Thierry Henry has pointed out the systemic differences between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona that could be contributing towards Lionel Messi’s underwhelming form for the French club.
Messi arrived in Paris last summer, in a deal that was intended to reinvent Mauricio Pochettino’s side. A new look attack of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is, on paper at least, the most fearsome in world football.
And yet, for whatever reason, it has failed to spark into life at times this season.
For Henry, who played alongside Messi when Barcelona won the coveted triple in 08/09, there are clear reasons why the legendary Argentine has failed to carry over his form to a new league.
“Without wanting to make excuses for Mauricio Pochettino, when so many players arrive late [for the start of the season], you don’t have time to work with them when you’re playing every three days,” the former Arsenal hero told Le Journal du Dimanche (via The Mirror).
“They are going off on international duty whenever you might have the time, it’s not easy to find a style of play.
“At Barcelona, you have to follow something because there’s a history. Rinus Michels was there, then Cruyff came along… Pochettino is looking for a system and 11 players to play in it.”
The former Spurs manager has also had to factor the likes of Angel di Maria and Mauro Icardi into his attack.
PSG added a host of players on frees in the summer, such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Gini Wijnaldum.
The 49-year-old recently spoke glowingly about his current situation at the Parc des Princes, however, insisting he cannot work with a higher calibre of player.
With this in mind, Henry puts their failings down to the relative lack of a system, as Pochettino has all the talent he could possibly wish for.
“Now we are talking about Neymar, Mbappé, Messi… you cannot go higher than this level of player,” Henry added.
Messi is yet to score or assist in Ligue 1, with his three goals for the club all coming in the Champions League group stage.