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The Official TLW Ligue 1 Thread

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As a result of the overwhelming interest this forum has as it pertains to French football and also my past works (my award winning article  "15 Young Studs to Watch in 2019"), I thought it was only right to create a thread where the brilliant forumites of TLW could read high quality content posted by yours truly on the elite footballing competition that is Ligue 1. 

 

In this thread, I will post weekly recaps of the happenings in Ligue 1 providing my wonderful readers a general snapshot of what is going on week to week in the French footballing universe.

 

And just to clarify, I want to say first and foremost that this feature will not be in direct competition to TLW's very own and tremendously successful "That was the week that was" series. Look at it as a supplement to this already brilliant piece of content provided by this web site.

 

Secondly, I may also review certain big Ligue 1 clashes on their own and will follow the journey of French clubs who will dispute European competitions this season.

 

Furthermore, I will provide a comprehensive preview of this 2019-2020 season going through every single club in detail. This will be posted at the end of the summer transfer window in order to account for the very last possible player movement. 

 

Lets go, baby!!! First article will be posted today!

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Trophee des Champions (the French Community Shield) 2019

A Bit of a Shit Show

 

Today was the opening salvo of the competitive French football season (using competitive loosely, it's a glorified friendly played in China for marketing reasons). The match was played in the sweltering Shenzhen heat on an absolute disgrace of a pitch. Basically, everything dumb that you associate with modern preseason football except that this is actually supposed to be a competitive match between the Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France winners and there is a trophy on the line. 

 

PSG faced Rennes, a rematch of the 2019 Coupe de France final where Rennes emerged unlikely winners in a match that will be remembered as the moment the great Hatem Ben Arfa dipped his ballsack right in PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi's mouth after he led his team to glorious victory (also the small matter of Rennes winning their first trophy since 1971). On to the match report.

 

image.png.674b43ccfac6aebf35b4065d8bf0c0c3.png

 

Without Neymar but with most of their other top players available, PSG lined up in a 4-3-3 with Mbappe taking the Brazilian's usual spot on the left. 

 

Rennes on the other hand, had most of their squad gutted due to AFCON missing out on usual starters such as; Mbaye Niang, Ramy Bensebaini, Ismaila Sarr and Hamari Traore, therefore Julien Stephan opted for a 5 at the back system with new signing Flavien Tait up top and 16 year old Eduardo Camavinga in midfield. Basically, PSG had a massive advantage from the start.

 

Despite this, Rennes took the early advantage. With PSG players slipping all over the place on the crap pitch, and seeing their short passes bounce and veer of their intended targets, the Parisian side were, mildly put, fucking shit in the opening half hour.

 

New signing Abdou Diallo and his partner, the perpetual lost-looking Thilo Kehrer were done by a brilliant cross from Benjamin Bourigeaud which Adrien Hunou diverted home. The move looked slightly offside, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that PSG willl still struggle this season to defend against quality opposition.

 

Animated GIF

 

Following this goal, the game took the predictable pattern many thought it would take; PSG holding possession, pushing back a young and undermanned Rennes side. They were finally broken down in the 57th minute. A brilliant over-the-top ball from Marquinhos was brought down by new signing Pablo Sarabia, who then squared to an unmarked Killian Mbappe. 

 

Animated GIF

 

From that point it wasn't really a contest anymore. PSG poured on the pressure and when Angel Di Maria replaced new signing Ander Herrera in midfield, his wand of a left foot made the telling difference, curling in a free kick. 

 

Animated GIF

 

With PSG in the lead, Rennes tried to force proceedings a bit more and created a few half chances, before creating a clear cut opportunity to tie the game in stoppage time when a cut back found its way to the 16 year old Camavinga who could only blaze over.

 

Final Score: PSG 2, Rennes 1.

 

Conclusion: All in all, a predictable result for a fixture that I feel was a bit of a joke. PSG were distinctly average against a team which didn't have the option of fielding its team at even 50% of its normal capacity. PSG didn't need to be good and they weren't either, but as it often is in France, their average level was enough to win. Also, why is the French Community Shield in China? Just no need. That was shite. 

 

Also, there are videos of the trophy celebration where Neymar looks like someone who is currently dealing with an alleged rape charge (oh wait...). He doesn't look happy. During the team picture, there's also footage of him being physically shoved out by Mbappe and Verratti so that he can't be part of it. Yikes. As usual, PSG are an absolute clown show.

 

Thanks for reading!!!  

