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Thread: Ligue 1

  1. #1081
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    Found an interesting post on how Monaco’s focus on youth could be undoing PSG’s dominance

    Two summers ago, embroiled in a legal battle with his wife following his divorce and faced with the prospect of losing half of his fortune, Monaco owner Dimitri Rybolovlev oversaw a shift in Monaco’s behaviour in the transfer market. This change in policy – also said to have been caused by sudden threat of FFP sanctions which had already come down on PSG, and the downturn in the Russian potash market from which Rybolovlev derives much of his wealth – marked a sudden halt to an ambitious project that could have promised French football another giant.

    A project that began all guns blazing in 2013, following the club’s return to Ligue 1, with the arrivals of then-rising star James Rodriguez from Porto and Falcao – arguably the best finisher in the world at the time – from Atletico Madrid cooled down considerably a year on. Instead of bolstering a strong – albeit ageing for the most part – squad that narrowly lost the league to fellow New Money PSG, Monaco took advantage of James Rodriguez’s rise in stock from World Cup performances by letting him become Real Madrid’s summer marquee signing to rival Barcelona’s signing of Luis Suarez. The extent at which his injury sustained in a Coupe de France match would affect his overall level still unknown, Falcao would also leave the club on deadline day to begin his descent into mediocrity.A strong link with super agent Jorge Mendes was put to good use as Monaco brought in young players from Portugal to go with the newly-arrived Leonardo Jardim – first Bernardo Silva and Wallace, then Cavaleiro and Helder Costa the following year – as well as focusing on domestic talent – Bakayoko, Nardi. Overall, the summer marked a sharp turn in the club’s policy, and although this presented its clear benefits Ligue 1 fans were all too aware that this would signal the end – or at least a temporary halt – of Ligue 1’s main selling point, its blockbuster rivalry.

    The next two years would see PSG comfortably consolidate themselves as French football’s behemoth whilst Monaco would duly qualify for the Champions League, though posing no real threat to the Parisians in doing so. Nevertheless, a reputation for being a strong defensive side grew under Jardim’s reign, and paid early dividends as Monaco qualified for the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2015 – making it 2 French clubs in the last 8 that year, while no English teams were present – and narrowly missed out on a semi final berth. While he was limited in terms of selection, Jardim effectively built up a squad that blended this influx of youth with the club’s more seasoned players – Ricardo Carvalho, Jérémy Toulalan and Andrea Raggi for instance – but domestically, PSG’s rampant spending proved too much to compete with. A rivalry that French football had welcomed with open arms, one that would propel it to the international stage, had evaporated before really beginning.

    Come this summer, though, it was PSG’s turn to undergo a revamp with the departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – undisputably the face of the QSI (Qatar Sports Investment) era and one of the main reasons for the club’s crushing success – and Laurent Blanc, often unfairly criticised for his supposedly ‘easy’ building of a team that has won the domestic treble twice in a row. Once Blanc received his 22 million euro settlement on leaving, in came Unai Emery, followed through the door by Grzegorz Krychowiak and Hatem Ben Arfa in a fairly tame summer window by PSG’s -admittedly astronomical – standards.

    While his European exploits with Sevilla were the main motivation for Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s decision, Emery’s average recent league record with Sevilla had seemed like a major sticking point in his appointment, not least exacerbated by his catastrophic away form : not a single away win in the league last season. It’s obviously far too early and unfair to make any sort of definitive judgement on the Spaniard after a handful of games at this stage in his first season, but there is an overwhelming sense that PSG have regressed this summer.

    Of course, the likelihood is that Cavani will duly reach the 20 goal mark by the end of the season, and Emery will have put PSG back on the winning trail, dismissing this early season period as an acclimatisation to his new club. Business as usual, but is there any progression? By contrast, Monaco seem to be striding forward relentlessly, having already claimed a convincing victory over the champions and clawed out a win at Wembley against Spurs.

    Monaco has always been an attractive destination for any cash-injection style takeover: the principality’s status as a tax-free haven makes it ideal for attracting top players, especially when contrasted with France’s harsh tax laws on the rich – in this regard, Monaco have the economic upper hand over the rest of the league (since June 2015, though, the club has had to comply with French laws after their agreement with the federation was deemed illicit). Whatever the motivation was for switching the club’s focus to youth, though, – and it probably wasn’t borne out of any noble sense to bring through football’s hopes for the future – it’s paid dividends for Dmitri Rybolovlev and has ensured that Monaco have a sustainable base from which they will be able to build on long after he pulls the plug on his investment, far more solid than any injection of big money signings could ever do. Monaco has always been a breeding ground for France’s elite, make no mistake – the likes of Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Lilian Thuram and Emmanuel Petit came through the Monegasque ranks (in fact, most Ligue 1 academies tend to do very well – Lyon and Lens for instance)- but this big a youth project is unprecedented on the Cote d’Azur.

