What constitutes a good season? What is the most important trophy to win? The league? Champions League? Domestic Cups? Does anyone care about winning the Europa League?
With Unai Emery leaving and Thomas Tuchel coming in to replace him at PSG. Many folks would say that Emery was a disappointment. There have been articles posted “It’s Time for Unai Emery to Go”. Granted there were some matches in which his lineups or substitutions were understandably questioned. But the burning question for PSG is, how can you go out and spend 200M on Neymar and not make it out of the Round of 16 in the Champions League? That was the priority for PSG. But you’ve just let a manager go, who just won you 3 trophies. If Emery had won the Champions League, but didn’t win the domestic cup or Ligue 1, would he still have his job? Do you expect someone else to come in and get all 4? It seems success isn’t measured with winning trophies, it’s being measured by winning the right trophies. Emery is losing his job because he didn’t win the right trophy.
PSG won the domestic treble. I’m not sure how that is disappointing, but for PSG and it’s fans, they are disappointed. There are many, many clubs that would love to have one of those trophies. Barcelona and Manchester City also secured a domestic double. Are they failures as well? Most would argue that Barcelona is and that’s because they’ve won the league 7 times in the last 10 years. Barcelona fans want Champions League trophies.
Looking at the top 5 leagues, there have only ever been 5 continental trebles. Just 5.
- 1998-99 – Manchester United – Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League
- 2008-09 – Barcelona – La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League
- 2009-10 – Inter – Serie A, Coppa Italia, UEFA Champions League
- 2012-13 – Bayern Munich – Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, UEFA Champions League
- 2014-15 – Barcelona – La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League
Did PSG fans really expect this? Now I know, there isn’t a ton of competition in Ligue 1 and PSG should win that league every year but concessions have to be made somewhere.
In England, if you’re in European competition, that means you’re competing on four fronts. How can your squad compete on four fronts? It’s almost impossible unless you have some serious squad rotation. And sure, maybe that’s the goal. Maybe we want our clubs to fund 2 teams of XI and we can rotate full squads. But this isn’t FIFA18 and the club’s money isn’t infinite (close).
What it comes down to is choices and expectation management. Every club is going to have different goals and ways to get there. And those clubs who want to capture them all at once are dreaming! Clubs will have to choose the competition they want to focus on and forget the rest and the fan base will have to be okay with that.
As a Liverpool fan, I want to see the Reds win the Premier League more than anything. But that is only because they haven’t won it in the Premier League era. If they won the league last year, I would want them to focus on the Champions League. But you can’t have your cake and eat it too. This year’s Champions League Final will feature two clubs who are 3rd and 4th in their domestic league. It’s becoming harder and harder to win both the domestic leagues and the Champions League.
Will we ever see a continental treble again?