It’s the Adam and Erics 2019! The complete review of the Ligue 1 season


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Kylian Mbappé scored a hatful, Dimitri Payet scored a cracker and Nacer Chadli couldn’t score at all

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

With Neymar and Edinson Cavani both struggling for fitness, PSG’s attack became (nearly) the sole property of Kylian Mbappé this season. Ángel Di María had his moments but Mbappé’s scoring totals are already the stuff of legend; no French player had scored more goals in Ligue 1 in 50 years. Given that he missed half a dozen matches through suspension and a handful more owing to injury, Mbappé could take aim at the league’s all-time record of 44 next season.

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Why are so many Ligue 1 clubs sacking their managers?


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Half of the managers who started this season will not be around when Ligue 1 returns in August

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

With Dijon having pipped Caen to the relegation play-off spot, the dust has almost but not quite settled on the Ligue 1 season. The football is stopping but the churn of managers will continue. It is no surprise that Fabien Mercadal, who was undermined by a poor transfer market and the arrival of Rolland Courbis, has already left Caen. Nor is there much shock at the departure of Jocelyn Gourvennec from Guingamp; no amount of goodwill could save the club from relegation after a run of poor attacking performances.

The relegated clubs will take a dramatic financial hit and will probably have to sell off their best players; Caen have already lost Frédéric Guilbert to Aston Villa and various clubs around Continue reading “Why are so many Ligue 1 clubs sacking their managers?”

Rennes win wild cup final as PSG, Mbappé and Neymar lose their heads


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PSG threw away a 2-0 lead, Kylian Mbappé was sent off and Neymar hit out as Rennes won their first trophy in 48 years

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Rennes had not won a trophy since 1971 and it showed. Keeper Tomas Koubek hared wide-eyed down the touchline; Hatem Ben Arfa was in tears; sporting director Olivier Létang booted balls into the crowd; Clément Grenier cramped up chasing Koubek; and 30,000 Bretons erupted at the end of a raucous night at the Stade de France. Amid a downpour in Paris, the cup of shocks produced one of its most memorable upsets as PSG were embarrassed again, a talented young manager triumphed and Ben Arfa had his revenge.

Incredibly, PSG had been 2-0 up. Dani Alves gave them the lead in the 13th minute, volleying Neymar’s corner past Koubek à la Beckham and Scholes. Neymar Continue reading “Rennes win wild cup final as PSG, Mbappé and Neymar lose their heads”

PSG are champions again. Now they need to give youth a chance


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Kylian Mbappé has been PSG’s star this season but the club should start promoting more homegrown youngsters

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

The inevitable came to pass on Sunday as PSG retained the Ligue 1 title. They beat Monaco – the last club other than PSG to be champions – on Sunday evening at the Parc des Princes thanks to a brilliant hat-trick from Kylian Mbappé, but their crown was secured a few hours earlier thanks to the Toulouse defence, who put on a wonderfully rugged display to hold second-placed Lille to a scoreless draw. PSG have the chance to complete a domestic double when they face Rennes in the Coupe de France final on Saturday. With Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Ángel Di Maria all approaching full fitness, the Breton side are unlikely to spring a surprise.

Neymar and Cavani returned from injury Continue reading “PSG are champions again. Now they need to give youth a chance”

Lille hammer ‘beginners’ PSG as they close in on the Champions League


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This time last season Lille were second bottom. Now they are second only to PSG at the top of the table

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Stade Louis-Dugauguez, Sedan, December 2000. Laurent Robert scores PSG’s only goal as they lose 5-1 to Sedan, who now play in the fourth tier. On Sunday night, nearly two decades later, Lille became the latest team to put five goals past PSG in a Ligue 1 fixture. While the scoreline was an unfamiliar one, it was the type of defeat PSG know only too well.