 

 

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Brief first match report. 

 

Lyon beat Monaco 0-3 in the first game of the season and, I hate to say it because I love Ligue 1, I am the forum's Ligue 1 guy after all, but the league is currently in a bad way. We are not in a good moment, as Klopp would say. Both teams are mediocre at best, and in Monaco's case, they may still be the dumpster fire they were last year. They're quickly turning into a joke. These are two teams who given their budget, should logically be the main contenders to try to dethrone PSG yet they are not even close.

 

I'll talk about it more in my season preview after the transfer window shuts, but I think this will be one of the least competitive seasons in the history of any top flight football league. Not hyperbole, I truly believe that. 

 

Moussa Dembele headed home from a corner

 

Animated GIF

 

Cesc Fabregas was sent off for raking Leo Dubois' heel and calf. Kind of an absurd decision because it looked accidental and even though it's true it killed the game a little, Monaco had already been insipid. 

 

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Memphis Depay scored by shooting from 30+ yards out straight in the middle of the goal and it somehow went right through the keeper. 

 

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Lucas Tousart finished Monaco off with a nice finish from outside the box. 

 

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Conclusion from the match: I can't believe I'm saying this so soon after being so excited to start this thread; this will not be that fun for me. Ligue 1 guy, or not Ligue 1 guy, this did not promise good things for the upcoming season. 

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@3 Stacks

 

Due to La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga, not starting until at least next week I've been forced to add Marseille and St Etienne to an accumulator today.

 

Was that an act of folly?

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1 hour ago, Jairzinho said:

@3 Stacks

 

Due to La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga, not starting until at least next week I've been forced to add Marseille and St Etienne to an accumulator today.

 

Was that an act of folly?

It's a bit of a risk because both clubs have new managers and have big question marks.

 

I think Marseille are the most liable to let you down. They rebounded in preseason a little after a disastrous start and their older players such as Payet, Mandanda and Strootman have talked a lot about feeling a sense of shame about last season and wanting revenge, but they're playing a solid side in Reims who are difficult to break down and playing in the Velodrome isn't always advantageous for them. If things aren't going well, it can get toxic there. 

 

St Etienne should win, though. Dijon are one of the favourites to go down. They also have a new manager and sold their two best players this summer. The only thing I would say is that Dijon started very fast last season, winning their first 3 games, so you never know. 

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1 minute ago, 3 Stacks said:

It's a bit of a risk because both clubs have new managers and have big question marks.

 

I think Marseille are the most liable to let you down. They rebounded in preseason a little after a disastrous start and their older players such as Payet, Mandanda and Strootman have talked a lot about feeling a sense of shame about last season and wanting revenge, but they're playing a solid side in Reims who are difficult to break down and playing in the Velodrome isn't always advantageous for them. If things aren't going well, it can get toxic there. 

 

St Etienne should win, though. Dijon are one of the favourites to go down. They also have a new manager and sold their two best players this summer. The only thing I would say is that Dijon started very fast last season, winning their first 3 games, so you never know. 

Ta.

 

 

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It’s time for the first weekly recap, baby!

 

Weekly Recap Matchday 1: What I noticed this week

 

Disclaimer first; I will talk about 5 things that happened every week in Ligue 1 and the conclusions I can draw from them. I’ve picked 5 because I simply can’t talk about every match. This may come as a surprise but there are many matches and teams in France that are boring and don’t deserve to be talked about. So, I’ll leave my thoughts at 5 and not 10, which would cover every match during a week. I will try to vary what teams I talk about week to week, but if there is a Toulouse match where nothing happened and in contrast, there is a Lyon match that finishes 5-5 and one of the scoring players takes his cock out in celebration, I will have to talk about the Lyon match even if I didn’t talk about Toulouse before and I have talked about Lyon. That’s what seems right to me. And finally, of course, at the conclusion of every report I will award a player the highest fictitious honour known to man; the goddamn “Young Stud of the Week”, baby! Let’s go!

 

1. PSG cunt Nimes in the bastard and their title stroll is off and running, but not all is right in the French capital.

 

This was going to be the most predictable result of the weekend. PSG, for the second game in a row after their Trophee des Champions victory against Rennes, was facing an undermanned, weakened side who were ripe for an aggressive spanking. And not the hot, sexual kind, more the uncomfortable kind, where an angry, old-school parent attempts to discipline their child. I’ve paraphrased it, but before the game, the Nimes manager basically said “I have no team. We will get absolutely sodomized tonight.” Ok, I made the last part up, but he pretty much said the first part. This is because Nimes sold three attackers this summer, plus their best midfielder (yes, it’s Teji Savanier @Bjornebye, you cunt) and haven’t yet replaced them.

