• Wednesday, 14 January 2009

    Open wide

    All fun and games in Ligue 1. Once the sole preserve of Lyon, they've been dropping points at will this season, the latest being a home draw against mid-table Lorient. However, nobody else has managed a sustained challenge to put themselves in the frame to break the Lyonnais monopoly. Rennes have been the surprise packet, losing just once but managing ten draws already. Marseille are marvellously inconsistent and PSG win a lot, but lose a lot as well. Instead, it's Larry White's Bordeaux who procide the main challenge. Just before the christmas break, they managed to turn round a 3-0 deficit away at Monaco into a late, late 4-3 win and in the first game of the new year, battered PSG 4-0. And the guy making it all happen isn't even their player. They have a €15m option to relieve AC Milan of the services of Yoann Gourcuff, and the available evidence suggests they really ought to.
    His free-kick created their first and the skill for his goal - Bordeaux's third - comes pretty close on it's own to justify those "new Zinedine Zidane" claims. So many have been labelled such in the past - it's the French football equivalent of labelling an English cricketer 'the new Ian Botham' - and such luminaries as Bruno Cheyrou have suffered under the weight. And it looked like Yoann would suffer also. Since leaving Milan for Bordeaux, he's flourished and it's been his performances for the national side that's keeping Raymond Domenech in a job. Whether that's a good thing or not is a different matter. If he stays fit, Bordeaux have a very real chance of taking the trophy away from the Gerland for the first time since Noah was a lad.

    It's league cup quarter-finals this week, with PSG travelling to RC Lens in a repeat of last season's final. Lens got relegated, but are storming the second division and will be tough opponents. Both sides have appealed for calm among their supporters. Good luck with that. Bordeaux have a home game against second division Châteauroux in a game that looks to have just the one outcome. Yesterday, Vannes beat Metz on penalties after a 1-1 draw in an all division 2 clash despite going a man down in extra time. And Nice beat Le Havre in the other game. No surprises there with Nice looking for European football and Le Havre bottom of the pile.

    1 comment:

    John_D said...

    PSG and Bordeaux both won, rather predictably