Posts Tagged ‘Frédéric Antonetti’

French football quotes of the year 2012

Samir NasriFrom AVB to Zlatan, Newcastle to Donetsk, Football Further is proud to present its third annual compilation of the year’s best French football quotes.

Cross-Channel relations

“Yesterday, I make one tackle and all everybody speak about is this tackle. Nobody speaks about the 50-yard pass that kills [Florent] Balmont and causes a red card for ‘im.”
– Replete with some elaborate eyebrow-waggling and a healthy dose of Gallic shrugging, Joey Barton‘s attempts to ingratiate himself with the Marseille media become an instant YouTube classic

“Eden Hazard’s English is catastrophic. I asked him: ‘Are you happy with your transfer?’ He said: ‘I don’t understand!'”
Romelu Lukaku on his new Chelsea team-mate

“It was the feeling I had with the coach. He said he trusted me, but he didn’t let me play. He said I was too young. He said: ‘Your time will come.’ It didn’t come. Even though he’s had a 25-year career and despite the fact he’s the boss, my objective was to play … I’m impatient. When I want something, I’ll do anything to get it.”
Paul Pogba crosses Sir Alex Ferguson, and lives to tell the tale

“The only thing I miss is in the changing room. I can’t understand all the jokes and it’s frustrating. French is more difficult than I thought. I’m trying to take my lessons very seriously. I listen to them for at least half an hour each day. The other day I watched a film in French, with English subtitles. It was Ne le dis à personne [‘Tell No One’], which was a great film. I’m going to do it again.”
Joe Cole may have left Lille with a sub-GCSE level of French, but he is now a leading authority on the films of Guillaume Canet

“I could become a doctor!”
Abou Diaby tries to put a positive spin on all the medical vocabulary he has acquired during his time in and out of the Arsenal treatment room

Euro 2012

“I accept that you can ask questions about his sporting performances … But when I hear that he could be dangerous for the concept of the group, I feel like we’re trying to bring a wolf into the sheep pen. He’s been a part of the group since the start. He dropped out due to injury and then loss of form. Don’t make him out to be a wolf, because he isn’t one.”
Laurent Blanc tells the media not to cry wolf after handing Yoann Gourcuff a place in his preliminary squad

“Shut your face! Shut your face!”
Samir Nasri celebrates his goal in the opening game with England by thanking the gentlemen of the French press for their support

“There was a bit of a slanging match in the changing room.”
Olivier Giroud lets the cat out of the bag about the row that erupted after France’s shock 2-0 loss to Sweden

“Go fuck yourself! Go fuck your mother, you son of a bitch! There, now you can write that I’m badly brought up.”
– Such a nice boy, that Samir Nasri – lashing out at a journalist following Les Bleus‘ quarter-final elimination by Spain

“We’ve told them to be vigilant and not to say anything that could hurt the group.”
– French Football Federation press officer Philippe Tournon, prior to the tournament, on the instructions given to France’s players about how to handle the media

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French football quotes of the year 2011

L’Entente Cordiale

“They say it’s because I’m a sexy boy. The English are crazy!”
Yohan Cabaye, on the ‘Dreamboat’ nickname bestowed upon him by Newcastle’s fans

“Behind the ‘big guns’ like Chelsea or Manchester [United], there’s also Sunderland or Wolverhampton. French players who are used to getting on the ball end up watching it fly over their heads for 90 minutes.”
– Marseille sporting director José Anigo has some words of advice for any budding Ligue 1 talents dreaming of plying their trade in the Premier League

“If you want us to just stick it in the box like I’ve seen Stoke City do, you’ll have to change the coach. I forbid it.”
– Rennes coach Frédéric Antonetti shares his thoughts on the football doctrine advocated by Tony Pulis

“Without wanting to be unkind, it’s difficult when there are only four of you defending. Sometimes you feel like you’re on your own. When you watch Barça, everyone defends – even Messi!”
Laurent Koscielny feels a bit exposed in the Arsenal back four

“Sometimes I tell jokes and Joe Cole and I look at each other and we’re the only ones laughing.”
Vincent Enyeama on the language barrier in the Lille changing room

“Bon match pour… my team – mon équipe – et… I’m very happy!”
– Ambushed by Canal+’s touchline reporter Laurent Paganelli, Joe Cole has a stab at his first interview in the language of his new homeland after Lille’s 3-1 win over Lyon


“Once again I’m attacked by Jean-Michel Larqué. I hope with all my heart I don’t end up like him after my career, but there’s no chance of that because I’m not an idiot.”
– Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Jérémie Janot has a pop at 63-year-old television pundit Jean-Michel Larqué, who had criticised him for letting in two late goals at Lens

“Your mum.”
Aly Cissokho’s considered response to a supporter who told him to “go and join Arles-Avignon” during a Lyon training session in April