    Over the last 2 years Leonardo Jardim will have been able to compensate for the losses of Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Layvin Kurzawa – who both emerged from the club’s youth ranks – and a handful of disastrous signings – arguably the price to pay for such a strong link to Jorge Mendes – by being given the tools to mould together a team orientated primarily towards youth, but with a host of seasoned players to effectively steer the team – the returning Falcao, for instance. The team’s roaring success so early on in the year is proof of his success in doing so. The likes of diminutive playmaker Bernardo Silva, defensive midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko, and versatile fullback Djibril Sidibé and the outrageously talented Thomas Lemar have already emerged as the main protagonists of Monaco’s season to come, and will no doubt be crucial if any title comes their way this season. Slowly but surely, Monaco are progressing and returning to the level they were reaching in 2013/14.

    Monaco aren’t the only French team building for the future, though – Lucien Favre’s Nice have progressed from a solid 2015/16 with a team built around prospects such as Vincent Koziello, Alassane Pléa, Jean Seri and Yoan Cardinale who are already carrying over their good form form last season, and with the arrivals of Mario Balotelli and Dante the Aiglons are destined for a strong season. Along with Lyon’s promising start to life in their new stadium, it’s hard to see PSG dominate as emphatically as they did last season. If anything, it’s Monaco look to be the early favourites for the Ligue 1 title.

    https://bootdeball.wordpress.com/201...sgs-dominance/

  2. #1082
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    Monaco's youth system churning out bright prospects.

  3. #1083
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    Balotelli scoring all the time in France really goes to show you why Ibrahimovic looked like Pele for the last 3 years.
    "Its not about the long ball or the short ball, its about the right ball."
    Bob Paisley.

  4. #1084
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnfieldEd View Post
    Balotelli scoring all the time in France really goes to show you why Ibrahimovic looked like Pele for the last 3 years.
    And dear mr. obvious, what does Ibrahimovic right now in England ? Exactly the same thing that he did in France. 5 goals in 7 matchs. What did Monaco vs Totthanham ? Paris dominated Arsenal, the draw was lucky for them.

  5. #1085
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutece FC View Post
    And dear mr. obvious, what does Ibrahimovic right now in England ? Exactly the same thing that he did in France. 5 goals in 7 matchs. What did Monaco vs Totthanham ? Paris dominated Arsenal, the draw was lucky for them.
    Don't bother with him, he's more biased about pool and the epl than you were against blanc

  6. #1086
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    Quote Originally Posted by TornAndFrayed View Post
    Don't bother with him, he's more biased about pool and the epl than you were against blanc
    How am I biased? I am critical if anything.

    Ligue 1 is dreadful that is fact. When a player like Ben Arfa who is shite was revered last year in that league, then you know it's dreadful.

    Your comeback will be 'oh yeah but what about epl' What about it? The inadequacies of the league and its teams has no bearing on the shiteness of ligue 1 and PSG who are horribly overrated. Like both Manc clubs in England are overrated.

    So keep comparing son it doesn't make Ligue one and PSG any less shit.
    Last edited by AnfieldEd; 25th September 2016 at 07:57 PM.
    "Its not about the long ball or the short ball, its about the right ball."
    Bob Paisley.

  7. #1087
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    Classico is On .. PSG vs Marseille , i'm watching on French channel Canal + and they were interviewing Garcia while the game has started! lol .. only Canal+ does this stuff .. they interview the bench mid-game
    kilometers matter ..

  8. #1088
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    Monaco: best team in Europe this season. 3 goals per game. Reborn Falcao. Amazing fullbacks (Sidibe and Mmendy). Lemar and Silva the creative ones. Lot of young talent developed since 2015 by the PT coach, Jardim. Chapeau.

  9. #1089
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    Monaco are such a joy to watch this season. Hope they draw Real Madrid in the CL. Great to see Falcao back to scoring consistently and that Lemar kid is amazing.

  10. #1090
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    Monaco is like a team full of regen wonderkids on an FM save. So much talent everywhere.

  11. #1091
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    Quote Originally Posted by raki View Post
    Monaco: best team in Europe this season. 3 goals per game. Reborn Falcao. Amazing fullbacks (Sidibe and Mmendy). Lemar and Silva the creative ones. Lot of young talent developed since 2015 by the PT coach, Jardim. Chapeau.
    Yea but the league is dreadful because Ben Arfa is shite just ask granny Ed !

  12. #1092
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    PSG - Nice is on.
    PSG dominating so far

  13. #1093
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    PSG playing some nice football. Aurier and Verratti are just amazing.

  14. #1094
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    Great FK goal for Nice!

  15. #1095
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    Beautiful goal. Areola miles away from saving that FK.

    Lol. Classic Cavani there with that miss.

    Another one for Nice. 0-2. Not looking good for Emery. Both Silva and Marquinhos looked like amateurs there.
    Last edited by ThwiX; 11th December 2016 at 07:38 PM.