PSG are ‘WEaker’ with Lionel Messi on their squad, emphasizes Michael Owen after the Argentine fails to click with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as they draw at Club Brugge in their first game to start together
- PSG were held on to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in Europe
- Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar failed to score on Wednesday evening
- Michael Owen claims PSG’s forward line is weaker now that Messi has joined the club
- Owen believes PSG attackers are good individuals, but weak as a trio
- Rio Ferdinand claims PSG can do well with the right midfielders on the team
Michael Owen claims Paris Saint-Germain’s squad is weaker now that Lionel Messi has joined the club after the Argentine failed to score on his first start for the French side.
Messi kicked off PSG’s opening Champions League game against Club Brugge on Wednesday night in a front three with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, but none of the club’s all-star forwards managed to find the net in a disappointing 1-1 draw.
The front three, dubbed ‘MNM’ by the French media in recent weeks, is one of the most exciting combinations in world football, but former Liverpool and England striker Owen argues it’s not enough to make PSG favorites to top the list. to win the Champions League.
Michael Owen claims PSG’s forward line is weaker now that Lionel Messi (above) has moved there
Messi (right), Neymar (left) and Kylian Mbappe (center) shot a blank in PSG’s 1-1 draw at Club Brugge on Wednesday evening.
Owen told BT Sport on Wednesday: “As much as we drool over them, this PSG team with those attackers, they are all phenomenal players in their own right.
“But three together makes it weaker for me and I don’t really understand why they are one of the favorites for it (the Champions League). I think the English teams (Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Man United) are much, much better.”
Rio Ferdinand, who played with Owen at Manchester United towards the end of his career, disagreed with the striker, claiming that PSG have the players behind Messi, Mbappe and Neymar to free the three forwards.
“I don’t know,” Ferdinand said to Owen. “If you get it right behind them, if you get the right mix with (Marco) Verratti, (Idrissa) Gueye, (Gini) Wijnaldum, you’ve got legs, you’ve got people who can move the ball around the field to the big players at the top that could cause the damage.
Owen (above) claims PSG’s front three are great individuals but are actually weak as a trio
“Yeah, you have to get some work from them every now and then to come back, but I’ve seen Neymar do it. Mbappe is young enough to do it, he has to.
“I think that’s the order of (Mauricio) Pochettino, demand it from these players. That distinguishes the good managers from the great. Can you get those guys to work that people think they don’t want to work?’
Messi isn’t PSG’s only major signing this summer, with Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos all bolstering Pochettino’s backline, signings Owen says are more important to the French giants’ hopes.
He said on the broadcast: “I almost feel that signing people like Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos gives them a better chance of winning the Champions League than signing someone like Messi.”
Rio Ferdinand believes PSG can do well with their front three with the right midfielders
“We’ve seen it from PSG,” Ferdinand replied. “There have been too many occasions when they haven’t worked hard enough. We watched them at Anfield, they were walking around. That is the problem.
“I just believe Messi will come here and Mbappe will say, ‘I have to show Messi what I stand for’. When Neymar played with Messi at Barcelona, he was a phenomenal runner without a ball.
“You’d like to think that could come back in their games. If so, it will be difficult for everyone. That’s a big if.’
PSG were held to a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener by a resilient Club Brugge team
PSG were kept in their Champions League group by Belgium’s Club Brugge, even as Ander Herrera scored his third goal in two games to put Pochetinno’s side at the helm.
The French giants were fed back by Hans Vanaken’s equalizer, while Messi, Mbappe, Neymar and Co failed to break down the resilient Belgian side.
PSG have Manchester City and RB Leipzig in their group, with Pochettino’s side facing Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions in their next European game at the end of this month.