“Although the score was already 3-0, he’d been taking the piss out of us with the ball for a few minutes, dribbling past his opponent and then waiting so he could dribble past him again. It’s a lack of respect. Even his Lille team-mates said he was going too far.”
– Nancy captain André Luiz takes a dim view of Eden Hazard’s showboating

“Marseille come up to Paris to fuck PSG!”
– Microphone in hand, match-winner Taye Taiwo gets a bit carried away during the Coupe de la Ligue post-match celebrations by leading the OM fans in a chorus of one of their favourite chants

“It was a good response to people who don’t know football. It’ll make them shut their big mouths.”
Modibo Maiga relishes his brace in a 3-0 defeat of Toulouse after stumbling into the viewfinder of the Sochaux boo boys

“At that moment, I told myself that they’d gone mad and didn’t realise. Today I know that I was wrong: they knew exactly what they were doing. They even closed the curtains on the bus to hide themselves from the cameras… With hindsight, I see them above all as a bunch of thoughtless brats.”
Raymond Domenech is still struggling to let go of the 2010 World Cup

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La semaine en France: Week 30

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
As France baked in unseasonably warm spring temperatures, Lille and Marseille both fluffed their lines to allow Lyon a glimpse of the title and permit Paris Saint-Germain to re-ignite their Champions League ambitions.

Lille stumbled in unexpected fashion, going down 1-0 at improving Monaco after Adil Rami’s woeful back-pass allowed Park Chu-Young to break the deadlock in the 12th minute. The visitors’ cause was not helped eight minutes before half-time when Gervinho saw red for charging at Adriano following an untidy tackle from the Monaco defender and Lille’s attempts to break down their hosts’ well-drilled back four in the second half proved uncharacteristically toothless.

Second-placed Marseille would have closed to within a point of the leaders if they had beaten Toulouse but they had to settle for a point after André-Pierre Gignac’s 85th-minute equaliser earned a 2-2 draw at Stade Vélodrome. The former Toulouse player did not celebrate but he did fire a telling glare at the home fans in the Virage Nord.

Flagging Rennes, fourth, have now gone four games without a win after a 2-0 loss at Brest but there was good news on Tuesday when coach Frédéric Antonetti penned a two-year contract extension. Fifth-placed PSG closed to within four points of the Champions League places by winning 2-1 at Caen, while Lyon were the only other side in the top five to win, putting a tense week behind them to prevail 3-0 at home to Lens and climb to third.

Lens are now seven points from safety and appear destined for Ligue 2, but Monaco’s win over Lille took them out of the relegation zone at the expense of Auxerre, who have lost influential captain Benoît Pedretti for the rest of the season due to an adductor muscle injury. Arles-Avignon drew 0-0 at Bordeaux but will be relegated if they lose at home to Valenciennes on Sunday.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Auxerre 2-2 Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux 0-0 Arles-Avignon, Caen 1-2 PSG, Lorient 1-1 Sochaux, Monaco 1-0 Lille, Valenciennes 1-1 Nancy, Brest 2-0 Rennes; Sunday: Marseille 2-2 Toulouse, Montpellier 1-1 Nice, Lyon 3-0 Lens

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La semaine en France: Week 29

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
And then there were two. A week after Paris Saint-Germain gave up the ghost in the Ligue 1 title race, Lyon and Rennes both followed suit in Week 29.

Lyon led 2-0 going into injury time at Nice on Sunday, before capitulating completely in the space of just three minutes to leave their title ambitions in tatters. Pape Diakhaté was the villain of the piece. Having already conceded a penalty for a rash foul on Danijel Ljuboja, whose subsequent spot-kick was saved by Hugo Lloris, the on-loan Senegalese international stupidly scythed down Abdou Traoré and was promptly shown a second yellow card.

Eric Mouloungui punished Diakhaté’s indiscipline from the spot and moments later, Argentine centre-back Renato Civelli prodded in from close range – with his arm – to earn Nice an improbable draw and send Lyon into meltdown. Lloris lost his rag in the tunnel after the game and Jean-Michel Aulas was involved in a heated confrontation with Nice assistant coach Frédéric Gioria. Aly Cissokho, meanwhile, was drawn into an unsightly row with a supporter (sample quote: “And your mum!”) in training on Wednesday.

Lyon are now eight points behind Lille, who made it four wins on the spin with a 3-1 dismantling of Caen. Benoît Cheyrou’s fine second-half strike gave Marseille a 1-0 win at Lens on Sunday night to keep the champions within four points of Lille and launch what now seems certain to be a two-horse title race.

