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Official French Ligue 1 & 2 Thread


Philippe Nguyen
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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

[LONG POST ALERT; to S04, the length is accidental]

I took a look at per game shot differences (spg - spg conceded) after 4 rounds. It is one proven indicator of success, and my main founding affirms something I already thought before: while everything seems to go wrong in Lyon, maybe there is not so much reason to crisis at OL after all. People are reacting to results, but a lot of things can happen in a single match, and the results of one match do not always, or even often, reflect the level of game, but if you can put up good game with consistency, it will produce good results in the long run.

OL's shot difference is by far the best of Ligue 1. They stand at the top of spg with 17.5, which is higher than the Qatari PSG has ever produced, and near the top in shots conceded per game with very lowly 8 (the only team I can name that has ended a season with that low spg conceded, is Barcelona 2010/2011). I already thought OL had dominated their matches, but the difference +9.5/game is excessive! It's so immense that it must be untenable - even Barca 10/11 didn't have that high! In any case, that does not sound like stats of a team that is 17th in the league with only 3 points. The second best Marseille (that also was just before last win said to be "in crisis", I wonder why) has +7.8. For comparison, PSG's shot difference was +5.9 last season when they dominated the league. Even Real Madrid (best in top leagues) produced "only" +8.7 (massive!) and City +8.2.

This is early season, and sure OL's shot difference is going to normalize, but still, it shows that have not been just struggling, they have done a lot right. Even when you take a closer look at the matches, they seem unlucky. Despite the reports after Metz game saying that Metz "didn't steal the points", the fact is that they hardly had a single shot before the penalty, and OL dominated throughout the match. Similarly, OL hit the woodwork at the end of each EL playoff match, and had either one of them gone in, they would have been through. They are not far from getting the results, and considering how much and how important players they have at infirmary, this is very encouraging.

However, another look also shows something they should improve in order to get those results. They have only 4.5 shots on target per match, which as well as the high spg is partly explained by the fact that half of their shots are taken from outside the box. They really need to get closer to the goal, even if it means taking less shots (and it will mean just that).

Other interesting shot differences:

Current leaders Bordeaux +2.2, with 4.8 SoT/game. Note, that they have scored 3 penalties. While Khazri may continue his superior diving, and Sagnol no doubt has put a lot of life to that team and will probably prove an excellent manager (if he didn't already do that with his incredible work with les bleuets), I doubt Bordeaux can keep up this rate.pace with points. I would bet against them in near future, just to anticipate the defeats they will get at some point.

Lille +1.5, with just 9.8 spg, and 59% of those from outside the box, just 3 per game on target. They have a problem that was for everybody to witness against Porto: while they are a combative, physical, well defending team, they lack attacking creativity, particularly now that their only creative midfielder Marvin Martin is injured. They didn't help their case by letting attacking players Origi and Kalou stay on vacation over the first CL qualifiers, and it really raises the question why they did they do that. Then, Kalou sat out some matches waiting for the transfer and they were only able to replace him after they had sold him (thanks DNCG!). This may be helped when Martin returns and if the youngsters Lopes and Frey prove good.

Monaco +0.5. That doesn't tell it all, , because they have the league lowest 29% of shots outside the box, and league highest 14% inside 6-yard-box. Case to be followed.

Evian -0.7. Interesting is that despite they conceded 9 goals in first two matches, this low shot difference is not because of conceding a lot of shots, as they have only conceded 9.5 spg, but because their own spg is just 8.8.

Indeed, while scoring 6 goals against Evian, Rennes only managed to take 9 shots, of which 2 were blocked. It's not as if Evian's defence really leaked all the time. The goals are a horror show, however:

But that's not being battered for 90 minutes, rather it is bad zonal marking in 5 individual situations (3 of them set pieces), and missing the ball once. Plus some expert finishing from Rennes.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

there's no contest to see how many words you can type in a single post and keep it interesting' date=' yet!:)[/quote']

I take this as a compliment.

I was only kidding JMH I like Didi he's like a extreamley inteligent version of Infernito

:eek: I'm shocked by this comparison' date=' but also probably the only one in here who doesn't take it as an offence.

