Put in a poor showing in a group they could and should have advanced from. At least part of the blame must fall upon former PSG manager Paul Le Guen. Marseille DM Stephane Mbia started at right back in all three games, a position new to him, and preformed fairly well (although he picked up two yellow cards) at least in comparison to his counterpart on the left, Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Monaco CB Nicolas Nkoulou had a solid Cup, starting every game and only 20 years old at that, while Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun had a decent showing, playing 209 minutes across all three matches. Lille center back Aurelien Chedjou and ASNL center mid Landry Nguemo were given the full 90 in the final game against the Netherlands while Gaetan Bong of Valenciennes made a 56 minute cameo appearance. Others, such as Nantes keeper Guy N’dy Assembe and Georges Mandjeck of Rennes failed to make it onto the pitch.
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The France based delegation in South Africa has been whittled down to one, namely Diego Perez representing Uruguay (don’t get me started…), and if my semifinal predictions are a little better than those for the quarters, we will soon be left with none. Thus it seems the time is right to evaluate the performances of these players and speculate on how this will effect their individual futures along with those of their clubs and the league.
The Desert Foxes didn’t have the best of campaigns, falling last in their group with only a single point and no goals, results that might have been due to suspect squad selections from manager Rabah Saadane. Although many Ligue 1 based players were part of the 23 selected for the tournament, only two made it onto the field. Foued Kadir, who played a bit part role in the Valenciennes midfield this season started all three games, while dynamic young Sochaux winger Ryad Boudebouz played the first 75 minutes in Les Fennecs scoreless draw with England, their best result of the tournament. Saadane’s selections excluded long time Algeria captain Yazid Mansouri, an important fixture of the Lorient midfield, and Boulogne defender Habib Bellaid among others. All in all, minimal effect will be had on the careers and transfer prospects of these players after an utterly boring World Cup performance.
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I have obviously missed some of the most important events of the season, and for that I apologize, but things have been busy for me and squeezing in a post is difficult. Anyway, I would like to alert all of you to a petition started by Dave Trotter at Ligue 1 Talk to alert Fox to the demand for Ligue 1 games. Sign and add your message at this website:
Get all the Ligue 1 fans you know to add to the list!
Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that Raymond Domenech (that studly mustached specimen rocking the PSG gear above)- named his preliminary squad for France’s trip to South Africa this summer. Unlike previous years, Ligue 1 has been represented very well- which is a nice reward given the success the league had this year. Ligue 1 players who made the initial cut are below… Read the rest of this entry »
Gourcuff accepting his award for Best Player in Ligue 1 last year from Zidane. Who is your pick to win the trophy this year?
This morning the National Union of Professional Footballers announced the nominations for the French Football Oscars, which celebrates the high quality of players, coaches and referees we are privileged to see each week in Ligue 1, Ligue 2 and the Women’s Professional League. The official ceremony will be held on May 9th! And the nominations are… Read the rest of this entry »
- Update on 4/13 below!: Spotlight on PSG’s Erding, PSG/NIKE financial irregularity investigation
- Here is the current table – it is still slightly distorted since Marseille and Bordeaux are still making up their rescheduled games. Marseille will be caught up this Wednesday when they play Sochaux. Bordeaux will play the first of their games in hand this Wednesday (vs. Le Mans) and will be completely caught up on April 28th when they play against Valenciennes.
- A few quick stats about the season thus far (which you would already know if you follow me on Twitter)
- Top Scorers: Niang (15, Marseille); Nene (14, Monaco); Asamoah (13, Rennes); Lopez (13, Lyon); Erding (13, PSG); Gamerio (13, Lorient)
- Leading Assists: Lucho (11, Marseille); Vahirua (9, Lorient); Ben Khalfallah (9, Valenciennes); Briand (8, Rennes); Hazard (8, Lille) Read the rest of this entry »
French Soccer/Ligue 1 Talk has released their latest podcast with Martin Michelot, Dave Trotter and myself. We discussed Charlie Davies return to action, the Champions League duel between Lyon and Bordeaux as well the upcoming battle against Bayern Munich, the Ligue 1 title race and even Ligue 2.
Tomorrow at 20:45 CET (2:45 Eastern, 11:45 Pacific) the match to decide the French participant in the UEFA Champions League semifinals will kick off at the Stade Chaban-Delmas (Parc Lescure) in Bordeaux. As you probably know, a brilliant attacking display from Les Gones gave them a 3-1 win in the first leg at the Gerland, thanks to a brace from Lisandro Lopez and a beautiful Michel Bastos strike. Possibly Arsenal bound Morrocan striker Marouane Chamakh grabbed the crucial away goal that keeps Les Girondins in this. Highlights below:
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As I’m sure you all remember, Davies was in a terrible accident last Fall. At first, it didn’t seem possible for him to be fit enough to go with the US to the World Cup this summer- but he has made a miraculous recovery (knock on wood!). It looks like we will be seeing him back on the field much sooner than we had anticipated!
Well, the European preview is rather simple this week- as Ligue 1 only has two teams left in the competition and they are set to battle each other today. The build-up to this game has been dramatic with the a lot of snarking between both the teams and the club’s Presidents. To catch-up on the pre-match drama- check out The Offside-Lyon’s match preview here! To discuss the play-by-play during the game- join us at The Offside-Bordeaux’s liveblog here.