french ligue 1 news

Kezman defends substandard PSG performances

April 1, 2009

Mateja Kezman has defended his substandard performances in his first season at Paris St Germain, claiming: "Kaka or Messi wouldn't have done any better in my situation".

The Serbia striker moved to the capital club from Fenerbahce last August hoping to plug the gap left by the departure of Pedro Pauleta.

But he has had to be content with a place on the bench for most of the season, with Guillaume Hoarau, Ludovic Giuly and Peguy Luyindula preferred up front by PSG coach Paul Le Guen.

Kezman's frustration came to a head in February when he was suspended by the club for two weeks for throwing his shirt on the ground in disgust as he was being substituted during the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final defeat to Bordeaux.

A record of six goals in 29 matches is nothing to boast about but the 29-year-old, who has been used mostly as a substitute, feels it is the best he could do in the circumstances.

"I accept the critics when people let me play. But here I don't accept them," he said. ''Even Kaka or (Lionel) Messi wouldn't have done any better in my situation.

"I am saying to the coach, 'Give me a chance, let me play three or five matches in a row'. And if I do nothing, I will accept it.

"Here I am not accepting my situation because people aren't letting me express myself."

Kezman is confident he would have scored "about one goal every two matches" had he been allowed to play consistently this season.

But Le Guen more often than not goes with Hoarau as a targetman and with either Giuly or Luyindula playing as a support striker.

With the club just four points off top spot in Ligue 1 with nine matches to go in the campaign and also through to the UEFA quarter-finals, Le Guen appears to have got it right.

But Kezman, whose failure to win over the PSG crowd was not helped by his shirt-throwing antics at the Parc des Princes, added in Aujourd'hui Sport: "He (Le Guen) hasn't always understood what I can bring.

"That's a shame. But I am sure he will still give me the chance to show who the real Kezman is."

The former Chelsea, PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid striker, who joined PSG on a season-long loan with a view to penning a two-year contract in the summer, admits it is difficult not being in Le Guen's first-team plans.

But he believes he will still be at the club next season, adding: "I am almost sure about that. I can even finish this season in style by being decisive in Ligue 1 or in the UEFA Cup.

"I hope to explode next year and become the club's best signing of the 2009/10 season."