France must make a decision on Didier Deschamps before it’s too late

June 18, 2015

“There was no retribution from France on Saturday evening. A trip to Albania, six days removed from their 4-3 humbling at the hands of Belgium, was on the cards; a side that France have yet to taste defeat against in their lifespan as a footballing nation. Apt given the national side’s current predicament, France departed Albania late Saturday evening on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline. ‘I am particularly annoyed and disappointed because I’m responsible,’ remarked France coach, Didier Deschamps, post-match.” backpagefootball


Tactical Analysis: France 3-4 Belgium | Belgium’s fluidity in midfield and France’s shift to a 4-2-3-1

June 11, 2015

“Drawing ‘big picture’ conclusions from friendlies, especially after a long and gruelling European campaign, can often be an exercise in futility. This is doubly true with top teams such as Belgium and France, most of whose players were involved in additional 10-20 matches in lengthy European and cup campaigns. With key players such as Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra, Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne missing from both sides, one might have hoped that rather than playing for the result, both teams might be given to a bit of experimentation on the day, with a chance to see some new faces or perhaps a bit of tactical innovation. After all, despite France being qualified as hosts of Euro 2016 and Belgium topping their group, neither have been as scintillating as one might expect.” Outside of the Boot


2014/15 Ligue 1 End Of Season Awards

May 27, 2015

Ligue-1-Midfielder-of-the-Year-2014-15
“An exciting Ligue 1 season came to an end with a bit of an anti-climax. After Lyon & Marseille both held their own as potential challengers to Paris Saint-Germain’s domination in France, the capital club showed their experience and retained their title, now making it three successive championship wins having gone 18 years without one. For manager Laurent Blanc, it was a fantastic response to all his critics, with an impressive showing in Europe as well and also the possibility of winning a domestic treble, something never done in France earlier. But he isn’t the only one to have impressed both domestically and in Europe, with a few others deserving as much credit as French domestic football begins to set itself up on the footballing map.” Outside of the Boot


The season that was in Ligue 1

May 24, 2015

“At the beginning of every season in Ligue 1 ever since the takeover of Qatari ownership of Paris Saint Germain, the running gag in France isn’t who will win the Ligue 1 title, but when will PSG clinch it and how many points will they win it by. It’s a blessing and a curse to have a club who talent wise are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Sadly one of the curses is that the domestic races involving PSG have involved the Parisian club finishing on average 10.5 points ahead of second place over the past two seasons.” backpagefootball


Talent Radar Player Rankings: Top 10 Young Forwards in 2014/15

May 16, 2015

“In the past two weeks, we’ve updated our Talent Radar player rankings in the Goalkeepers, Defenders and Midfielders section. We’re now left with this season’s final issue of the Forward Rankings. It’s common tendency that players playing up front attract the most attention, from both fans and clubs. Many of the names on this list will be the subject of transfer speculation in the coming months. We’re going to leave any kind of speculation surrounding these players out of this and give you an unbiased judgement of how the players have done this past season to let you know the reason for the hype around them.” Outside of the Boot


Claudio Beauvue’s meteoric rise

May 6, 2015

“For a club like Guingamp, who are one of the more smaller clubs you’ll see in the major leagues in Europe, money isn’t something that’s readily available to use for transfers. Hell, for any club in Ligue 1 not named PSG and to a lesser extent Monaco, finding talent not within your youth academy is an arduous task. It can involve taking chances on players that didn’t make for bigger clubs in Ligue 1 or buying talent in Ligue 2.” backpagefootball (Video)


Teeing up Ligue 1’s relegation scrap

May 1, 2015

“European football can be classified roughly into three to four categories: title contenders, teams competing for the other Champions League spot(s), teams competing (or avoiding) for the Europa League spots and teams trying to survive relegation. As the season moves closer and closer to its conclusion, the relegation fight gets more and more important.” backpagefootball


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