Jump Across the Sleeve

Hello everyone, I’m a new writer for Ligue1talk, my name is Tom and I’m based in Perth, Western Austalia. I’ve been following Ligue 1 for a while now, and have come accustomed to following l’OM. Dave has given me a working brief basically to write on OM related things – however I’m also interested in the general workings of the league. So, it begins.

The relationship between the English Premier League and Ligue 1 is  complicated and fluid one. Opinions are shaped on both sides, Dave Trotter of this website has clearly made his views known on the merit (or otherwise) of the football on show in the EPL.

I do follow a premier league team – Wolverhampton Wanderers – who won promotion at the end of the 08/09 season, and achieved survival last year. There is a connection with Ligue 1 and Wolves, they signed Ronald Zubar from OM last season, and after some time spend adjusting, Ronald has been performing very well. He is one of many, many players who have successfully jumped across the English Channel including Cantona, Drogba, Henry, Makelele,  amongst many, many others. It is obvious why the jump in the other direction doesn’t occur as often, money and status. As a footballer, you receive more recognition playing in England than you do in France, and you receive greater financial rewards as well.

As a Marseille fan I often cringe when reports that English clubs are coming in for our players (Zenden and Cana left last year for Sunderland), as there appears to be a crushing sense of economic inevitability that when English clubs come calling, that call is answered.

I think Nathan Lloyd is a good blogger, he has his own axes to grind, as all bloggers do, but he is very knowledgeable about Wolves and has a great affection for that club. However, I do believe he takes it too far when he suggests that “One player I have seen who has impressed me greatly is the Senegal striker Mamadou Niang, who has scored a bucketful for Marseille. I wonder if we could convince Zubar to put a word in at his former club?”.

As much as Wolves are a team on the rise, I don’t think that they’re quite in a position to challenge OM for their captain, leading goalscorer and leader. I think this is an interesting reflection of how far the balance of power will stretch, and where opinions of the balance of power lie. Marseille are already losing Bakary Kone to petrodollars, and it will be interesting to see how many Ligue 1 players will be jumping across the Channel this (northern) summer.


3 Responses

  1. Hey Tom,

    We’ve come to accept a certain amount of this for some time now. I wasn’t surprised that Lorik Cana left. Even though he loved Marseille, he deserved a chance for the money and recognition that players get in England.

    L’OM supporters know that we’ll get a few good years from our players before they eventually turn towards a bigger paycheck. Which is why we have to constantly bring in quality players or players on the rise to replace the ones who are leaving.

    I wish it wasn’t like that, but it is…

  2. If I’m a Marseille fan I can stomach losing my best players to teams like Chelsea or Liverpool but losing them to teams like Sunderland and Portsmouth is not just not acceptable. We will see in the next few years how many EPL teams will continue to struggle financially. I wish they would invest in their youth players instead of signing any foreigners they can to try to keep them float and hopefully they will have to give their youth players more of a shot.

    BTW, Zubar was garbage at OM and ask their fans what they think of him and they wont speak too kindly of him.

  3. Hi Justin, Sportboy,

    I know that this situation exists – however I find it fascinating exactly where the Ligue 1 players go, be it to the Chelseas of this world, Zubar playing for Wolves, Cana at Sunderland or Kermogant at Ipswich (albeit from Ligue 2).

    and Sportboy – I agree – he’s a good example of the level of player who should be leaving OM, it emphasises what level Niang is at and why Niang is way out of Wolves’ league.

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