The agent of former Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has claimed that the Ligue 1 champions “lost two years” of progress when they appointed Unai Emery as their head coach.
The Spaniard arrived in France after enjoying great success in Spain with Sevilla, where he won three Europa League titles.
Such triumphs would not follow him to the French capital, however. Under his guidance, PSG claimed two domestic trebles but twice failed at the Champions League at the last-16 stage, notably giving away a 4-0 first-leg advantage to Barcelona in a matchnow known as the infamous ‘Remontada’.
Emery was subsequently not retained and under Thomas Tuchel, the Parisians have enjoyed something of a bounce. Last season under the German, they reached the final of the Champions League before falling narrowly to Bayern Munich 1-0 in Lisbon.
Paulo Tonietto believes they would have reached that goal more swiftly had they not appointed Emery in the first place.
“PSG lost two years the day they recruited him,” the agent told L’Equipe. “His problem is that he has trouble managing the stars. In Paris, it was the players who solved the situation after Neymar and [Edinson] Cavani clashed on-field over a penalty. When he went to Arsenal, the first player he got angry with was Mesut Ozil
“He's a good coach to play in the Europa League, not the Champions League. The suit was too big for him. He was a terrible coach for PSG.
“If there had been a coach of another calibre during these two years, PSG would have already won the Champions League.”
Tonietto also reflected on the 6-1 second-leg loss to Barcelona, a match in which Silva’s performance came under question.
“The person foremost responsible for the Remontada is Emery,” the agent said. “He put Angel Di Maria on the bench. When he came on, the team played better before the final collapse.
“Against Real Madrid in a 3-1 loss in 2018? Emery made bad changes by putting Dani Alves through the middle to bring in Thomas Meunier. At the same time, Zinedine Zidane brought on Marco Asensio, who was decisive.”
Tuchel was a notable ally of Thiago Silva, campaigning for him to stay at the club even after his contract expired following the Champions League final. The Brazil international has since signed for Chelsea.