- July 11, 2016
11th July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
Leicester City's astute capture of Nampalys Mendy is another fine example of the club buying players that fit their philosophy.
Unlike many of the Premier League's biggest clubs who regularly buy based solely on talent and then worry about fitting them in later, the Foxes's expertise in identifying players that will suit their system and have the right mentality is a testament to their scouting and capacity to address their needs. On last season's evidence, their square pegs for square holes approach clearly worked wonders.
Mendy's previous relationship with Leicester manager, Claudio Ranieri, who he worked with at Monaco three years ago, also played a crucial role in him choosing the reigning Premier League champions. The player duly noted this upon his arrival, saying: "My reunion with him (Ranieri) went very well.
"I was able to have a first discussion with him and he put me at ease straightaway. He was happy to
- July 08, 2016
8th July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
There's been some wonderful central defensive partnerships on show at Euro 2016. We've had, to name a few, Italy's formidable BBC, consisting of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, Iceland's dogged duo of Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kari Arnason and Germany's slick pairing of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
While all of those brilliant defensive units have all justifyably received widespread acclaim, Poland's magnificent backline, and in particular centre-backs Kamil Glik and Michal Pazdan, seem to have been slightly forgotten. Glik and Pazdan have barely put a foot wrong all tournament for Adam Nawalka's side, as they've formed the basis of what's been one the finest backlines at the Euros.
Their terrific understanding, which saw them always willing to sacrifice themselves to support a colleague, in combination with their physicality and organisational qualities, ensured Poland only conceded two goals in their
- April 03, 2016
3rd April 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
During his eight seasons in Russia, spanning two separate spells, Vagner Love cemented himself as quite possibly CSKA Moscow's greatest ever player. Bagging an astonishing 117 goals in 241 official matches for the Moscovites speaks volumes of the predatory Brazilian's masterful striking instincts.
Most impressively, the highly recognisable figure, not just for his dynamism upfront but also courtesy of his dyed blue and green dreadlocks, even helped the club win their first ever UEFA competition by beating Sporting in the 2005 edition of the UEFA Cup. While this was undoubtedly his biggest achievement of the 14 trophies he secured with CSKA, his three league titles and six Russian Cup wins add further gloss to what was an utterly successfully career for him in the Russian capital.
Having also spent time with the likes of Palmeiras, Flamengo and Corinthians, plus Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng prior to signing for Ligue
- January 03, 2016
Can anyone keep Paris Saint Germain from winning a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title in 2016? With competition in the French top-flight officially on hold until January 8th, it certainly doesn't seem like it. In just 19 games, the Parisians have managed to put 19 points between themselves and their nearest competitors. With a record of 16 wins, three draws, and zero losses, they are not only the single undefeated football club on the table, but the only team to have fewer than three losses so far this season. PSG have also won seven more games than any other soccer squad in the division-a remarkable feat that almost makes their 2015 2016 Ligue 1 title seem like a foregone conclusion.
The Hunt for an Undefeated Season
Paris Saint Germain, of course, have been no strangers to success, as of late. Since the 2012 2013 season, they've managed three Ligue 1 titles, one Coupe de France, two Coupe de la Ligue trophies,
- December 01, 2015
Following Ligue 1 2015 - 16 week 15 three-time consecutive champions Paris Saint Germain still have yet to drop a game. The reigning title holders won once again on Saturday, beating Troyes in a 4-1 home match. It's the ninth league victory in a row for the Parisians, who showed signs of weakness in mid-September when they drew two matches in a row, but who have been borderline flawless ever since. PSG have only conceded five goals in those nine matches (while scoring 27) and only allowed Troyes to net a point in the closing minutes of Saturday's match.
The nine-game winning streak has made the wearers of the PSG home shirt 2015/16 more or less untouchable on this season's Ligue 1 standings table. With 41 points and a goal difference of +29, the Parisians lead by a landslide over current second-placers Caen. Following their own 4-1 victory over the weekend-against Bordeaux-Caen have the second-best win percentage in the league, with nine wins from their first 15 games. Still, Caen's
- November 20, 2015
AS Monaco have been one of the big success stories of the last few years of French football. Sure, they haven't won a Division 1 title since 2000, but the Red and Whites have done some extremely impressive rebuilding in recent years. In the 2010 2011 season, AS Monaco finished 18th and were relegated to Ligue 2. They spent two seasons in the second tier, and even though they soared to a first-place finish and promotion in 2013, no one was quite sure how the Red and Whites would fair. Pretty well, it turned out. So as AS Monaco stumble in 2015 we assess why?
- September 08, 2015
Is Louis van Gaal out of his mind? Are Manchester United just throwing money around because they can? What is going on? Who is Anthony Martial the new signing from AS Monaco?
Those were just a few of the questions being posed by fans and football media alike on deadline day, as Manchester United announced the transfer of French teenager Anthony Martial to Old Trafford. Normally, a promising young player like Martial (a 19-year-old forward who has played for Monaco since 2013) would net a fairly modest transfer fee.
Not so in this case, though: despite the fact that Martial has played a total of 72 games in his senior soccer career-and despite the fact that he's only netted 15 goals along the way-Louis van Gaal paid a reported £36 million to bring Martial to England. That number could-and according Monaco VP Vadim Vasilyev, will-rise to just shy of £58 million, with "very realistic" bonuses taken into account.
- September 03, 2015
This past weekend, the 2015 2016 French Ligue 1 season officially closed out its first month. With four games on the books (and 34 still to play), it's a good time to look back on the first stage of the season and assess what went down. Which football clubs are in good shape? Which soccer squads are in trouble? Should we expect a fourth straight title for Paris Saint Germain? Read on for a rundown of the first month of Ligue 1 play 2015 featuring the answers to these questions and others.
Paris Saint Germain Steal the Show
Is anyone even surprised that Paris Saint Germain are on top of the Ligue 1 table after the first month of play? Not only are the Parisians coming off three consecutive French national soccer titles,
- July 20, 2015
It's been a rollercoaster five years for fans in the AS Monaco jersey, leading us to ask can AS Monaco win the Ligue 1 title? In 2010 2011, the football club crashed and burned, finishing in 18th place in the French Ligue 1, and suffering their first relegation to the second division since the mid-1970s. The 2011 2012 season was only marginally better, with the Red and Whites only sputtering to an eighth place finish in Ligue 2. For a moment, it seemed as if the team was doomed to languish in a lower-tier French football division for years to come.
But then something surprising happened. Instead of giving up, the Red and Whites buckled down and went to work. In 2012 2013, under the guidance of new manager Claudio Ranieri, Monaco soared to first place in Ligue 2, winning 21 games and cutting their loss number to four games (the previous season, they'd lost three times that number). Just like that, AS Monaco were back in the top-flight league. Unlike most recently promoted
- May 15, 2015
The battle for the Ligue 1 title 2014 - 2015 is the most hotly contested of European football leagues. In most of the professional football divisions across Europe, the top-flight champions are already decided and the final few games of the season are little more than a formality. Chelsea clinched the 2014 2015 English Premier League title a week ago, Juventus have won their fourth consecutive trophy in the Italian Serie A, and Bayern Munich are guaranteed to walk away with the top slot in the German top-flight for the 25th time in history. In France's Ligue 1, though, the battle is still alive-at least until this weekend, when Paris Saint Germain are expected to solidify their third national soccer championship in a row!
The Current 2014 2015 Ligue 1 Standings
Right now, the standings in France's top-flight football division are as follows: PSG is in the lead, with 77 points and a score of +45 in the goal difference