France in Europe – Group Round-Up

Neymar Mbappe

After the international break, this week sees the start of the group stages of the Champions and Europa Leagues. As ever, the draw is the time for fans to start planning tricky mid-week away trips and panicking about squad-depth after the close of the transfer window. Also, as is traditional for the French teams, qualifying saw mixed results as Nice failed to […]

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Les Espoirs and Euro Qualifying – a short history

France U21 v Cameroon

It’s the international break, and not just for the seniors – the Under-21s are also in action, as their qualifying campaign for the 2019 Euros in Italy and San Marino kicks off. Tuesday night sees their competitive opener against Kazakhstan, who for some reason started qualifying back in March – before the 2017 tournament was played – with a 2-1 win […]

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Europa League Play-Off Second Leg: Olympique Marseille v NK Domzale

Thauvin Domzale

As can happen in the Europa league, you write a preview saying a match should be fairly straightforward and then, well, things don’t quite pan out like that. The first leg ended 1-1 in Ljubljana, as Domzale midfielder Amedej Vetrih flicked one in from a Senijad Ibričić freekick in an opening spell that saw the home side slightly put the frighteners […]

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Europa League Play-Off : NK Domzale v Olympique Marseille

Germain hatttick v Oostende

Marseille continue their European campaign with a 1,000km trip* to Ljubljana to face Slovenian cup-winners NK Domzale in the first leg of the play-offs, in fairly sprightly mood. Beating Belgium’s Oostende 4-2 on aggregate in the 3rd qualifying round was pleasing enough, but seeing new acquisition Valere Germain score a hat-trick on his debut in the home tie was even more […]

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Euro 2017 – France 1 – 0 Iceland – Les Bleues Relieved

France v Iceland Euro 2017 crop

The 2017 Euros have kicked off in the Netherlands, and France’s campaign started with an often frustrating encounter with Iceland that ended in a narrow victory as Eugenie Le Sommer converted a late penalty. France, as one would expect, had most of the ball and most of the chances, but were blocked, tackled, and frequently bundled over by opponents whose clear game-plan […]

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Louis Nicollin : lived 1943 – 2017; reigned 1974 – 2017

Louis Nicollin Georges Freche

Montpellier’s larger-than-life President, Louis Nicollin, has died. LouLou was one of the great characters in football and seemed indestructible. I thought he’d go on for ever, hugging his players, snaffling shirts from the best of the opposition, giving interviews that you knew had the rest of the MHSC staff with their heads in their hands and/or swearing loudly in the office…but […]

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Bureaucracy Corner – HT: DNCG 2 – 0 Corsica

Squillacci

Ah, summer is here. While most football coverage right now is a feverish attempt to find who’s been seen at what airport (he’s from Chambery, Lyon is the closest international airport for a family holiday), France has another tradition apart from selling top talent for mates’ rates and loaning each other youth players. Welcome back, the DNCG, staggering into view like a […]

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Steve Mounié – from Montpellier to Huddersfield?

Mounie

Montpellier have a tradition of selling their two best players every summer, so with a variety of clubs circling around Ryad Boudebouz, the news that Steve Mounié is being heavily linked with newly-promoted Huddersfield isn’t that surprising. Last season was a tricky proposition for the 2012 champions, who flirted with relegation, changed managers a(nother) couple of times, and ended up in fifteenth. […]

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