory over Arsenal would be a very useful distraction indeed.
Arsenal themselves have had a hot and cold opening few games, and beating PSG at the Parc des Princes would allow Arsene Wenger and his men to take all three points and a very positive outlook back to London.
As part of their build-up, French newspaper L’Equipe have asked former Arsenal player, and former Aston Villa manager, Remi Garde to judge the teams player by player.
Such things are always bound to be controversial, so Garde was bound to annoy people regardless of what he chose.
In goal, there was always going to be one winner between Alphonse Areola and Petr Cech, with Garde saying that although the PSG player “has a bright future”, Cech is “more reliable, much more experienced”.
Serge Aurier against Hector Bellerin was likely to be harder, but Garde plumped for the Arsenal man.
Marquinhos up against Shkodran Mustafi was an easier one for Garde, with him being a big fan of the Brazilian defender: “Marquinhos, because I have always loved him.”
Thiago Silva versus Laurent Koscielny was a bit tougher, with the Arsenal defender pipping it for Garde: “With Thiago Silva at 100%, it would have been a difficult choice but now I take Koscielny.”
Maxwell against Nacho Monreal was a hard one for Garde, because the former Aston Villa manager prefers the PSG player, but plumped for the Arsenal defender because he’s shown more this season.
Grzegorz Krychowiak versus Santi Cazorla is a mis-match, with the two being completely different players. But for the benefit of L’Equipe’s feature, Garde had to pick one and went with Cazorla.
Garde believes Adrien Rabiot has a big future ahead of him, but right now picked Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin ahead of the youngster: “Rabiot is certainly on the threshold of a great career but today Coquelin has a small lead. Since last year, he took on another dimension. With Cazorla, they form a complementary pair.”
And now we get to the hardest picks, involving Arsenal favourites Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Garde went for Angel Di Maria over Sanchez: “It is played on a wire. Perhaps Di Maria because I think Sanchez is more comfortable on the left.”
Marco Verratti won out over Ozil, in another close one, partly because Garde believes he ‘perhaps offers more guarantees’, which is largely down to a difference in style.
Olivier Giroud is picked ahead of Edinson Cavani, for what Garde thinks is a better conversion rate, and Theo Walcott is ahead of Blaise Matuidi, largely because the latter won’t be playing in his best position.
8-3 in favour of Arsenal.