Has Unai Emery run out of time at PSG?
By Joe Harker
The Champions League clash between PSG and Real Madrid was described as a "now or never" moment for manager Unai Emery.
Win the tie by enough goals and go through to the next round, draw or lose and go out in the first knockout round in what would surely be a failure for the club that broke world transfer records to bring in Neymar.
Despite being on course to win Ligue 1 this season it is the Champions League where PSG managers will be judged and defeat at the hands of Real Madrid has knocked Emery's side out.
Perhaps PSG thought the manager who won three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla would be able to translate that success to the Champions League when given the superior quality and financial power of the French giants. It has not turned out to be so as the club collapsed with an ill tempered whimper, going down to 10 men before being defeated. The PSG project aimed to establish the club as a genuine European giant but they are still without the Champions League and they will likely go through managers until they find one who can bring them the trophy.
Spanish site Marca believes Emery knows the price of failure and does not expect to remain at the club beyond this season. They suggest that he will stay on to see out the title challenge and attempt to complete a domestic treble but insist the owners are not interested in those trophies. The manager's contract expires in June and Emery has likely not done enough to be offered a new deal.
Football 365 call Emery the "early loser". Whether it was the fault of the players or not they expect the manager to cop the blame and be sent packing at the end of the season. He insisted the PSG side can win the Champions League and many might agree with that assessment, the club are not lacking for talent, but they will expect another manager to be making the attempt next season. Perhaps he has been unlucky to draw Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last 16 but they were tests of how far PSG had come against the European elite and Emery's side failed.
Marca do believe Emery is not the only one to blame for his club's Champions League exit. They criticise Verratti for getting sent off, call Dani Alves a "highway" for Real Madrid to attack down and denounced forwards Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe as having little impact on the game. Perhaps the players deserve some share of the blame, but the owners will keep looking for a manager who can get more out of the team than Emery has done.