Lille put PSG under pressure from the start. Xeka’s flicked header rebounded off Thomas Meunier and into the next to give Lille the lead and, although Juan Bernat swiftly responded with the equaliser, PSG appeared brittle in what was a fraught and open game. After Bernat was dismissed for bringing down Nicolas Pépé, Continue reading “Lille hammer ‘beginners’ PSG as they close in on the Champions League”

With seven weeks to play, half of the clubs in Ligue 1 are aiming for Europe


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PSG, Lille and Lyon look set for Champions League football next season but the Europa League places are up for grabs

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

This weekend was supposed to be a coronation for PSG, one that seemed inevitable given their relentless pace, particularly at the Parc des Princes. Things did not go to plan, however, as a buoyant Strasbourg attack and a howler of a miss from Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting combined to prevent Les Parisiens from getting the necessary three points to win the title. Kylian Mbappé only featured from the bench owing to a muscular issue, laying bare once more the club’s over-reliance on individual brilliance – Ángel Di María and Neymar were also missing with injury – but the result will ultimately prove inconsequential as the club continues to be restructured under Thomas Tuchel.

With Strasbourg having kept the confetti at Continue reading “With seven weeks to play, half of the clubs in Ligue 1 are aiming for Europe”

Lyon look set to stick with Bruno Genesio – and ignore José Mourinho


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Many Lyon fans are crying out for a new manager but the club’s veteran president is likely to stay loyal to Bruno Genesio

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

This week could prove pivotal in the recent history of Lyon. A cup semi-final and a decision over embattled coach Bruno Genesio’s future will go some way to shaping the club’s longer term prospects. Outspoken yet inspirational president Jean-Michel Aulas looks likely to persist with Genesio, whose stewardship of the team has fluctuated wildly during his three years in charge, in a decision that will incite fan ire and ignore flirtatious glances from José Mourinho. Aulas’ stubbornness may have finally gotten the better of him.

During Aulas’ 32-year presidency, Lyon have conquered many a summit but their dominance of the early 2000s – when they won seven consecutive titles, reached a Champions League semi-final and a Continue reading “Lyon look set to stick with Bruno Genesio – and ignore José Mourinho”

France are only getting better, with Matuidi and Giroud still crucial


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Didier Deschamps’ trust in Olivier Giroud was rewarded with goals that made him France’s third all-time leading scorer

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

As if the internet-breaking Paul Pogba-Antoine Griezmann combination was not enough proof that France remain – the autumn wobbles aside – the prohibitive best side in the world, the win against Iceland on Monday will have offered naysayers little respite. “The party continues,” read L’Équipe’s headline, and on the evidence of this result, and the defeat of Moldova on Friday, that is not an unfair assessment.

But are France really on the same level as the side which won the World Cup? Clearly the calibre of their opposition in these two matches is a mitigating factor, but there is now a growing sentiment that Didier Deschamps’s decision to stick (largely) with the side that won in Russia is not down to Continue reading “France are only getting better, with Matuidi and Giroud still crucial”

Ligue 1 blows chance to rid itself of ‘farmers league’ jibe


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For the first time since 2011, not a single French club will appear in either the Europa League or Champions League last eight

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

It was not supposed to happen like this for Ligue 1, not with the way things looked a fortnight ago. PSG’s Champions League exit was perhaps down more to controversial circumstances and individual errors than the eliminations of Lyon and Rennes. However, despite the latter two sides having been given little chance in their ties against Barcelona and Arsenal, both entered the return legs in enviable positions, especially given the gulf in resources and reputation between them and their opponents. What followed for the two sides, however, was a pair of abject displays that will do little to dispel the “farmers’ league” trope that has been a millstone around the neck of Ligue 1 in the Continue reading “Ligue 1 blows chance to rid itself of ‘farmers league’ jibe”

Monaco may regret sacking the man who revitalised the club


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Vadim Vasilyev made Monaco the model of a sustainable, profitable club. But he has paid for their disastrous season

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Until recently, mistakes were rare at Monaco. In just five years, the Russian duo of billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev and vice president Vadim Vasilyev led the club from the second tier to the Ligue 1 title. But the club collapsed this season and the owner has now acted, sacking Vasilyev. “Now it is time for change,” said Rybolovlev in a statement on Valentine’s Day. “I have made a personally very difficult decision to release Vadim Vasilyev from his post as vice president and CEO of the club.”