Didi puts 3 goal.com articles worth of literature in a signle post.

Quantity wise, yes, but in quality they are incomparable and honestly I'm offended that you as much as suggest that a few goal.com articles could match the quality value of a single post of mine such as the one you quoted above. ;)

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Today was the most interesting Bielsa press conference so far. While saying that he's content to work with his players and thinks good of them and their work level, he hit straightly at the club direction, saying that they function badly, have bad structures to scout foreign leagues, and most importantly lied to him, making promises they knew were untenable.

He said that he had given them a list of 12 players that he is interested in, naming Stambouli and Aldeweireld, none of them was realized. Every player that they bought was a surprise to him. This means also that the recruitment of Doria that many have thought was good business (me included) was executed against his will and he had opposed the deal! However, not because of the quality of the player, but because he had not had a chance to analyse it. Maybe he'll change his mind when he gets that chance.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

;2985130']Doria is going to be world class trust me.

Probably bought as a business decision by the board to generate funds down the line.

So, Doria himself commented that he doesn't believe that Bielsa said or meant that, because when he signed for Marseille, he was told that it was Bielsa who asked for his signing. Anyway, he said that he's been treated greatly in Marseille and welcomed by everybody.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Didn't even know Bielsa was at OM?!

Looking at who they have signed this Summer.... he can't really complain.

Thauvin and Doria are going to be some players...

They bought Thauvin back in 2013, though.

But I would agree on both accounts: they have signed some very interesting players in Michy and Doria, and aside from them the likes of Thauvin and Alessandrini are excellent.

Bielsa may lament the loss of Valbuena, though. Or does lament it. Also, I'm not at all sure that pushing Amalfitano out of the squad was his idea, because he did play Amalfitano in pre-season. While I agree that Bielsa should not complain about the players they have bought this summer, it's also not all working out fine in Marseille, they are screwing some things up, and I can see that getting to Bielsa's nerve. Now Labrune "considers a sanction" to Bielsa for his comments. I think Labrune should rather consider pulling his head out of his arse.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Hope Aurier is okay. Took a nasty shot there.

Haven't seen. What happened exactly? I read he apparently may have had a concussion, or may just have had a painfull hit to head, but the reports today are reassuring on his case, saying that he actually is already good and didn't pick any injury severe enough to keep him off the field.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

FC Metz have made their comeback to Ligue 1, having won two successive promotions to make it from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 directly after having been promoted to Ligue 2 from National.

In an interview, Gaëtan Bussmann, their own youth product, told that the head coach Albert Cartier has installed there the idea that if the collective shines, so necessarily will shine the individuals. That phrase (in some form) should be nailed to the wall in lockers of all national teams and clubs, especially the small/medium ones where the players may want to shine to get a lucrative transfer. Because the truth is that if the team plays well, the players will look good too, but if the team doesn't function, no player will stand out either relative to players in teams that play well. Understanding that would save so many players and clubs from falling after their first touch to success.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

FC Metz have made their comeback to Ligue 1' date=' having won two successive promotions to make it from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 directly after having been promoted to Ligue 2 from National.

In an interview, Gaëtan Bussmann, their own youth product, told that the head coach Albert Cartier has installed there the idea that [i']if the collective shines, so necessarily will shine the individuals[/i]. That phrase (in some form) should be nailed to the wall in lockers of all national teams and clubs, especially the small/medium ones where the players may want to shine to get a lucrative transfer. Because the truth is that if the team plays well, the players will look good too, but if the team doesn't function, no player will stand out either relative to players in teams that play well. Understanding that would save so many players and clubs from falling after their first touch to success.

Agreed, that is a fantastic quote and attitude from a player.

Good to see Metz back as well, remember them well when Pires and Song were plying their trade there.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Agreed' date=' that is a fantastic quote and attitude from a player.

Good to see Metz back as well, remember them well when Pires and Song were plying their trade there.[/quote']

FC Metz is one of the essentials of Ligue 1. Already in the commercial sense, but also historical and sportive.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Agreed' date=' that is a fantastic quote and attitude from a player.

