Paris FC: 2015/16 Ligue 2 Preview
Coach: Denis Renaud
Stadium: Stade Charlety
Last Season: 2nd in National
Paris FC have made a great signing recently by securing the services of Alexis Thebaux. The ex-Brest man is one of the best custodians at this level and is proven quality. Vincent de Marconney was the starting keeper last season but he’ll almost certainly be sat on the bench this year. The defence has reinforced by adding RB Christopher Glombard from Reims. He could borderline start in ligue 1, so to have someone of his quality is a real bonus. The rest of the defence, bar Sebastien Cantini, is rather untested at this level so it remains to be seen how solid they’ll be. But on paper there seems to be some half-decent players so I imagine PFC will be ok here.
Loic Poujol and Thomas Gamiette did a good job in the middle for Paris last year. It’s no surprise to see they got promoted with a duo like that. Both have past experience at higher levels so shouldn’t have any problem adapting to ligue 2. PFC have signed wisely here too by adding Bocundji Ca from Reims, a player who has actually been playing top flight football recently. Dylan Bahamboula, on loan from Monaco, could really excel at this level and give them extra creativity from central areas too. PFC have some other attacking midfielders who are capable of filling in if required, so depth seems to be fine. I think they’ll go well in the middle and have to be respected here.
The Parisians have a lot of attacking options in their squad, the question is do they have a top quality striker capable of netting them 10-15+ goals? Last year, Richard Socrier banged in 13 and he was their leading scorer. Socrier is an experienced journeyman who I actually respect, but at 36 years of age he isn’t going to be the required hitman they need. Khaled Ayari has signed from Angers and he might go well, but his problem is keeping fit. It has to be mentioned that PFC have some great wide options. Christian Kinkela, Idris Chergui, Ogunbiyi and new man Romain Grange should all be able to create chances for this team. But it might be that the whole attack has to collectively score goals because they just need that elite sort of striker who could make a real difference. PFC will be dangerous in the final third though and they have plenty of pace.
Denis Renaud is the newly appointed coach. He didn’t actually get them promoted so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares. Having managed lower ligue Carquefou for nearly 12 years, it’s amazing he’s still only 40! I don’t really know what sort of tactics he’s going to use, so I’d say they are best watched in the early stages of the campaign. PFC are the only one of the three promoted teams who will be playing home matches at their own stadium, which is a considerable advantage. However, they only had the 7th best record in front of their own fans last season, their main strength was on the road.
Paris FC look the best of the promoted clubs to me. They have reinforced well and already had a decent squad of players anyway. The club has ambition and wants to be playing top flight football by 2019, which is their 50th anniversary year. For this current campaign the main target is just to stay in the division, which they should be able to achieve. Of course, it’s never easy moving up a level and I’m sure they will have some difficult periods, but over the course of the year I’d expect them to have enough quality to survive. They might even be a dark horse to break into the top ten.
Prediction – 13th