Initially appointed as an advisor in January 2013, Vasilyev was quickly promoted to CEO and vice president, becoming the club’s spokesperson and spearhead. His strategy centred on realism, revenue and hardball negotiating. Continue reading “Monaco may regret sacking the man who revitalised the club”

Nice have the best goalkeeper in France – which is just as well


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Patrick Vieira’s team have the second worst attack in Ligue 1 this season yet they are somehow challenging for a place in Europe

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

The visit of Lyon to the Allianz Riviera was not the easiest of matches for Walter Benítez to keep his tenth clean sheet of the season, but Nice won 1-0 and he cemented his case for being the best keeper in France. Only five goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues have kept more clean sheets than Benítez this season – Alisson, Samir Handanovic, Ederson, Jan Oblak and Kepa. It has been an impressive campaign for the uncapped Argentinian, who joined Nice from Quilmes in 2016, but his performances should not surprise anyone who has kept an eye on Les Aiglons under Patrick Vieira.

This column has not been shy about criticising the former Arsenal midfielder as Continue reading “Nice have the best goalkeeper in France – which is just as well”

Lyon show Ole Gunnar Solskjær how to handle PSG in Manchester | Adam White and Eric Devin


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PSG suffered their first defeat of the Ligue 1 season at Lyon on Sunday night but they are a different proposition in Paris

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

PSG’s visit to Lyon on Sunday night wasn’t just about PSG and Lyon. For both sides, this free-wheeling encounter foreshadowed their knockout ties in the Champions League. Lyon’s youthful and exuberant forward line gave PSG an idea of the threat they will face against Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s rejuvenated Manchester United next week; and PSG’s superior quality, ability to dominate possession and fluid attacking quartet gave Lyon an opportunity to test themselves against a force and a style comparable to Barcelona. Worryingly for Ernesto Valverde and an infuriated Thomas Tuchel, exuberance won out.

Recent meetings between France’s top sides – when played outside of Paris – have been dramatic. Neymar’s dismissal in Le Classique, Monaco’s 6-1 Continue reading “Lyon show Ole Gunnar Solskjær how to handle PSG in Manchester | Adam White and Eric Devin”

Thierry Henry only has himself to blame for his failure at Monaco


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Henry inherited a depleted squad but his negative tactics and immature man-management did not help his case

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Appointing Thierry Henry as manager was always going to be a gamble for Monaco, but there was little to suggest his time in charge would end in such spectacular failure. Henry’s return to his boyhood club was an unmitigated disaster. Henry did oversee the odd decent result – including recent draws with Marseille and Nice in the league and progress to the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue – but ultimately he paid the price for performances on the pitch and his own seeming contradictions.

The sheer number of injuries at the club did not work in his favour. More than a dozen first-team players were unavailable at various times, most notably Rony Lopes, who scored an incredible 14 goals in Continue reading “Thierry Henry only has himself to blame for his failure at Monaco”

Strasbourg were in the fifth tier in 2012. Now they are fifth in Ligue 1


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After battling back from liquidation and multiple relegations, Strasbourg are dreaming about Champions League football

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Savoir-faire does not translate directly from French. The closest English equivalent would be “know-how” but the French phrase carries a sense of graceful adaptability, an ability to respond seamlessly and appropriately to any situation. Few teams in football embody savoir-faire more than Strasbourg under Thierry Laurey. Having fought back from liquidation and relegation to the sprawling fifth tier in 2011, the Alsace club are edging towards Europe and perhaps even silverware thanks to their versatile and intelligent coach. Their 5-1 win at Monaco on Saturday, which takes them up to fifth in Ligue 1, is simply their latest eye-catching achievement.

The thought of playing in Europe would have been a dumbfounding dream for Strasbourg supporters throughout the last decade. After being relegated in 2008, Continue reading “Strasbourg were in the fifth tier in 2012. Now they are fifth in Ligue 1”

‘All guilty’: Marseille fans spell out their anger at players, coach and club


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Marseille are without a win in eight games after their dispiriting 1-1 draw at home to Monaco

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Marseille’s recent travails continued at the Vélodrome on Sunday during and after their disappointing 1-1 draw with Monaco. The game not only underscored issues in terms of their squad building, but also their fans’ heightened level of dissatisfaction. Marseille’s failure to invest in the summer has left the club lacking depth, at least in the opinion of their manager Rudi Garcia.

