Ligue 1 Matchday 20…what did we learn?

Is Gomis the best he has been since his St. Etienne days?

After the long winter break, and a bunch of major upsets in the French Cup, which saw one coach get fired, we are now back on the Ligue 1 season, where everything seems to be ‘business as usual’. So, what did we learn this week from another matchday of Ligue 1 action.

Gomis and Toulalan are back – One of our contributors, Martin Michelot, said on his twitter the other day during the Lyon game that Bafetimbi Gomis was “overshadowing” Lisandro Lopez. That is a very good sign for Lyon. In the past few matches, Gomis, who was the target of many boos and whistles (as an American, I still don’t get the whole whistle thing) has been showing his worth to the team. He has scored six goals in his last seven Ligue 1 matches. And by the reaction of the Lyon crowd on Saturday, with chants of “Bafe, Bafe” echoing around the Stade de Gerland, Gomis has gone from zero to hero.

Another player that impressed was Jeremy Toulalan. Toulalan looked like the player of old, doing one amazing play after another. He looked defensively sharp as well. Basically, he looks like he is on his way back. Many of my non-Ligue 1 football friends only knew Toulalan from the World Cup, and talked about how horrible and useless he was. Of course, many of them didn’t know what he used to play like with Lyon. Hopefully, Toulalan getting the “I was going to retire from football” thoughts out in the public might have taken the monkey off his back to play well. Hopefully, we will see more of the old Toulalan like we did this weekend.

Paris can win without Nene – PSG had an impressive game against Sochaux on Saturday. And while the team looked good, Nene was not a huge deciding factor. At the end of 2010, it seemed as if it was Nene’s goals that would always save the day for PSG. But now, the Capital side have proven that they can win without Nene being a huge factor. This makes PSG even a more powerful team than they were at the start of the season, which is quite scary for their future opponents.

Bordeaux is screwed – Since Bordeaux said they were no longer going after Kevin Gameiro in the winter transfer window, Bordeaux’s chances of improving their offense went from slim to none. In their match against Marseille yesterday, Bordeaux continued to show that they need a strong striker right now. And considering three of Anthony Modeste’s seven goals this year are from PKs, that isn’t impressive. If Bordeaux isn’t serious about winning, then players like Benoit Tremoulinas, Alou Diarra, Jaroslav Plasil, Marc Planus and Cedric Carrasso shouldn’t be serious about playing there anymore.

Park and Ruffier might want to consider their futures – Well, the match between Monaco and Auxerre lead to a draw. While Auxerre should have won the match, the fact that their big gun, Ireneusz Jelen, didn’t come on until the last thirteen minutes, might have kept them from three points. Jelen played impressive in those few minutes, and should do better once he is in the line up regularly, which should be soon.

On the other hand, Monaco continue to look horrible. They are not impressive, and good talent like Chu-Young Park and Stephane Ruffier might want to consider leaving sooner rather than later. Their futures could really be on the line, especially for a team that looks destined to head to Ligue 2 next season.

The second half of the season to be predictable? – Most of the favorites this weekend won. Unlike the French Cup last week, the big teams were able to pull off wins. This was a trend we were starting to see before the winter break as well. Is the cream already rising to the top, or can smaller teams still make an impact?

Just because Gignac scored, doesn’t mean he “is back” – Yes, it was nice to see Gignac finally score a goal in a Ligue 1 match at the Stade Velodrome. Still, this doesn’t mean that Gignac “is back”. The reason why I mentioned that Gomis “is back” is because he has played a string of impressive matches. And until Gignac can do the same, he is still far from “being back.”

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4 Responses

  1. yes, Park Chu-Young needs to play for OM 🙂

  2. He’s injured, will not be playing for anyone for a while? I’m disappointed that he’s out of South Korea’s Asian Cup Campaign.

  3. Dave, it’s too to say Gignac is “back” but it’s also too early to claim he’s “not back”… by the way did you catch the Coupe de la Ligue match last night?

    Gignac set up Taiwo’s cross to Brandao, and then his own goal later…. Brilliant play from the former Toulouse striker 🙂

  4. That was supposed to be “…too early to say…”

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