Playing In The Shadows: Cavani’s Success Is Creating Problems At PSG

How many times as a kid were you told by your PE teacher: ‘There’s no I in team?’. As basic as the statement is, footballing giants and spend-alcoholics, PSG,  could do with these words from the likes of Mr. Jones every now and again.

The French side have started well in Ligue 1 with six wins from six and scoring 21 goals in the process. However, if the team is going to reach the ultimate goal – win the Champions League – the egos, and self-obsession with individual success must be discarded in dispute of team unity.

Once again, this ‘unity’ wasn’t on show in PSG’s 2-0 victory over Lyon. Both Edinson Cavani and Neymar clashed over who was going to take a free-kick and then a penalty in the Ligue 1 fixture; Cavani won the verbal battle with Neymar, but lost the battle with ‘keeper, Lopes:

The arguing over the spot-kick is a reminder of the personalities at the club; personalities who are obsessed with Golden Boots, and Ballon d’Ors. Neymar left Barcelona to go after this award, the Brazilian was never going to win it at Barcelona with Lionel Messi ahead of him.

However, the obsession could cost PSG. The fact Cavani has seven goals already in Ligue 1, compared to Neymar’s four, is only likely to create tension between the pair; Neymar left Spain to be the main man in France… he’s not right now.

The petulance could cost the French side when they meet the ‘bigger’ teams in Europe. Despite their 5-0 win away at Celtic, they still looked like a team of individuals; individuals who are looking to prove themselves to the world, rather than PSG to the world.

What perhaps is more concerning for PSG fans is this division that the selfishness could create behind closed doors. It’s all well and good having big and fun personalities in the dressing room, but when such personalities then develop splinter groups of different cliques, it can only be a manager’s worst nightmare having to manage subgroups rather than a whole group – PSG are heading that way when the likes of Dani Alves wants his ‘best bud’ Neymar on set-pieces.

PSG are in danger of this very fun, and talented, Brazilain circus act dividing the team in the French capital. The likes of Neymar, Alves, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are all likely to throw their support behind Brazilian captain, Neymar, and it could go back to a school version of power struggles and social hierarchy which was why the PE teacher had to always remind us there’s ‘no I in team’.

Sometimes, we all need a reminder of basic life lessons… even if you’re a 200-million pound player.