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  #21  
Old 06-08-2007, 01:04 PM
afeencalleddan afeencalleddan is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ebenezer View Post
Ya, six out of ten games had 1 goal or less.
Welcome to Ligue 1.

By the way, I already started an official French league thread back in april.
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  #22  
Old 24-08-2007, 01:33 PM
Sound Sound is offline
 
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Default Wot, no Houllier to blame!

Lyon: kings no more
Winter has come early for the struggling French champions, where Alain Perrin's reign has got off to an inauspicious start.
Paul DoyleAugust 24, 2007 10:41 AM
Lyon's omnipotent owner Jean-Michel Aulas avoids important meetings on Friday 13 and recently announced he'd like to be reincarnated as Jesus Christ. But neither of those revelations met with as much ridicule as his decision, 20 years ago, to plaster "Lyon - ville européene" across the front of the club's jersey. At the time, the team he'd just taken over were towards the bottom of the second division, having narrowly avoided relegation to the level below: the apparent ambition to become a European force made them a national farce. Folk scoffed.

Since then, of course, all the laughing's been done by Aulas. His club last season cantered to a record sixth consecutive title, having made the best ever start to a French season by taking 49 points from the first 54 available, and finished an unprecedented 17 points ahead of the runners-up, Marseille. They may not yet have claimed the continental crown their owner lusts after but they're regulars in the Champions League knockout stages and, having successfully campaigned for a change in French law to allow the club to float on the stock exchange and secured permission to build a new 60,000-seat stadium by 2010, Aulas reckons it's only a matter of time before his wild dream is fulfilled. He's so close ... and yet suddenly his team's form suggests he may be getting farther away.

Two defeats in their first three games make this Lyon's worst start to a season in 10 years. Fans who fretted that Alain Perrin was the wrong man to replace Gérard Houllier in the summer have at least found some solace in vindication. It was lunacy, they rail, to appoint this former PE teacher ahead of Didier Deschamps, the World Cup hero who took a dashing Monaco side to the Champions League final in 2004 and reportedly made himself available to Lyon after stepping down from Juventus in the summer. What exactly, they ask, has Perrin achieved since 2002, when he first applied for the Lyon job but was rejected because, to quote the memorable put-down from Aulas's special advisor Bernard Lacombe, "you don't hand they keys of a Ferrari to someone who's only ever driven a tin snail". Pillorying Perrin is easy - that's the bright side of his humourless demeanour and tax-inspector accoutrement - but it's also unfair.

Lyon were in decline before Perrin arrived. Since January, a side whose spirit for so long seemed indomitable have exuded ennui. Erstwhile captain and dressing-room leader Claudio Caçapa turned down a new contract and hinted he wanted to go to a place where victory wasn't so straightforward (he should be careful what he wishes for, eh Newcastle fans?), and other stalwarts such as Florent Malouda and Eric Abidal also announced their intention to leave. While some dreamt of something new and more lucrative, others became disillusioned with Houllier's rotation and his deification of Juninho. And some players, such as Sylvain Wiltord and Fred, simply hated the sight of each other. Where once there was unity, now bitterness festered.

If Perrin was aware that the landscape he was parachuted into in June had grown gloomy, there was no way he could have foreseen the bad luck that would befall him. Before the season even began, goalkeeper Grégory Coupet got entangled in a net at training and did himself a mischief that'll keep him out of action till next year. Then, in the first away match of the season, Cris, the Brazilian centre-back who for the last five seasons has marshalled the back four so dutifully that he's nicknamed 'The Policeman', also suffered a long-term injury. So in two freakish twists of fortune, Perrin was deprived of another two pillars on which Lyon's dominance had been founded.

In simple playing terms, replacing Coupet and Cris is tricky. During five years as Coupet's deputy, Rémy Vercoutre played just 17 top-flight matches - in seeking first-team action he was loaned out to Strasbourg in 2004 but quickly found himself relegated to the bench even there. Last year Houllier attempted to boost his confidence by selecting him for League Cup games - Lyon got all the way to the final, where Vercoutre handed victory to Bordeaux with a cringeworthy last-minute blunder. He hasn't mucked up so spectacularly yet this term (though he did come close on the opening day at home to Auxerre, when he bizarrely opted to punch a low Benoit Pedretti free-kick clear but instead diverted it onto his post) but his reassuring-as-an-obscene-phonecall presence frays the nerves of an already threadbare defence.

As for Cris, his role has so far been filled, reasonably well in fairness, by Mathieu Bodmer, an offensive midfielder signed this summer from Lille. That will likely change after the club captured a Brazilian specialist from Benfica yesterday, though Cleberson Anderson will no doubt need some time to come to terms if not with Ligue 1 then with the embarrassing knowledge that he was third choice behind Gabriel Heinze and ... Mikael Silvestre.

