Simon Kjaer: The Defensive Rock Giving Lille Hope Against Everton

Simon Kjaer: The Defensive Rock Giving Lille Hope Against Everton

When René Girard took charge of Lille following Rudi Garcia’s departure for Rome, there was always going to be a change in style at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. Defence was never one of Garcia’s priorities, but when you have the likes of Eden Hazard, Gervinho, and Dimitri Payet spearheading your attack, who needs defenders? As well as recalling Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, one of Girard’s first moves was the signing of Danish defender Simon Kjaer. When…

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Willy Sagnol Comments Revive Football and Race Debate

Willy Sagnol Comments Revive Football and Race Debate

Willy Sagnol the player never hesitated to tell the world what he was thinking. Willy Sagnol the manager has been similarly content to speak his mind, particularly on the subject of referees. So when Bordeaux’s main newspaper, Sud-Ouest, organised a group interview between the Bordeaux manager and some fans among their readership, we were entitled to expect plenty of material to chew over. What we didn’t expect was to be thrown into another row about racism and…

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Monaco Martial the Attack against Benfica

Monaco Martial the Attack against Benfica

OK everyone. It’s a midweek European round and we all know what the key question is. Can the French teams muster more than one goal between them this time? Don’t panic. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. If they again also don’t concede any goals, again, that’s three decent results (for ASM, ASSE and LOSC) and maybe not too bad for Guingamp, given what they’ve been through recently. If there is only…

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Metz’s Modibo Maiga Masters Malherbe #FFWTOTW

Metz’s Modibo Maiga Masters Malherbe #FFWTOTW

Next week is the first Classico of the season and, with the two teams in the top two places, the match could and should be epic. But let’s be honest, both teams need to improve hugely on this week’s showings. Marseille got back to winning ways after two defeats in a week. They at times looked irresistible going forward and chaotic in defence. But Gignac stopped fighting with team-mates long enough to set up Thauvin…

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OGC Nice v Olympique Lyonnais: Swifter than eagles; stronger than lions

OGC Nice v Olympique Lyonnais: Swifter than eagles; stronger than lions

So, game 12. After the Olympico last round, and looking forward to the Classico in the next, there is maybe not a stand-out match in this round. It feels a bit like everyone is waiting for the cymbals to clash and the trumpets to blare at the Parc des Princes next Sunday as the top two face off. This is a pity, as there are some interesting fixtures to come this weekend, and the potential for…

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Coupe de la Ligue Seiziemes or Thereabouts

Coupe de la Ligue Seiziemes or Thereabouts

Midweek league cup action ahoy! This round, the seiziemes are actually the dixiemes, to accommodate most of the Ligue 1 teams joining in and ensure the numbers are right when the European teams (and Lyon) get involved in the next round. All six of the Ligue 2 teams who have progressed are playing away from home, as are Montpellier, sort of, as they relocate to the Altrad Stadium while Mosson recovers from the recent flooding. Second Round Round-Up…

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Gour-Woof! Lyon stop Marseille winning streak #FFWTOTW

Gour-Woof! Lyon stop Marseille winning streak #FFWTOTW

Game 11, sandwiched between two midweek rounds in Europe and the League Cup, promised much. We were not disappointed. Lens travelled to Toulouse on Friday night as the lanterne rouge and with a squad full of youngsters including 19-year-old reserve goalkeeper Valentin Belon and a couple of defenders without shirt numbers listed on the club website, so this looked like a routine win for the Tefece, who dominated the possession, shots and pass completion statistics. Ptooey….

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Europa Euround-up : Panning for Goals

Europa Euround-up : Panning for Goals

Well. First there was the Champions League, where on Tuesday the participants collectively hit the giddy heights of 5 goals per game, but PSG took until the 87th minute to get one past APOEL Nicosia, and on Wednesday a more restrained set of fixtures featuring the only 0-0 of the round – Monaco v Benfica. Then Thursday, and the Europa league, where in 24 fixtures there were four goalless games – three of which featured the French teams (Standard Liege v…

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