In Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss to Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, Luis Enrique took a chance. The 4-2-4 configuration used by the Spanish manager didn’t work out well for him.
Still, it’s a tactical game plan Enrique defends, but it isn’t going well with the French media. Foot Mercato took aim at the 53-year-old’s insistence on trying a new formation in a game of this magnitude.
The editorial cited Enrique’s past two jobs with FC Barcelona and the Spanish national on how stubborn of a manager he can be.
“In Spain, this stubbornness is not new,” the outlet noted. “Recently, the technician from Gijon ‘heated’ the local press after being pitifully taken out in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup by Morocco. [It was] an elimination which had triggered a wave of criticism on the surprising but assumed choices of the former coach of La Roja.
“[Enrique] also knew how to be inflexible against the undisputed star of the Blaugrana club, Lionel Messi. On January 2, 2015, the two men had a falling out in training. Two days later, Luis Enrique installed Messi on the bench for the match against Real Sociedad.”
Since Enrique is defending his decisions, the 4-2-4 formation will likely be in the cards. Nonetheless, the entire squad must turn the page on this loss and prepare for AC Milan.
If PSG can secure at least four points over the Serie A side, it could put them in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages. Anything below that, then they’ll have a fight on their hands for those two spots