Is Bordeaux advantaged?

Frédéric Thiriez goes to work

I know I’m opening myself up for criticism and for being called out for being biased/jealous of Bordeaux’s success/embittered, but the situation I will present to you is , to put it simply, pissing me off. Bordeaux and the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the entity that organizes Ligue 1, are playing little games that contribute to messing up the Ligue 1 and most certainly, from a biased point of view, are advantaging Bordeaux.

Of course, you’ll tell me, it’s only normal to privilege your own interests when you are trying to win L1 and have a good run in Champion’s League ; yes, but not when it’s detrimental to the rest of French soccer. Lyon is in the Champion’s League, with a good chance of qualifying against Madrid, and still has a chance to win the title. Marseille is in the Europa Cup and has the same national ambitions, and so does Lille for that matter.

Bordeaux is whining because they want ALL their games before and after a Champions League game to be postponed. I understand that you can have your game before the Champions League postponed in order to have a match-fit first XI. The argument can’t be countered. But ALL the matches? Come on guys : you’re a professional soccer club, you have something like 24 players under contract who are all match-fit and who are paid €150.000 a month to be in top physical form to play every 3 days if necessary. And it’s not as if Bordeaux’s bench was really terrible – I’m sure any middle of the table club wouldn’t mind having Cavenaghi, Jûssié, Henrique, Bellion, Sané ; hell, Bordeaux has even won games with their 2nd XI on the field!

So let’s get serious now. Lyon came to their senses when they saw that asking for the postponement of their match against Boulogne coming up this Saturday would wreak havoc in a already very-messed up calendar. Marseille might never be able to play their match against Sochaux that was postponed in December before OM’s big matvh v. Madrid. Bordeaux is two games behind : the match before Olympiakos, and the one last week-end against Le Mans that was postponed because of the storm that caused the death of 45 people. Nonetheless, Bordeaux is still finding reasons to complain, by arguing that the match against Le Mans shouldn’t have been postponed, to which I have two answers : 1) The decision to cancel the match was taken by police authorities – but let’s circumvent the rule of law. 2) Try to play soccer with 130 to 150 km/h (that’s 80 to 95 mph for you non metric system-wise people) wind gusts. You wouldn’t have complained about that, eh, Jean-Louis Triaud?

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s imagine Bordeaux beats Olympiakos and makes it to the 1/4 finals. Then that would automatically mean 2 more postponed games so they can ‘adequately prepare for the confrontations that will bring redemption to French soccer’. So 4 matches behind everyone else. How can you read a table when the leader has 4 matches in hand? When will they play those matches? LFP did their homework and came up with a flurry of possibilities, none of which Bordeaux are happy with. They don’t want to play 3 matches in a week, saying it disadvantages them. Now they are taking this to the French soccer judicial system, in order to uphold their rights and save their interests and the interests of French soccer. Choke me with an ASSE jersey, whip me with a wet OM scarf, make me hug Mark van Bommel but for God’s sake don’t invoke the interests of French soccer. Lyon, in their heyday, never had a match postponed before a key Champions League game. It never stopped us from twice almost making it to the semis , save for the divine intervention of Lyon’s version of Billy Goat (sorry non-baseball lovers). There were no calendar fuck-ups and everyone was happy at the end.

So shame on Bordeaux for whining like spoiled children, shame on LFP for letting the situation develop into the mess that it is right now. No more favors for any team. Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Lille are all representing France on the European scene and are battling for the title, making this Ligue 1 season one of the most interesting ever. Don’t let it go to waste by making the table unreadable with 2 or 3 teams having 2 or 3 games in hand. By doing what they thought was good for French soccer, LFP is doing exactly the contrary, and nothing that they do will make Bordeaux happy anyway.

Jean-Michel Aulas was unnerving but he had the tendency to be right and reasonable. Bordeaux, and their president Jean-Louis Triaud are just pushing the envelop to the point of exhaustion.

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5 Responses

  1. time for a podcast ……

  2. Soon, my friend, soon.

  3. […] Undoubtedly the big game of the weekend will be the one that pins Bordeaux against Montpellier, the leader playing host to their follower on Sunday night in a high-stakes game. Bordeaux has slowed down in league play since the beginning of 2010, which has given Montpellier, Lille, Lyon and Marseille the chance to get closer. The Girondins and Montpellier are tied at the top of the table with 51 points, and Lyon follows closely with 49 points. We could therefore have a leader change, even if it is unlikely. Also, bear in mind that Bordeaux still has two games to play, which skews the reading of the table and what we can take from it (I’ve touched on this issue here). […]

  4. Interesting- I do think that games should be postponed if a team is expected to play over 3 games in one week (such as Sunday, Wed and Saturday) for the player’s safety and health.

    But, I think that a small variation of this would be fine such as Saturday, Tuesday/Wednesday and Sunday. I don’t think the games need to be cancelled all together- that is just ridiculous. Clubs shouldn’t sign up to participate in tournaments they can’t realistically participate in- barring extreme situations.

    God, I hate when people complain about being successful- there is such a sense of entitlement here.

    But, I also object to you using this situation to try to make Lyon seem remotely reasonable….

  5. *I especially think three games in one week is too much if extensive traveling is involved!

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