Mevlut Erding to Newcastle?

I enjoy the fact that this picture doesn't exactly suit the occasion...

After the news broke that Kevin Gameiro had signed for PSG, speculation was rife over the future of Mevlut Erding, who had a disappointing 2010-11 (hitting the net only 9 times in 34 appearances) and plays a similar role to the former Lorient man.

Newcastle, who have been linked to seemingly every notable Ligue 1 player in the last few weeks, have thus far failed in their pursuits of France-based attackers, having been turned down by Gameiro and Gervinho in favor of other moves. However, all this may change quite soon, as Erding, whose failure to maintain his prolific Ligue 1 strike rate has made him increasingly unpopular with PSG fans, will most likely not be an asset new PSG owners the Qatar Investment Authority want to maintain.

Continue reading


Kevin Gameiro to PSG: Why it’s so Important for Ligue 1

At 2:30 PM (CET) on June 12th, 2011, the official website of Paris Saint-Germain FC announced that Kevin Gameiro had signed a four year deal. Outside sources claim that the fee was 11 million euros with additional incentives possibly worth 15 million. This marked the end of the transfer saga of one of Ligue 1’s brightest stars, having lodged 56 goals and 19 assists in his last three seasons and scoring/creating a goal every 133 minutes this season. Gameiro had been heavily sought after by several clubs, including Valencia, Newcastle, Villareal, and Sevilla in addition to PSG. The diminutive striker had nearly transferred to Valencia in January, agreeing to terms with the club, before Lorient noticed that Valencia hadn’t actually made an offer…oops! Gameiro stayed the second half of the season and came in second in the Ligue 1 scoring charts for the second year running.

Continue reading

Trophée des Champions

Tonight the official French football calendar commences with the Champions’ Trophy, to be played between rivals Olympique de Marseille, the winners of Ligue 1, and Paris Saint Germain, the winners of the French Cup. After last year’s first excursion to Quebec, this year the final will take place in Radès, 15km outside of Tunis, Tunisia. The match will be played at the Stade du 7 novembre, with a 55 000 capacity, which was built for the 2001 Mediterranian Games, and is named after the date the current President of Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali became the President of Tunisia in 1987.

The rivalry, and fan problems, associated with this match are well documented, however historically OM have had the wood over PSG in Ligue 1 (OM won 27, D16 Lost 17) but PSG have the ascendancy in the cup competitions, having beaten OM in their only meeting in the League Cup (3-2 aet in the 2003/04 season) and are on a 5 match streak of eliminating OM in the French Cup, which includes their 2-1 win in the 2006 final at the Stade de France. PSG also have some history in the Champions’ Trophy having competed in it 4 times, beating Nantes on penalties in 1995 and beating Lens 1-0 in 1998, but losing twice on penalties to Lyon (2004 and 2006). Rades 2010 will be OM’s first participation in this competition.

OM have something of a problem up front in this match, with Mamadou Niang, Jordan Ayew and Brandao suspended and Morientes released, so it looks like Mali international Mamadou Samassa will be leading the line. This is actually an excellent opportunity for OM to put him in the shop window (he is transfer listed) and give Arles-Avignon, Valenciennes, West Ham, Wigan, Blackburn and Stoke City a good chance to look at him.

My projected OM lineup (with thanks to lephoceen)


Azpilicueta – Hilton – Diawara – Taiwo

——————Cisse ———————

———Kabore ——– Lucho———–

Valbuena ———————– Ben Arfa


I’d like to see Ben Arfa play because it may well be his last game for the club (he’s been heavily linked with German, Italian and English clubs), he’s of Tunisian descent and it would be nice to farewell him with a win. However, Dede Ayew, hot off the heels of a sparkling world cup is likely to play. On a side note I’m really happy to see Kabore establishing his name at OM, he’s really classy with superb technique. I’m not sure about PSG’s side, however they appear to have recruited well (Nenê and Bodmer), but are without Réunion born striker Guillaume Hoarau but might just take advantage of who isn’t available for OM (Niang, Brandao, Heinze (fatigue)). If I had to make a prediction I’d sit on the fence and say I can see this one going to penalties. Either way, it’s exciting that French football is back and that it is being exposed to the world (with the match being telecast in 52 countries), sadly albeit not Australia.

Les paradoxes de la formation parisienne

Malgré des résultats corrects en équipes de jeunes (par ailleurs souvent présents en sélection), malgré que le club se targue sur son site internet d’avoir “été classé en catégorie 1 et classe A ces dernières saisons” par la Fédération française de football symbole de “la réussite de la formation parisienne“, le Paris-Saint-Germain n’a jamais été un club formateur. Preuve nous en est donnée par le site lui-même qui a établi la liste des 72 joueurs formés par le PSG qui ont disputé au moins un match de L1 avec le club.

Seul le nom d’Anelka retient véritablement l’attention. Il est le seul à s’être approché du statut de “grand joueur” – avec les frasques et les bas qu’on connaît. Parmi les autres figurent un certain nombre de joueurs de Ligue 1 (ou d’autres championnats) tout à fait honnêtes comme Jérôme Leroy, Sylvain Distin, Lorik Cana, Youssouf Mulumbu… mais c’est tout. Une large partie a même carrément disparu de la circulation. Les dernières réussites en date s’appellent Mamadou Sakho et David N’gog. Mais aucun des deux n’a encore explosé.

Continue reading

Transfer Rumors: Nice Hoping to Improve Back Line

  • Crvena Zvezda (Serbia) full back Pavle Ninkov has caught the eye of several French clubs, according to L’Equipe. Both Nice and Toulouse are closely looking at the 24-year-old. Ninkov, who has been capped twice for the Serbia national team, has a contract with the Belgrade club through 2012, but depending on the offer could move this winter.Red Star Belgrade's Pavle Ninkov (L)

For Nice, who could be considered to have one of the poorer defenses in Ligue 1, Larrys Mabiala has failed to impress at right back since coming over from PSG at the end of last season. Ninkov would be a major boost to their inconsistent back line.

Continue reading

Erding to play against St. Etienne?

After suffering an injury to his ankle in last week’s match against Bordeaux, PSG doctors expected Mevlut Erding to be out for about three weeks.

But after an MRI was taken of his ankle, it seems like the injury is not as bad as initially expected and that they player has a good chance for suiting up for the club this weekend in their match against St. Etienne.

Both PSG and Les Vert haven’t been playing as well as many thought. Currently PSG sits in 9th place, while many expected the them to be challenging for a Europa League spot this season. St. Etienne is in 17th place, only three points out of the relegation zone.
Continue reading

Probable lineups for Matchday 16

Here are the list of probable teams for the Saturday matches in Ligue 1. Most notibally is that Yoann Gourcuff is back for Bordeaux. Here are the line ups, courtsey of the Ligue 1 official website:

 Saturday December 5 2009

  19:00 – Montpellier Hérault SC / Le Mans UC 72 

Montpellier: Jourdren; Yanga-Mbiwa, Dzodic, Spahic, Jeunechamp; Pitau, Marveaux, Costa; Belhanda, Camara, Aït-Fana

Le Mans: Makaridze; Corchia, Joao Paulo, Cerdan, Loriot; M. Dossevi, Al. Keita, F. Thomas, Baal; Le Tallec, Maïga
Continue reading