Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel said the start of the new domestic season could come too soon for players including Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe after the 5-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
Tuchel has to cope without a number of players who were involved in the latter stages of the World Cup until next week, and saw his PSG lineup largely outclassed by an almost full-strength Premier League side.
“Everybody loves the World Cup and we all want to watch it, but it has a big impact on the start of our season,” Tuchel, who replaced Unai Emery in May, told reporters.
“There must be a solution to this in World Cup years, that the season must start later than it does. There is no reason for the league to end in May. We can play until June or July of the next year.
“Everyone loves the game and we all want to see the best players, but let them rest as they are the guys that are the show — not us coaches. It’s a players’ game and we have to protect them.
“Our players, we want them back as we have a new team, new coaching staff and we want everyone to adapt quickly. However, the players are missing and the league starts early. This kind of a situation we almost cannot handle, but we have to handle.
“I take it on my shoulders. I saw some good passing play with the ball against Bayern [Munich], and I thought we are ready. It was also about the quality of the other team who are a Premier League team and can immediately play any competition.
“The players did their best, and I cannot blame them. Nobody likes to lose, but when you look at the [team] sheet before the game, you know there is almost no chance to compete at this level.”
PSG play Atletico Madrid in their second match in Singapore on Monday before a French Super Cup meeting against AS Monaco in Shenzhen next week ahead of the Ligue 1 opener against Caen on Aug. 12.
Although they start the domestic campaign against a side they are fully expected to beat, Tuchel added that such teams relished facing the bigger sides soon after a World Cup.
“When I was the coach at Mainz in the Bundesliga, a small club in Germany, we always wanted to play the big teams every two years, right after a major tournament, whether it was a World Cup or European Championships,” he said.
“We were prepared with a full squad, sometimes with six weeks behind us and a full preseason. We were ready to go from the first minute, so strange results can happen at this time of the year.”
Information from ESPN FC’s PSG correspondent Jonathan Johnson was used in this report.