 

As a result, Paris meandered their way to an easy victory, and the team they were facing was even shitter than usual. Kylian Mbappe was sensational. Marco Verratti was sensational. PSG won 3-0. Otherwise, there’s nothing else to really say about the game. Now, what is interesting is what was going on in the stands. PSG supporters could be heard chanting “Neymar, hijo de puta” numerous times during the match. I’m not really sure why French supporters would insult a Brazilian guy with bad words in Spanish, but yeah, the divorce is very much on. The Ultras also had a banner which essentially translated to; "Neymar, fuck off". In sum, it’s all very pleasant. Call me crazy, but I think everyone involved is looking forward to the day Neymar goes back in Spain.  

 

Animated GIF

 

Image result for psg vs nimes neymar banner

 

 

2. Lille start season on a high despite numerous player sales

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll talk about it more in my season preview, but Lille have turned into the new Monaco. Despite this being the first game of the season and that they only beat a mediocre Nantes side 2-1, there is a sense that the new players that have been recruited this summer will shine and continue Lille’s upward trajectory as a club. At least in Ligue 1. The Champions League will be a different story (spoiler alert; they will probably be really bad there). Anyway, new 20-year-old Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, signed from Wolfsburg, already looks like he will be the club’s next cash cow.

 

He absolutely obliterated the Nantes defense, scoring both of Lille’s goals, in the process showing pace, strength and fearsome shooting. Their new 16 million euro attacking midfielder Yusuf Yazici also came on and immediately showed quality on the ball and returning midfielder Boubakary Soumare showcased why he’s one of the favourites to become a star this season. In conclusion, even after selling multiple very good players, they still have numerous young studs in their side and therefore, the club is in good health.

 

Animated GIF

 

 

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3. Monaco lose 0-3 to Lyon, are an absolute stinking pile of dog shit

 

I did a small match report on this Friday, but I need to talk about this more, because this result was a continuation of the horror (the dozens of) Monaco supporters had to endure last season. Even though some of the events of the match were a bit particular (the Fabregas red card and the Monaco keeper literally jumping over a Memphis Depay shot) and conclusions probably shouldn’t be drawn from one result, I’m very much a hysterical fanny and feel like overreacting; Monaco are in big trouble. They are so bad.

 

I have a big rant on Monaco to make but I’ll do it in my season preview (that’s a veteran writer move to get the anticipation up). All I will say about this match is that Lyon were fresh off losing to Bournemouth 3-0 (yes, in pre-season, but still), yet they turned up 6 days later to the Stade Louis II and pissed all over this guy’s

Image result for louis 2 monaco

stadium. Embarrassing.

 

4. Strasbourg are held in the derby (yes, the derby) against Metz

 

Given you’re all ignorant swines when it comes to French football, I bet none of you are aware that Strasbourg and Metz are fierce rivals.  As a Ligue 1 guy, this is common knowledge for me and I totally did not Wikipedia this; Strasbourg and Metz play in what is referred to as the “Derby de l’est” or “Derby of the East), a strange name because geographically both clubs are actually separated by 150 kilometers. Again, common knowledge for me, despite this distance between the clubs, there is actually a fierce rivalry between the regions of Alsace, where Strasbourg are located, and Lorraine, where Metz are located. As a result, we have this absolute barnburner of a rivalry.

 

Now, everyone knows nothing can be really gathered from a derby (“form goes out the window, it’s a great equalizer", etc…) but I have some conclusions from this thrilling 1-1 draw nonetheless. Number 1; Metz will be an absolute bore to watch but I think they will be safe. Number 2; Strasbourg are not boring to watch, they actually play decent football, but they will have a disappointing season. There you go, that’s why you all read my stuff, for bold predictions and hot takes like these ones.

