Paris Saint-Germain have been under scrutiny this season. While UEFA and Ligue 1 overlook their financial splurges and million-dollar salaries, on the sporting front they are struggling to find their game.
It seems bold to say that the competition leaders with 22 goals scored and who also lead their Champions League group are struggling to find the net. Their last game against Stade Rennais ended with no shots on target, ten shots wide and 67% possession. Mbappé, Messi, Neymar and Di Maria formed the attack for Pochettino's side, with the likes of Verratti and Achraf able to provide goals too.
PSG were unable to score a single goal against a mid-table team and suffered too much from their opponents' wing play. The three musketeers of the attack are still not feeling good along with Messi who in his new team suffers because they don't play for him as they did at Barça.
PSG have four points in the Champions League. They were held to a draw by Brugge on matchday one but made amends on the following matchday in the most eagerly awaited clash against Guardiola's Manchester City. The 2-0 scoreline was a statement of intent from the team destined to win it all this season against an opponent long overdue for a European crown. Guardiola's side have shown far less in the Champions League than PSG and do not look like they will be aiming any higher this season.
The French capital side are also lacking in defence. Donnarumma has taken the place of Keylor Navas for good. The team has conceded nine goals in Ligue 1, four more than Nice or the same as Angers, for example. The backline of Marquinhos and Kimpembe is not convincing and Bernat and Ramos are still injured.
The most significant case is that of Sergio Ramos. The Spaniard has gone from playing with a limp against Chelsea for Real Madrid in April and being given an embarrassing one minute with Spain by Luis Enrique to earn an international cap to disappearing from the pitch. From wanting to play in the EURO and the Olympics, he has gone to the gym in the golden cage he has in Paris and has not even appeared on the bench for 11 games.
His knee has not healed, and the team needs a centre-back of his calibre more and more, although it will be a mystery how he will return and how long it will take for him to adapt. The season is long, but as the months go by the demands of the competitions will be greater and Pochettino will need a defence of guarantees.
PSG are under construction, but the materials are of such high quality that there is no margin for error.