There’s an air of disappointment in French politics currently with an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction lingering across the channel.
It’s easy to see how the French have lost their patience with Francois Hollande. The President was voted in on the back of an Obama-esque ticket, promising change and revolution. He wasn’t lying per se; he just hasn’t performed enough miracles to justify the shifts in policy he has brought about.
Some now vilify Hollande. The crowd booed him on Remembrance Day as he was laying the wreath. Sacre bleu! A level of abuse previously unheard of!
Yet I’m sure that many of those involved in French football’s top two tiers may well have shared the heckling crowd’s feelings. Continue reading →
With the French top-flight set to dominate the headlines this summer, French Football Weekly‘s Chris Luxford-Noyes reviews the Ligue 1 season…
It’s the day after the night before. We now know the winners and losers in this season’s race for glory in Ligue 1.
As forecasted by many pundits, PSG came out top dogs with 83 points, 12 ahead of 2nd placed Olympique Marseille. PSG didn’t have it all their own way thankfully, as the occasional draw here and there, along with a handful of losses – most notably away to Sochaux and Reims – ensured that the title race was kept fairly interesting for those fighting it out at the top. Their slip ups over the course of the season offered up a few small but regular morsels of hope to the chasing pack behind them (and the more casual, neutral observers tuning in to watch).
In the end they achieved exactly what they had expected of themselves, securing a league title and another tilt at the Champions League next season, albeit possibly without Carlo Ancellotti at the helm and question marks over Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future in Paris.
OM finished runners-up, and although they hadn’t exactly been written off back in August they certainly weren’t expected to do as well as they have done. Early season wobbles had many questioning their resolve. Second behind PSG and a Champions League place? They would have snapped such an offer out of anyone’s hand at the beginning of the season, then again, so would’ve most teams. Since succeeding Didier Deschamps last summer, Elie Baup has done well with the team, guided them into the Champions League, and will likely be rewarded with a contract extension thought to already be in the offing. Rumour has is that Joey Barton has been offered the chance to become a permanent fixture in Marseille, with a 3-year deal on the table if he wants it. With a return to relegated QPR now even less appealing for the controversial Englishmen it makes sense for him to stay. Barton is enjoying his time at OM and recently told the press, ‘for the first time in my life, I’m very happy, really content’. Continue reading →
With David Beckham calling an end to his 20 year career, Greg Johnson looks at the player behind the hype, and asks whether more footballers should follow his example…
Over the past few years, David Beckham has toured the world like an aging rock band, determined to wring a final few golden years out of his former glory in emerging markets and foreign lands still seduced by the nostalgic allure of his status and shirt sales. Now his greatest hits tour is coming to an end, with the world’s most famous footballer turning down an extension to stay at his latest European cameo at Paris Saint-Germain in order to bow out of the game at “the highest level”.
While many may scoff at his reasoning, along with the self-indulgence of his later career moves, it is important to separate the past achievements of Beckham the footballer from Beckham the brand, especially since his reputation as a player is more often than not harmed by the association.
Ignoring his ubiquitous presence across billboards and TV, pushing everything from soft drinks to under pants while skirting the borders of ridicule with his outlandish fixation on fashion and hairstyles, David Beckham was a fine footballer and an upstanding professional athlete. Continue reading →
False Nine writer Ethan Meade forecasts greater challenges from Eastern Europe and Paris in elite European competition…
Upon his election as President of UEFA, Michel Platini made it an express concern to diffuse European power away from solely in the hands of the traditional powerhouses. He had numerous plans to do this, ranging from changing the format of Champions League qualification, to the often mentioned, but seldom properly understood, Financial Fair Play rules. Continue reading →