PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery wants midfielder Marco Verratti to show greater restraint during matches and to better control his emotions.
Verratti, 25, has hit double figures in yellow cards in Ligue 1 in three of his six seasons at PSG.
He was dismissed for two offences in the second leg of the Champions League round-of-16 defeat to Real Madrid and attracted criticism for his behaviour.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s league game against Angers, Emery urged Verratti to learn from the mistakes he has repeatedly made since arriving in France.
“Marco must learn from his experience — positive or negative,” Emery said. “He has a lot of character and temperament. We have spoken with him several times.
“Marco has shown his frustration in some matches. He is PSG’s future and he knows that he has to improve this side of his game. Marco is an important player in the PSG project.”
Dani Alves spoke to Globo Esporte about PSG’s loss to Madrid and said, among other things, that “when there is no general connection, that gets reflected on the pitch.”
Questioned about the Brazil international’s comments, Emery pointed to Alves’ immense experience and the fact that PSG are still learning to be comfortable as a side expected to participate in the later rounds of the Champions League.
“All of this is normal,” Emergy said. “PSG are in a period of growth and Dani was looking to the future. He is very experienced. He needs to keep analysing in order to progress.
“A lack of cohesion? I understand it as a process to grow stronger together.”
Meanwhile, Emery was again asked about Neymar’s future amid rumours of a move back to Spain with Real Madrid or former club Barcelona less than 12 months after his world-record €222 million transfer.
Neymar has been recovering after undergoing surgery in Brazil on a broken right foot earlier this month.
“I spoke about this a few months ago and my answer has not changed — the project is solid,” Emery said. “Antero [Henrique, the sporting director] and Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, the chairman and CEO] have gone to see him.”
PSG will face Angers on Wednesday because of the Coupe de la Ligue final against Monaco at Bordeaux’s Matmut Atlantique later this month, and Emery wants a repeat of Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Metz.
“The response [to the Real Madrid defeat and subsequent Champions League exit] was good,” Emery said. “We need to keep responding to that against Angers. We need to show that the players are always concerned.
“Our objective is to win the Ligue 1 crown and to become the most-titled team in Le Championnat.”
PSG travel to Nice on Saturday for the final league game before the international break and due to authorities limiting the capital club’s travelling support to 270 fans, the Parisien ultras have decided to boycott the trip to Allianz Riviera.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.