Toulouse FC 2015 – 2016: Can They Perform Better Than They Did Last Season?
For Toulouse FC 2015 – 2016 is a new start following a disappointing season in 2014/15. Toulouse FC fans didn’t have a lot to be happy about during the 2014 – 2015 football season. Their club had a decent start to the season, winning four of their first nine games and reaching as high as eighth place on the Ligue 1 standings table. But a disastrous run from October to December—they lost seven games in a single two-month period—put TFC in dire straits heading into the New Year. When all was said and done, Toulouse ended the season with a record of 12 wins, six draws, and 20 losses, and finished at 17th place on the Ligue 1 table.
In other words, TFC managed to avoid relegation, but only narrowly. They ended the 2014 – 2015 campaign five points ahead of Evian and, therefore, weren’t in much danger of tumbling into the red zone. Still, the poor performance resulted in the March sacking of manager Alain Casanova—who had been with the team for nearly seven years—and puts them in a tough spot as the 2015 – 2016 football season gets underway.
What Went Wrong?
The question is, what went wrong at TFC during the 2014 – 2015 season? What can the soccer club fix in 2015 – 2016 that would keep them well outside of the red zone?
Certainly, not all of the blame can simply be placed on Casanova. After all, the French football manager never led Toulouse to a title victory, but he did have significant success with the soccer team. In 2008 – 2009, his first season with TFC, Casanova coached the club to a fourth-place finish in the Ligue 1. That was a tremendous jump from the previous season’s 17th place finish and even earned Toulouse qualification into the Europa League.
The 2008 – 2009 season was also the breakout season for French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored 24 goals in 38 appearances—the highest total in the league. Playing for Olympique Marseille in 2014 – 2015, Gignac scored 21 goals, the second highest tally in the league after Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette (27). If they still had Gignac, in other words, TFC might not be in so much trouble.
Still, even if 2008 – 2009 was something of a lightning-in-a-bottle season for Toulouse, most of Casanova’s tenure saw the club performing reasonably well. In 2010, they fell to 14th, but they bounced back to eighth place in both 2011 and 2012 and held down top-10 positions in 2013 and 2014. As a result, the football club’s dramatic tumble to 17th place during the 2014 – 2015 season was surprising.
Undoubtedly, Toulouse’s biggest problem last year was defense. During the 2013 – 2014 Ligue 1 campaign, TFC only scored 46 goals and allowed 53. It wasn’t a great season for the club: they lost more games than they won (their record was 12-13-13) and finished the year in ninth place. However, that performance was good enough to keep TFC far outside of the red zone.
In 2014 – 2015, meanwhile, Toulouse only scored three fewer goals (43), but their “goals against” tally was much, much worse than it had been the year before. Indeed, TFC conceded 64 goals during the 2014 – 2015 campaign—the second highest in the entire league, and 11 more than they had allowed the previous year. The result was a markedly weaker W-D-L record (12-6-20) and a 17th place finish instead of a 9th place slot.
Unfortunately, Toulouse didn’t do much to rectify the problem during the summer transfer window. They only picked up two new players: a goalkeeper (Daniel Goicoechea, from Portuguese club FC Arouca) and a midfielder (Somalia, from Hungary’s Ferencvaros). Without any new defenders in the mix, though, TFC have looked more or less the same as they did last season in the early weeks of the 2015 – 2016 Ligue 1 campaign. They won their first match of the season, beating Saint-Etienne 2-1 in a promising home game. Since then, though, a series of losses and draws has dropped Toulouse back down the standings ladder.
Will TFC be able to turn things around and perform better in 2015 – 2016 than they did last season? Pick up a Toulouse shirt 2015 – 2016 from Soccer Box, and then join us on social media to discuss the club’s chances in this year’s Ligue 1. Soccer Box has an active presence on multiple social networks including Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.