 

Related image

(No pic of the rivalry on Google but this is a comparable intensity)

 

5. Reims sucker punch Marseille at the Velodrome, a stadium that may be in its last year after supporters burn it down in frustration at the end of this season

 

My condolences to @Jairzinho for betting his hard-earned money on this sorry-ass bunch of losers. This was always going to be a tough game for Marseille regardless because Reims are a pain to play against for all teams not named “PSG”, but in hindsight Reims should have actually been heavy favourites heading into this game. I said betting on Marseille was going to be “a bit of a risk”. I was wrong. What I should have said was “betting on Marseille winning this match is like betting on @Hades getting laid in the next decade”. In Premier League terms, it’s the equivalent of saying Burnley should be favourites against Spurs. That should simply never happen. Yet this Marseille squad is so loaded with shite and the club is mired in such negativity that I should have been more adamant this would happen.

 

So what did happen? Basically, Reims did the bare minimum defensively; they were compact, they had a solid 4-5-1 shape, and when they broke forward their fast, black men (and one Korean man) had the composure to put a couple chances away. It was easy for Reims, comfortable even. Marseille had two shots on target and hit the bar once. At home. They got rinsed by Reims (that's a pun, by the way, those two words are pronounced pretty much the same). 

 

Animated GIF

 

3 Stacks’ Young Stud of the Week Award

 

Vic “big-ass dick” Osimhen, for his two goal performance against Nantes on his Lille debut. And yes, he does qualify as a young stud despite Nigeria’s notorious record of doctoring their player’s ages.

 

See ya'll next week!!!

 

 

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Weekly Recap Matchday 2: What I noticed this week

 

Welcome to the weekly report for matchday 2! It was a very exciting weekend full of drama, violence, intensity, surprises and ass blastings (large victories). Let's do it!

 

1. Lyon 6 Angers 0 is the most important result in Ligue 1 in years.

 

Here’s why this result is so important in a nutshell: Lyon do not usually beat mediocre sides, they are game-raisers but they have trouble in games they should win. Yet, what did they do Friday? Answer: absolutely pulverize a mediocre side. I said last week that this may be the most un-competitive season in the history of any league at any point in the history of football. A week later, I may already look like a cunt. 

 

Now, as most of you may know by now, I’m partial to a hot take. I thought my proclamation last week was the kind of take that gets people to perk their ears up and say: “wow, I never thought of this possibility, Stacks is a genius.”

 

So to distract you from thinking about how wrong I was with my statement last week and that I’m a dumbass, I will hit you with this second hot take: Lyon will be contenders for the title this season (this is an old trick in the business I like to call take-stacking: if one of your takes are wrong, hit the people with a new, equally outrageous take so they forget about the previous take).

 

Anyway, this is a tremendous sign that Sylvinho actually knows what he’s doing and that Lyon can actually compete for the title.  Now after doing this 180, I’ll be back next week to once again call myself a dumbass when they lose to Montpellier.

 

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Image result for chef kiss gif

 

2. Monaco are trying to get red cards and lose

 

My aim when writing these articles isn’t simply to craft the best weekly Ligue 1 recap known to man, it also seeks to make the reader think critically about what is happening before their very eyes. I’m too lazy to check the stats and look this up (if you thought these articles would have stats in them, think again. I’m not a nerd) but this feels like the 10th straight game in which Monaco have one of their players sent off. It feels like every single game, one of their boneheaded players decides to literally torpedo himself into the knees of an opposing player in order to save himself the embarrassment of actually having to be part of this disgrace of a football team. It’s been really weird to witness.

 

Ruben Aguilar continued the trend this week, obtaining a red card which helped Metz dispatch Monaco 3-0. Now, you may be asking; “Stacks what is the conspiracy?” Here’s my theory; Monaco players are deliberately committing red card offenses and increasing the chances that their team loses games as a protest against team President Dmitry Rybolovlev for his violation of the sanctity of divorce proceedings.

 

Per Wikipedia, in April 2016, it was alleged that Rybolovlev used a company registered in the Virgin Islands to hide art which was owed to his former wife Elena as a condition of their divorce. Why are the players only doing this now when this happened in 2016, you may ask? Furthermore, why are the players so passionate about divorce and the rules that govern them? I don’t know, I’m still working on the case.

 

Image result for dmitry rybolovlev

The scumbag. 

 

3. Marseille are fucked

 

You know what’s great about this Marseille team? Definitely not their play, no. What’s great about them is that unlike with a team like Monaco, I don’t have to dig for far-fetched reasons why they stink. I know exactly why; it’s because most of their players are bad at football. After looking absolutely awful in an 0-2 loss to Reims last week, they went to Nantes this week and proceeded to get outplayed by a crap side whose coach resigned two weeks ago.