Rennes failed to muster a single shot on target in their 0-0 draw at home to Auxerre and lie seven points behind Lille in third place. PSG endured just as dismal an afternoon in a goalless draw at home to Lorient. It leaves them 12 points behind Lille in fifth and just four points above Montpellier, who won 1-0 at Toulouse.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Arles-Avignon 0-2 Monaco, Lille 3-1 Caen, Nancy 0-0 Bordeaux, PSG 0-0 Lorient, Rennes 0-0 Auxerre, Sochaux 2-1 Brest, Toulouse 0-1 Montpellier; Sunday: Nice 2-2 Lyon, Saint-Etienne 1-1 Valenciennes, Lens 0-1 Marseille

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Tactics: French sides flock to worship at altar of 4-2-3-1

A peculiar tactical phenomenon has been witnessed in France in recent months. In a microcosm of global trends that have shaped the game over the course of the last decade or so, Ligue 1’s top sides have all – without exception – begun to ditch their preferred formations in favour of a 4-2-3-1.

Marseille, whose title and Coupe de la Ligue successes last season were founded on a pragmatic 4-3-3 shape, were the first team to make the switch. For the crucial Champions League group game at Spartak Moscow in November, Mathieu Valbuena was moved infield from the right flank and allowed to adopt the central playmaking role that he covets. Didier Deschamps wanted to capitalise on the fact that Valbuena “is very accurate with his shooting” and the France international proved as much in the 18th minute when he put OM ahead with a precise, curling effort into the top-right corner. Marseille went on to win 3-0, in what was their most coherent performance of the season to date, and their 4-2-3-1 continues to emerge for high-pressure encounters, such as Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain.

Another team synonymous with the 4-3-3 in recent years has been Lyon. Towards the end of the first half in their 4-1 win at Saint-Etienne last month, however, Yoann Gourcuff was allowed to advance a little further forwards and occupy the role of the classic number 10 that was his at Bordeaux. With Jérémy Toulalan and Kim Källström retreating into deep, central positions, it meant Lyon were playing a 4-2-3-1 and Claude Puel reflected that it gave the team “a certain balance”.

The switch brought the best out of Lisandro López, moved to the left flank in support of central striker Bafétimbi Gomis, in much the same way that André-Pierre Gignac’s best form for Marseille has coincided with the times when he has played from the left in support of Brandão. Occasionally isolated when used as lone strikers, both López and Gignac appear to relish seeing more of the ball and both men are particularly adept at cutting inside and shooting at goal with their stronger right feet.

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La semaine en France: Week 21

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
A handful of surprise results saw Lyon, Rennes and champions Marseille fall off the pace in the title race, while Paris Saint-Germain tightened their grip on second place and Bordeaux ended a six-match winless run stretching back to the end of November.

Lyon’s 13-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt halt in a 2-1 loss at Valenciennes, with Aly Cissokho the chief culprit in an error-strewn performance and Yoann Gourcuff worryingly off the pace. It followed hot on the heels of a 1-0 defeat by Nice in the Coupe de France and left Claude Puel’s side seven points off the pace in third place. Marseille are a point worse off in fifth, after a wretched goalless draw at third-bottom Monaco that Didier Deschamps branded “rubbish”. Mathieu Valbuena’s absence is already being felt at the Vélodrome.

The most unexpected result of the weekend, however, was Rennes’ 5-1 capitulation at Sochaux. Having previously conceded just 12 goals all season, the Breton side went into the game with the best defensive record in the league but were torn apart by a Sochaux side boasting Marvin Martin, Brown Ideye and Modibo Maïga on top form. Rennes had goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez sent off (forcing midfielder Alexander Tettey to do a turn between the sticks) and finished the game with nine men following injuries to Kader Mangane and Stéphane Dalmat.

A neat finish from Brazilian striker Túlio de Melo saw Lille maintain their momentum – and their four-point lead – with a 1-0 win at home to neighbours Lens. Mevlut Erding was on target twice as PSG won 2-1 at Arles-Avignon, while Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana said his side’s 2-0 victory over Nice was the first time they had managed “two full halves” all season. The 2009 champions are now four points outside the Champions League places in eighth.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Arles-Avignon 1-2 PSG, Caen 2-0 Auxerre, Lorient 2-0 Brest, Saint-Etienne 2-1 Toulouse, Sochaux 5-1 Rennes, Valenciennes 2-1 Lyon, Lille 1-0 Lens; Sunday: Bordeaux 2-0 Nice, Nancy 1-2 Montpellier, Monaco 0-0 Marseille

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French football quotes of the year 2010

The World Cup

“As I’m an optimistic person, I’m going to say that I have a 100 per cent chance [of going to the World Cup].”
– Pride comes before a fall for Patrick Vieira

“I read the letter. I don’t think the players wrote it. It was typed out on a computer and there were no spelling mistakes.”
– French Football Federation general secretary Henri Monteil lets the world know exactly what he thinks about the intellect of the average footballer after reading the statement released by the France squad explaining their training boycott

