These are not the best of times for former Sevilla coach Unai Emery.

The Spaniard took over the reins at Parc Des Princes last summer and was charged by the Qatari owners with transforming Paris Saint-Germain into a top team, into a level where they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Ever since oil wealth took over the funding of PSG in 2012, many coaches have come and gone and in each case were deemed to have come short of the club’s ultimate goal. Carlo Ancelotti – current Bayern coach – and Laurent Blanc both delivered two league titles apiece during their respective two year reigns, making it four in a row for Les-Rouges-et-Bleus yet the owners feel an inability to perform satisfactorily inEuropean inter-club competitions – the UEFA Champions League – is a big mark indicating the limitedness of the coach in charge.

Not that they are wrong though, after all they’ve done their bit in ensuring funds are provided for the coaches to entice whatsoever player they think will help them attain the ultimate heights of PSG’s long term goals.

Still, there is an increasing feeling that a little exercising of patience, the patience to build a team and watch them gel together seems to be a rational fans sentiment which actually makes sense. The amount of money pumped into the PSG project by the Qatari Sports Investment led by Nasser Al-khelaifi might be suspect for the seeming short temper on their part.

Everything now pointed to Unai Emery as UEFA held the round-of-16 draw in Nyon on, and the poor guy’s heart might have surged up as it became inevitable that fate was setting a knockout fixture between Les Parisiens and La Blaugaranas. Both teams met last year at the quarterfinals and the Catalan giants came tops with a 5-1 aggregate score over the two legs.

The problem with Emery’s case is that before now, PSG were only seen sweating their butts off in European fixtures – not domestic ones. French football has grown accustomed to seeing Les Parisiens at the number one spot of Ligue 1 standings in virtually every match day barely noticing if any team surged past them. It’s been a common sight.

Not for Emery though, his side currently occupy the 3rd top most spot behind surprise table toppers Nice and 2nd spotters AS Monaco. With his troops failing to mount a convincing league title defence, losing to Barcelona come February will most certainly spell doom as it will used to grade him on his paymasters’ score card.


Diego Costa reckons that because Antonio Conte has been like a mate with the players and not like a coach, it has eased everything in the Blues change room and the team has started giving its best which it couldn’t do while defending its title during the 2015-16 Season.

Costa discloses that Conte always shares funny stuff and stories and makes sure everybody’s mood remains lifted. When the head of the camp has such a light nature, it rubs off all around and it generates positivity because nobody thinks too much about unnecessary stuff like criticism and public perception.

Salomon Kalou is also impressed by the Italian coach, with his former team-mates informing him on a regular basis about how the tactician keeps them on their toes. He has previously invited players such as John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic to come out and see him play (fans can click here) and he remains a Blue at heart.

In Costa’s view, Conte has come across as a type of person whom everyone has developed a bonding with and everyone knows that he will be there for their help every time they are in a tough situation.

A lot of Chelsea players were frustrated last summer and Costa was no different as he was keen to switch clubs and get back to the Spanish capital which is also his home, not his motherland, but, home in the sense that his family is based there.

That thought would not have been in his mind anymore though as he is finding the net at will in the English top flight at the moment and is the highest goal-scorer.

However, Costa denies that his desire for a transfer was, at any point, driven by the disastrous failure that Chelsea had or by the lack of enjoyment at Chelsea. The striker stresses that it was only the home factor which was behind it and no other factor.

Costa asks who doesn’t want to pursue his career with his whole family around? As per him, family is family and it’s special for everyone. So, that’s the reason he was open to the Atletico transfer, but, he was absolutely fine and satisfied at Stamford Bridge too.