 

They were out-possessed by a long ball team 55% to 45% and were out-shot (shots on target) 6-2. They had a front 3 of Dimitri Payet - who looks like he spent the whole summer feasting on cans of lard – Dario Benedetto – who has no ligaments in one of his knees, and Bouna Sarr – who is a right back. It was a sorry sight. They had to hold on to scrape a 0-0 draw. Like Kanye West once said in his hit song Jesus Walks; “I’m just trynna say the way schools need teachers, the way Kathy Lee needed Regis that’s the way Marseille need Thauvin”.

 

Image result for dimitri payet fat

The fat boy. 

 

4. Bordeaux must thank England

 

You may have realized by now that Ligue 1 is littered with clubs who are fuck-ups. Clubs who have decent budgets and storied pasts, yet lately all they have done is embarrass their supporters more with each passing week. I’ve spoken of Monaco and Marseille, but Bordeaux is another club that absolutely deserves to be made fun of. This is a club who, before hiring Paulo Sousa, were managed by a guy who wasn’t certified to manage in France. And then, since getting rid of that guy (and the guy who actually had to stand on the touchline and act like the manager because the actual manager couldn’t be the manager), Sousa has managed to look like even less of a manager than the guy they had who couldn’t actually manage them, winning only 2 matches in 13.

 

This weekend, it seemed like they would suffer another loss until ex-Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny offered solidity and leadership at the back and Josh Maja of Sunderland Till’ I Die fame salvaged a 1-1 draw against Montpellier with a second half goal. In sum, the club should send the whole of England a thank-you card and possibly a gift for preventing another embarrassment.

 

Image result for ricardo eric bedouet

In the suit: the actual manager. Standing up: the guy who they had to pretend was manager. 

 

5. Rennes vs. PSG : A game so massive I have 3 things to say about it, not just 1.

 

-PSG are a mess and even though this doesn’t really matter, fingers crossed that it actually ends up mattering.

 

It’s always great when PSG lose in Ligue 1. The problem is that these losses often aren’t consequential given the enormous gulf of class between themselves and other French clubs. Here’s the thing this time, though; Lyon look serious. I said earlier these articles would have no stats, well I lied, here’s a fucking very relevant stat.

 

Since Qatar bought PSG, they’ve lost only 2 other times in the month of August; in 2012, when Montpellier won the title, and 2016, when Monaco won the title. What a fucking stat. Could the same thing happen this season and PSG lose the title? Let’s hope so.

 

-Julien Stephan may actually be a good coach

 

I say “actually” because France doesn’t seem to produce many good coaches. Deschamps is objectively good because he won a World Cup, but from my armchair I’m comfortable in saying I think he’s crap because his style of play is shit and he has a weird face. Otherwise, Patrick Viera has a chance to be good at some point but it gets really scarce after him. A bit like with English managers, in France there’s a revolving door of guys who are shit but get jobs. I won’t name the names because you probably don’t care, but just know they exist.

 

Stephan, though, may break the mould. In his first season, he took Rennes to the round of 16 of the Europa League which is a great achievement and he won the club their first trophy since 1971. And now this season, he’s shown very early on that he’s tactically astute. After the sale of many important players, he’s changed to a very solid 5 at the back system that has contributed to 2 wins in 2 thus far against difficult opposition.

 

-I can officially label Eduardo Camavinga a young stud

 

This is why you read my shit; to learn about these young studs. And now let me your teacher. What can I say about this kid, man? I saw him against PSG in the Trophee des Champions and thought; man, this kid’s a contender, but it’s too early to tell. And then boom, he bosses PSG again in the league, but in an even more emphatic way. This kid’s feet make me salivate.

 

Animated GIF

 

Animated GIF

 

Animated GIF

 

Look at the calmness on the ball, the quality of his passing. He’s only 16. What a prospect. This is what it’s all about; getting excited about watching young men play. Call me the cougar, baby. I’m all over these young studs.

 

3 Stacks’ Young Stud of the Week Award

 

You already know, it’s Camavinga. Man of the match against PSG at 16 years of age. In all seriousness, it’s so impressive. He looked like he’d been playing at the top level for 10 years. His touches were pretty much all perfect, away from pressure. He was bursting through midfield, drawing fouls, spraying some sweet diagonals when appropriate. He assisted a goal.

 

Am I calling him? You’re damn right I am. When he emerges as a world class player, you know who’ll have told you about him first. That’s right, it’s 3 Stacks, Aka Arrigo Stacksy, baby.

 

See y'all next week!

 

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