So Perrin has had more than he could have expected on his plate. But that doesn't mean he's entirely blameless. If the first defeat of the season was unlucky - he took a depleted squad to Toulouse and then had to watch in astonishment as the referee sent off midfielder Kim Kallstrom for being elbowed in the face - last week's comprehensive 2-1 beating by Lorient was less forgivable. True, he had to contend with yet another injury after just 20 minutes, when Hatem Ben Arfa hobbled off with a leg wound that'll rule him out till next month, but that couldn't excuse the overall cluelessness of his side. A certain amount of disjointedness could be understandable in the circumstances - but not total disintegration.

Not only did Lyon appear to be struggling with all the personnel changes and Perrin's insistence on switching to 4-4-2 from the 4-3-3 formation that has been the club's trademark for the past four years, but basic passing and ball control seemed beyond them. Ominously for Perrin, Juninho hinted at a theory as to why that may be: "We don't appear to be comfortable on the ball any more ... it seems something has sapped our confidence."

Something ... or someone. Word is Perrin is proving unpopular among the players, who are frustrated at his habit of continually interrupting training to make minor points. This perfectionism - or, if you prefer, compulsive dictatorial complex - has rattled seasoned winners whose ability had long been unquestioned. It, like his order for players to get up at 7.30am on matchdays for some light training, has upset a long-established and successful routine. Imposing yourself on a club, it may be called. Or jolting stars out of their comfort zone and preventing newcomers from slipping in there. Or, in a worst-case scenario, Brian Clough at Leeds United.

Tomorrow night is the derby at ultra-attacking Saint-Etienne. Lyon's heads better be right for that, or Perrin may soon be for the guillotine. Already, according to France Football, some players have dubbed him Monsieur PPH (Passera Pas L'Hiver) - Mr Won't Survive the Winter. And in France too, winter has come early this year.
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  #23  
Old 24-08-2007, 02:25 PM
Roman Abramovich Roman Abramovich is offline
 
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Originally Posted by afeencalleddan View Post
wouldnt exactly call that an official french league thread.
in fact right now id post more about the championship in that thread than france.
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Originally Posted by liam2me View Post
read the whole thread then come back to me and tell me who's the 'daw' (WTF is a daw anyway?) actually don't bother.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2007, 09:25 PM
afeencalleddan afeencalleddan is offline
 
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Interesting night in Lyon tonight. Le Mans were 2 up with 19 minutes to go but Lyon knocked in 3 goals in 7 minutes. Finished 3-2.
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  #25  
Old 05-09-2007, 04:55 PM
marco 2005 marco 2005 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ho chi feen View Post
Anyone backing PSG to win the championat is clearly mentally deranged, and you can quote me on that.
Deffo, i wouldnt bet a euro on them to finish top 3, PSG's brilliant team on paper, winning a game's different story.

My team's FC Lorient, smallest budget in the whole league (OK, this year we might be 2nd smallest budget behind Le Mans or Caen) and we hammered them 3-1 in Le Parc, like last season actually.

For the records, we've also beaten Monaco and Lyon, 2-1 at home, PSG 1-3 away, and got draws in Bordeaux (2 all) and Lille 1-1.

I'd back Bordeaux or Monaco to come close to Lyon this season, maybe Marseille if they manage to get their shit together and i'd recommend to keep an eye on few youngsters: Gouffran, Menez, Gapke and Benzema...Nasri's going to become huge this season.

Paris is the french equivalent to Atletico Madrid, full of hopes, shitloads happening in transfer markets, 2 coachs a season, underperforming superstar players and fuck all trophys...they're cursed.
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  #26  
Old 07-12-2007, 07:11 PM
ho chi feen ho chi feen is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Abramovich View Post
psg to win the league 14-1.
great. i mean great. i mean super odds.
http://www.peoplesrepublico fcork.com/~peoplesr/forums/showthread.php?t=120 186

Heh heh heh....



Anyway, like I said... mentally deranged.
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  #27  
Old 08-12-2007, 12:42 PM
xvis xvis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ho chi feen View Post
http://www.peoplesrepublico fcork.com/~peoplesr/forums/showthread.php?t=120 186

Heh heh heh....


Anyway, like I said... mentally deranged.

That same thought occurred to me last week when they fell to the bottom three



...they did well to stay up last year.
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  #28  
Old 08-12-2007, 01:12 PM
Forsberg Forsberg is offline
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Oh dear

Lesoon- never jusge anything on a mickey mouse preseason tournament
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  #29  
Old 09-12-2007, 10:38 PM
afeencalleddan afeencalleddan is offline
 
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PSG 1 up away to Auxerre with not long to go. This could be fucking excellent for Naff.
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  #30  
Old 09-12-2007, 10:47 PM
afeencalleddan afeencalleddan is offline
 
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Finished 0-1. It's officially ON!
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