Not for the first time this season, Garcia picked Luiz Gustavo in central defence. This had been a matter of necessity in the past, as Rolando had been unavailable, but on Sunday Adil Rami sat on the bench while Luiz Gustavo partnered Rolando. Quite apart from what that says about Garcia’s confidence in his defenders, it also robbed the hosts of Continue reading “‘All guilty’: Marseille fans spell out their anger at players, coach and club”

Marseille humbled by fourth-tier amateurs in Coupe de France


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Marseille played in the Europa League final in May. On Sunday they lost in the cup to club deemed too small to host the game

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

While gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests interrupted much of the Ligue 1 programme in December, things are now slightly less chaotic in France, with the Coupe de France staging its round-of-64 over the weekend. The competition, which whittles down thousands of sides before including the top-flight teams at this stage, has always produced fairytale runs, with Lyon holding off third-tier Quevilly in the 2012 final and PSG beating Les Herbiers in last season’s showpiece.

Yet, on the wrong side of a result this weekend were Marseille, who lost to ASF Andrézieux, a fourth-division side from a suburb of Saint-Étienne. Andrezieux’s 5,000-capacity ground was deemed too small to host the match, so it was Continue reading “Marseille humbled by fourth-tier amateurs in Coupe de France”

Things go from bad to worse for Thierry Henry at Monaco


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The manager was brought in to save the club’s Ligue 1 status but he is struggling to cope with crises on all fronts

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Edinson Cavani’s goal was met with a groan. Monaco had embarrassed PSG by capturing the Ligue 1 title 17 months earlier but, just 11 minutes into their match in October, Monaco were already two down. Nacer Chadil’s injury compounded the depressed mood at the Stade Louis II and, when his replacement Jordi Mboula was also forced off, manager Thierry Henry was seen mouthing “wow” to himself on the touchline.

Related: Magical Marco Reus sends Dortmund racing clear to crown his golden 2018

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Memphis Depay is a big club player with a small time attitude


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Depay has been more effective in Ligue 1 this year than Neymar or Kylian Mbappé but his mentality is holding him back

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Memphis Depay is not often associated with the words “effective” or “consistent” but he is on a remarkable run. He scored two goals and set up two more as Lyon beat Guingamp 4-2 on Saturday, continuing his brilliant form this year. Depay has either scored or set up 29 of his club’s goals in 2018. That’s more than Kylian Mbappé and Neymar – and every other player in Ligue 1 for that matter. In fact, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Luis Suárez have been more effective so far this calendar year. However, despite Depay’s newfound end product and a mooted return to Manchester United, his attitude continues to hold him back.

Depay was dropped for Continue reading “Memphis Depay is a big club player with a small time attitude”

The most prolific Argentinian striker in Europe this season? Emiliano Sala


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The Nantes striker has never played for his country but he has more goals this season than Higuaín, Icardi, Agüero or Messi

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Who is the top-scoring Argentinian in Europe’s big leagues so far this season? It’s not Mauro Icardi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Lionel Messi or Sergio Agüero. That illustrious quartet are looking up at Emiliano Sala, a lanky 28-year-old striker who has never played for the national team. Sala scored a brace against hapless Guingamp this weekend to take his tally for the season into double figures, which is all the more remarkable given that Nantes have already sacked and replaced a manager this season.

When the season kicked off, Miguel Cardoso was in charge and Sala was not in his plans. The striker was nearly shipped to Galatasaray on the last day of the transfer window – a move Continue reading “The most prolific Argentinian striker in Europe this season? Emiliano Sala”

Thomas Tuchel is making slow but sure progress at PSG


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The manager’s emphasis on defensive rigour and discipline will pay dividends if given time

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

PSG don’t handle change well. In nearly eight years of QSI rule, the club has rarely deviated from their philosophy of throwing vast sums at celebrity forwards and pandering to their whims, naively persisting with one-dimensional, possession-based football and indulging in rampant short-termism. These ideas have brought swathes of domestic trophies but they also left the team on a plateau. It seems PSG are finally starting to change under Thomas Tuchel but, as this week underlined, the project is in a state of flux. For the club to secure the success it craves, the owners will have to change their habits and finally accept the uncertainty that comes with that.

At first glance, the last few days seem to fit the now almost clichéd PSG Continue reading “Thomas Tuchel is making slow but sure progress at PSG”