Posts Tagged ‘Jean-Michel Aulas’

French football quotes of the year 2013

Zlatan IbrahimovicFrom post-match brawls and Twitter spats to weather vanes, broken televisions and Justin Bieber, Football Further proudly presents its seasonal compilation of the year’s best French football quotes.

Argy-bargy

“People have a good image of me. It’s not these tramps who are going to tarnish my image. They should stop lying to the French people. It annoys me that people talk about ‘your image’. My image is great in France. When I’m abroad, I don’t even talk about it. But in France it’s just these people, these parasites.”
- Patrice Evra on his friends in the media

“I go to talk to the referee. At that moment, the delegate blocks me and pushes me towards the referee. As a result, I touch the referee with my back. It happened exactly like that. I didn’t push the referee.”
- Leonardo‘s not entirely accurate account of his encounter with referee Alexandre Costa after Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw with Valenciennes in May. It ultimately costs him a 14-month suspension, effectively forcing him out of French football

“This year we’ve lost lots of players, as always, but we’ve lost something very important: the pillars of Valencia, players like [Roberto] Soldado, David Albelda or Tino Costa who talk in the changing room. Now there are lots of boot-lickers who don’t say things to your face. That’s why things aren’t going well between me and Đukić.”
- Adil Rami explains why his relationship with Valencia coach Miroslav Đukić has broken down. And is promptly frozen out of the squad

“There was an altercation that I wasn’t involved in. My goalkeeping coach, Fabrice Grange, was surrounded by a load of people who were pushing him. Jean-Michel Aulas arrived – I don’t know why. All I did was push him back. He says that I hit him in the back, which is scandalous. If I’d done that, he wouldn’t have been able to do an interview with Canal+ three minutes later.”
- Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier rejects an accusation from Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas that he punched him during a tunnel scuffle after a heated derby du Rhône

“And what’s the other one called, Screwdriver? Rolland Screwdriver. All he does is talk.”
- Evra again, unwittingly rechristening manager/pundit Rolland Courbis ‘Rolland Tournevis’

Les Bleus

“After the Euro, the media attention was very difficult to digest. I’d say that it ruined my season a bit. Everyone talked to me about it. I handled the situation badly, I accept that. I should have given a mea culpa. I shut myself off and, with hindsight, I realise that I was wrong.”
- Samri Nasri reflects on Euro 2012

“If I had to do everything again, if I had the possibility to relive exactly the same life, I’d do it, I’d want the same one. I’d do everything the same. It’s beautiful, all the same. I’m happy with what I’ve experienced up to now.”
- Éric Abidal on his battle with liver problems

“Above my mantelpiece, in the living room. My wife’s prepared everything.”
- Asked where he would put the Ballon d’Or trophy if he won it, Franck Ribéry reveals that he’s barely given it any thought at all

“When the coach told me I was playing, I said: ‘We’re going to Brazil.’ It doesn’t matter how. If I’d had to score with my hand, the ball would have been in the back of the net.”
- Mamadou Sakho, who scores two goals as France overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Ukraine to book their place at next year’s World Cup

“I’d never seen such an atmosphere at the Stade de France. It was a beautiful moment to experience, all those people behind us, the flags, the chants. From the hotel to the stadium we felt that force pushing us.”
- Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

“RESPECT.”
- So often the scourge of the national team, L’Équipe takes its cue from Ali G with a simple one-word headline the day after the match

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Pitchside Europe: Streamlined Lyon roll with the punches

“A bloated payroll, allied to the failure to qualify for the Champions League and diminishing income from television rights, meant that Lyon had no choice but to slash their wage bill in the summer. [Jean-Michel] Aulas sounded the alarm, declaring that it was time for the club’s “pharaohs” and “changing-room dinosaurs” to move on, and by the time the transfer window closed earlier this month, Hugo Lloris, Aly Cissokho, Kim Källström, Ederson, John Mensah and club captain Cris — among others — had all departed.”

This week’s Pitchside Europe blog, on how Lyon have made a steady start to the season despite a summer of Ligue 1 upheaval, can be read here.

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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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

Foreigners

“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 17

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
Lyon’s trip to Marseille this Sunday has the potential to be the defining game of the season’s first half, and although both sides have been undermined by injuries and suspensions, their recent form contrasts starkly.

