This is going to be a bit of a journey, so bear with us.
Thiago Motta is PSG’s Under-19 coach. That might come as a surprise to those of you who hadn’t realised he’d retired, but it’s about to get a lot stranger.
Don’t let his years as a heavy-footed defensive midfielder fool you. Motta is a maverick. This is, after all, a man who’s represented both Brazil and Italy at international level.
This is a left-footed Mizuno wearer. An old-fashioned renegade.
So when it comes to coaching philosophies, it’s little surprise he’s shunned the methods favoured by former boss Jose Mourinho.
In an interview with Gazetta dello Sport, Motta laid out his unorthodox plan to revolutionise football.
He explained: “I had a game a while ago where the two full-backs ended up playing as the 9 and 10.
“The goalkeeper counts as one of the midfield seven. For me, the attacker is the first defender and the goalkeeper is the first attacker.
The goalkeeper starts the play, with his feet, and the attackers are the first to put pressure to recover the ball.”
Weird flex, but okay.
It’s worth pointing out that this interview wasn’t conducted at four in the morning after a night in Fabric.
Motta also made little effort to hide his desire to be the top dog at PSG, explaining: “I have nothing against Thomas Tuchel but my goal is to be on the bench for the first team.”
Having seen his ideas, we’re fully on board. So, what would PSG’s current side look like if Motta had his wicked way?
Completely bats*** crazy, as you’d expect.
Seven in midfield, two at the back, Gigi Buffon transformed into the new Andrea Pirlo. What’s not to like?
We’re not completely sure what Motta’s side would look like out of possession, but he’s probably got another revolutionary plan to ensure the cleanliness of his keeper’s sheets.
The 36-year-old was on the pitch when Dejan Stankovic volleyed past Manuel Neuer from the halfway line, so he’s got first-hand experience of what happens when goalkeepers go wandering.
But what of Motta’s current side?
PSG’s Under-19 side are currently well placed to qualify from their UEFA Youth League group, having beaten Napoli 5-2 in their last game.
Maybe there’s some method to the madness. The sooner Motta finds his way to the Premier League the better.
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