Good to see Metz back as well, remember them well when Pires and Song were plying their trade there.[/quote']

Good squad they had, Jacques Songo'o a goalkeeper I really liked back then was immense (part of La Courna's la Liga winning side also) Louis Saha was around there time as well I believe.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Good squad they had' date=' Jacques Songo'o a goalkeeper I really liked back then was immense (part of La Courna's la Liga winning side also) Louis Saha was around there time as well I believe.[/quote']

as a young player coming through i think, was he part of the team that won the cup? Might of been a bit too early i think.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Ligue 1 bleeding attacking talent to abroad, it almost pains to watch these masterpieces by players who were quite much forced to move:

Ménez, abused by PSG's fans, not given time to get back in form after his injury, despite giving two seasons of excellent performances to PSG before:

http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/skills/199321/football-vine-milans-french-forward-jermeny-menez-scores-outrageous-back-heeled-goal.html

Then there's Valbuena, who probably would have rather stayed at Marseille than moved to Moscow (no offence, Moscowites) but the club had some money issues about his contract that forced him to move to the rich Russian club. Aside from growing his reputation of serial assister by assisting yet another goal against Zenit, he also put in this trademark finish:

http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/golazos/mathieu-valbuena-scored-a-glorious-lob-for-dinamo-moscow-v-zenit/

Classic Valbuena. B)

Meanwhile, in France, PSG moaned Montanier's ultra-defensive strategy that won Rennes a point at home against them. Montanier's response was class:

"We excuse, we should have consulted Blanc before the match so that he could have explained us how to play for them to score 5 against us". :D

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

I was wondering about Lyon' date=' i've nticed they have sold quite a few bigs and dont look like the top force they were a few years ago, what happened to them?

Also, about Tolisso, how good of a player is he?[/quote']

It was a combination of two things:

1) They failed in their big money push to win CL, and having abandoned the "moneyball" strategy to do it, they ended up having spent money to get an expensive team, but instead of getting more success, they got less. You have to remember, that the great Lyon of until about 2008 was relative inexpensive team, built on own academy and cheaply bought players, selling every player when just a big offer came in.

2) DNCG. Because of the financial control, they were unable to just try again, get some debt to have more time to succeed with their players. Instead, they were forced to sell their most expensive players and other clubs knew what sums of money they needed, so instead of getting the prices they used to get, they now got relatively small fee for each transfer.

OL has now returned to their old values, rebuilding on their own youth academy, not buying forwards, making cheap coups to get good value players not starting for big clubs or not yet snapped up by a one. Tolisso is one of their own youth products, excellent player who has maybe suffered a bit from his versatility. He is midfielder by trade, but played a lot at right back last season, and this season has been moved to left back. So, he has played CDM and both flanks in defence and in midfield: really a kind of jack of all trades but ace of none. While he is not a small guy and he's actually very much physically ready to his defensive duties, I would like to see him back in midfield, because his strengths are more in his attacking game, and I think that tactically he is more a midfielder. He doesn't seem to have that mind-set of a defender, and the way I see him is that he's fast and technically apt, secure with the ball, but may often play himself out of the defensive situations, so maybe not a secure player to have in defence without the ball. He's also still quite young, so maybe that will change.

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Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Whats going on with Yassine Benzia? Not heard anything about him in a while. Has he flopped?

He's injured at the moment. But even if he wasn't, he probably wouldn't get too many chances. Fournier said that he thinks Benzia is not ready for the big stage yet, not producing with consistency the class the he can show glimpses of. Not sure if he's right. He's seemed pretty good when he got to play last season and the season before. He was often played as an attacking midfielder, but it would be nice to see him upfront with Lacazette now that all the experienced forwards have left.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: French Ligue 1 and 2

Just read the posts about Metz and the sentence Gaetan Bussmann said,

interesting.

I was happy that they are back in the top-flight and they seem to be playing good.

But i never saw a Metz game, just reading about it.

So my Question is, how good and talented are the 6 players from Metz

that i have currently shortlisted :

Gaetan Bussmann (83) Metanire (83) N'gabkoto (83) Falcon (82)

Bouna Sarr (80) and Andrada (loan player from River Plate) 78 ?

Can someone who watches the games tell something about the players ?

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