“Go on Yoann, you’ll be alone on the pitch. Everyone will see you and you’ll be a media star.”
– What Franck Ribéry allegedly (emphasis on the allegedly) told Yoann Gourcuff on the France team bus after he threatened to break the training strike

“He sullied my name without trying to find out what happened. Lilian thinks he’s the new coach, the president of the federation and the president of the [French] Republic… Walking around with books on slavery in glasses and a hat does not turn you into Malcolm X.”
Patrice Evra on Lilian Thuram, after the France 1998 stalwart called for him to be banned from the national side for life

“They’re real clowns, these people. I’m dying with laughter!”
– Nicolas Anelka pours scorn on the unprecedented 18-match international ban handed to him by the FFF


“You should see him in the changing room: he sings French rap. He’s even learnt the song the Bordeaux fans chant to wind me up: ‘Oh, Diawara, go fuck yourself/You have got no loyalty!’”
Souleymane Diawara on Lucho González’s successful integration in the Marseille changing room

“The baguette. It’s amazing how good it is, the baguette.”
– Lyon’s Argentine attacking midfielder César Delgado, when asked what he would remember most fondly from his time in France

“Steve makes me laugh with his fake Marseille accent. A black guy from Normandy with a Marseille accent – it sounds wrong to be honest!”
Guillaume Hoarau upbraids former Le Havre team-mate Steve Mandanda for his efforts to blend in at Marseille

“We don’t talk. We played one year at Arsenal without talking. There were other people who didn’t talk to him either. The collective cause was more important, though, and we got on with things.”
Samir Nasri lifts the lid on his (non-)relationship with former Arsenal team-mate William Gallas

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La semaine en France: Week 8

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Visitors to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Saturday would have been forgiven for wondering if they’d somehow stumbled back into the 1970s, as Saint-Etienne’s famous ground played host to a sold-out clash between champions Marseille and the table-topping home side. OM took the lead in fortuitous circumstances after the ball struck referee Stéphane Bré and landed kindly for Lucho González, who dinked the ball into the penalty area for André-Pierre Gignac to volley in his first goal for the club. Dmitri Payet and Blaise Matuidi combined to set up Laurent Batlles for a 59th-minute leveller, but results on Sunday saw ASSE concede top spot.

Rennes led Ligue 1 going into the international break, topping the standings for the first time since 1970 after a 3-1 win at home to Toulouse. A sweet, rising shot from full-back Romain Danzé set the hosts on their way shortly before the interval before Kader Mangane and Sylvain Marveaux made the points safe, but coach Frédéric Antonetti (pictured) chastised his team for their sloppiness and said they would need three seasons of stability to mount a serious title challenge.

Lille moved into third place with a 3-1 win at home to Montpellier. Paris Saint-Germain could have finished the weekend on the podium but were frustrated by David Ospina (see below) in a 0-0 draw at home to Nice. Lyon clambered out of the relegation zone by winning 3-2 at Nancy, but only secured victory when an error from Gennaro Bracigliano allowed Jimmy Briand to volley in his second goal of the game in the 75th minute.

The week’s biggest story, however, occurred off the pitch. France’s Professional Football League (LFP) announced on Thursday night that away fans would be banned from both the matches between Marseille and PSG this season over security fears, drawing condemnation from fan groups and club officials.

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La semaine en France: Week 3

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Normal service was resumed to a certain extent on the third weekend of the season, as Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux all returned to winning ways, but not one of France’s ‘Big Three’ can claim to be in peak condition just yet.

Bordeaux were rocked by Yoann Gourcuff’s eve-of-match declaration that he wished to join Lyon and he started on the bench for the trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night. PSG dominated throughout, and might have won at a canter had it not been for the wastefulness of striker Mevlut Erding and the excellent reactions of Bordeaux goalkeeper Cédric Carrasso. As it was, the visitors claimed a scarcely merited 2-1 victory when Michaël Ciani nodded in a corner from substitute Gourcuff in the fourth minute of injury time. It was Bordeaux’s first win on the road since a 3-1 victory at Grenoble on January 20.

Lyon toiled to a 1-0 victory at home to Brest thanks to a poacher’s goal from Jean Makoun in the 19th minute, but lost left-back Aly Cissokho to a thigh injury, which leaves converted holding midfielder Jérémy Toulalan as the only fit member of Claude Puel’s first-choice back four.

Marseille were much improved at home to Lorient, who obligingly lost both centre-back Grégory Bourillon and his replacement Lamine Koné to injury inside the first half an hour. Goals in each half from Gabriel Heinze and Taye Taiwo brought OM their first three points of the campaign. They visit Bordeaux on Sunday.

Toulouse kept hold of top spot by prolonging their 100 percent record with a 2-1 defeat of Arles-Avignon, who remain bottom. Second-placed Caen kept their cool in temperatures nudging 40°C at Montpellier to record a 0-0 draw that owed much to the reflexes of goalkeeper Alexis Thébaux.

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