Defence the Best Form of Attack? Saint-Etienne Enter the Europa League

Defence the Best Form of Attack? Saint-Etienne Enter the Europa League

Another team kick off their season on Thursday with Europa League qualifying, having not really done much in the mercato so far. Saint-Etienne will play Romania’s Tirgu Mures, runners-up in Liga 1 last season, just three points behind Steaua Bucharest. How exactly they’ll approach that remains to be seen but their rather binary results from last season’s edition (featuring five draws and a loss with a massive two goals scored in the group stage) looks worryingly like…

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AS Monaco Start Campaign for Champions League Glory

AS Monaco Start Campaign for Champions League Glory

Monaco will be the first French team to kick a competitive ball this season, as they take on Swiss league runners-up Young Boys in Berne in the third qualifying round for the Champions League this Tuesday evening. Young Boys have never made it to the group stage, most recently being knocked out by Spurs in a play-off back in 2010/11, although they then made it to the knock-out stage of the Europa League; the following…

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Bordeaux – ConSagnolidation

Bordeaux – ConSagnolidation

There’s a way to go in the transfer window yet. For some fans, that’s a frightening thought, as their club has to try to hang on to key players for another four weeks; for others, a ray of hope as they wonder if their club will do … anything. Bordeaux fans may be in this second group. Arrivals! Four players back from loan spells, two of whom are out of contract and Emilio Sala who has moved…

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France U19 Men Fall to Spain as Women Stand Strong

France U19 Men Fall to Spain as Women Stand Strong

It’s been a busy summer, and France can be rather happy with how things have turned out, overall. First, they won the U17 Euros, beating Germany 4-1 in a final that featured a hat-trick from PSG’s Odsonne Edouard. Then, the Toulon Tournament, where an U20 side came from a goal down against Morocco with an impressive second-half performance in the final to win 3-1. After that, things got less triumphant, with France knocked out of…

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OL Pride: Youthful Lyon Ready to Roar Again

OL Pride: Youthful Lyon Ready to Roar Again

While Monaco picked up ten players before the rest of the league had had a chance to even bookmark the LFP transfer page, and Marseille are shedding last season’s first team like they’ve got some form of bet on, things are a little bit different at the Stade Gerland. Yes, they’ve picked up Claudio ‘Air’ Beauvue from Guingamp and Jeremy ‘Free’ Morel from Marseille, and are shopping around for a centre-back, but as ever, it seems that…

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Marseille : Grand Designs or DIY SOS?

Marseille : Grand Designs or DIY SOS?

As the mercato gets into its stride, one team isn’t so much tweaking their squad with a couple of key new pieces and otherwise just mild redecoration, as ripping out walls, fixtures and fittings and starting again with an open-plan approach. Four players have left Marseille on free transfers – Andre Ayew, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Rod Fanni, and Jeremy Morel; as noted, none of these departures individually were particularly surprising, but that all of them have gone may…

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Summer Business Bodes Well for New Look Monaco

Summer Business Bodes Well for New Look Monaco

Monaco have been bustling around the transfer market with a speed and efficiency reminiscent of a tricky winger as they continue their conversion from a ‘superstars for silly money’ outfit to a ‘younger players with both footballing and resale potential’ approach. The last month or so has seen three developments that help out on an already pretty robust financial front: the lightening of FFP restrictions; the Conseil d’État striking out the €50m ‘indemnity’ payable to the LFP relating to the…

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DNCG Strike Again As SC Bastia Face Ridiculous Relegation to Ligue 2

DNCG Strike Again As SC Bastia Face Ridiculous Relegation to Ligue 2

While most football sites are currently focussing on the transfer window and various international tournaments going on, French football has another traditional subject to factor in – admin. Every summer, the DNCG (Direction Nationale du Controle de Gestion – responsible for oversight of rules, budgets, etc) gets through a frankly ludicrous amount of bureaucratic to-ing and fro-ing, which can also involve appeals, magistrates courts, the Olympic Committe, local politicians, et une perdrix dans un poirier….

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