French football expert Jonathan Johnson has hit out at Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique for the way he tinkered too much with his team for the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United in last night’s Champions League game.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column, Johnson also had criticism for PSG winger Ousmane Dembele, who continues to frustrate with his inconsistent form and poor decision-making.
Although Enrique has praised Dembele, who recently scored a superb solo goal against Monaco, the France international has not really been consistent enough since joining from Barcelona in the summer – something that probably won’t be too surprising to Barca fans who watched him for so many years at the Nou Camp.
Ultimately, PSG will have hoped for a win against Newcastle considering they were playing at home, and they did actually create a lot of good chances on the night.
Still, Johnson feels one issue is that Enrique’s decisions often leave one coming away with more questions than answers.
“To take the positives, PSG played well and they still have the chance to top the group if they beat Borussia Dortmund,” Johnson said.
“It was also kind of harsh on Newcastle, though, with the debatable nature of that penalty. In many ways PSG will also be left with more questions than answers after more tinkering from Luis Enrique – every time he does that it seems to have an adverse impact on the team.
“Ousmane Dembele also continues to blow hot and cold since his move to PSG from Barcelona in the summer. He scored a superb goal against Monaco at the weekend and rightly earned praise from Enrique, but he manages to combine the sublime with the absolutely infuriating, and that was no different against Newcastle.
“While there’s no doubt that Dembele provides moments of brilliance, he can also be frustrating to watch. I don’t really see Dembele becoming more of a consistent performer, it’s just not his profile, but of course if he could learn to not over-do things and take the simpler option it might improve his consistency levels.
“Enrique seems to like what he brings to the team, though, and a lot of fans do too. It’s easy for us to say he could do certain things better, but there will undoubtedly be fans who pay just to see the things he can do on the ball, because we can all see he has brilliant technique.”
He added: “I think there may also be criticism for Kylian Mbappe from the French press, as it’s another big game that he didn’t really stamp his authority on.
“Still, I think most of the questions will be for Enrique and some of his personnel decisions, such as leaving it so late to bring on Goncalo Ramos from the bench when PSG had been creating a lot of good chances for about 20-25 minutes prior to that.”