Fifth-placed Marseille, who drew 1-1 at Auxerre last Sunday, are now without a win in three league games. Stéphane Mbia was harshly sent off at Auxerre for a foul on Julien Quercia that yielded a penalty – and an equaliser – despite occurring outside the box. He joins César Azpilicueta (knee ligament injury) and Souleymane Diawara (suspended) on the sidelines, but Rod Fanni arrived from Rennes on Thursday to plug at least one of the gaps in the back four.

Cris, Pape Diakhaté and Jérémy Toulalan have been ruled out for Lyon, while Anthony Réveillère is a doubt with a calf injury, but Claude Puel’s side are unbeaten in 10 league games and climbed to third with a 2-0 win at home to Toulouse. Lisandro López, thriving in a left-flank role, broke the deadlock early on and Bafétimbi Gomis completed the scoring from Kim Kallstrom’s through-ball 10 minutes before the break.

Lille required a header in the third minute of injury time from substitute striker Túlio De Melo to snatch a 1-0 win at Arles-Avignon that kept them top. Paris Saint-Germain trail them by a point after the latest installment of The Nenê Show (see below) concluded with a 2-1 victory at Valenciennes.

A 0-0 snorefest at Bordeaux left Rennes in fourth place, but Saint-Etienne moved up to seventh by ending a nine-game winless streak with a 2-0 defeat of imperilled Monaco. Montpellier’s goalless draw at Brest featured a horrendous elbow by Emir Spahić on Nolan Roux that has landed the Bosnian centre-back – and self-proclaimed Arsenal target - a date with the league’s disciplinary committee.

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La semaine en France: Week 15

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
Was this the week that Marseille’s title defence began in earnest? A 4-0 win at home to Montpellier last Saturday took the champions back to the summit, above Lille on goal difference, and a goalless draw in the re-arranged game against Rennes on Wednesday sent them a point clear. Steve Mandanda saved an early penalty by Rennes’ Jirès Kembo Ekoko to prevent OM falling behind, with Lucho González squandering a superb chance late in the game when he side-footed wide from 12 yards.

Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain were both aiming for top spot when they met on Sunday, but they had to settle for a point apiece after a thrilling 2-2 draw. Aly Cissokho broke the deadlock with his first Ligue 1 goal for Lyon but was later sent off after his misplaced breath prompted Nenê to tumble dramatically in the Lyon box. Guillaume Hoarau’s penalty put PSG 2-1 up with seven minutes to play, Nenê having equalised just after the hour with a rare header, but a dreadful kick by visiting goalkeeper Apoula Edel allowed Bafétimbi Gomis to lash in an 87th-minute equaliser.

The point took Paris to within a point of second-placed Lille – who drew 1-1 at Bordeaux – and ahead of Montpellier on goal difference. Lyon remained eighth, level on points with Bordeaux, and go into the weekend three points off top spot. Brest, meanwhile, snapped a three-game winless streak to beat Lens 4-1 on Tuesday and are now back in the top three.

Caen look in a lot of bother after a 3-0 defeat at home to Sochaux left them third from bottom and without a win in nine games. “There’s lots of fear: the players look at each other in the eyes but there’s no-one who shouts louder than the others,” said Caen coach Franck Dumas. “They’re good guys, but not for Ligue 1.”

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La semaine en France: Week 10

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
Setbacks for all of their major rivals allowed Marseille to move into second place last weekend and victory at home to leaders Rennes on Saturday night is guaranteed to take the defending champions back to the top of the pile for the first time since the end of 2009-10.

OM have yet to set anyone’s pulse racing this season, but in their 3-1 win at Lille they showed some of the pragmatism and composure that took them to their first league title in 18 years last term. On the back foot throughout the first half, they fell behind to a Yohan Cabaye effort in the 26th minute and would have been out of contention by half-time had it not been for a string of excellent stops from Steve Mandanda. Loïc Rémy scored twice in the second half, either side of a deflected strike by Lucho González, to extend Marseille’s run without defeat to eight games.

Rennes misfired once again in the continued absence through injury of striker Victor Hugo Montaño, losing 1-0 at home to Montpellier to cede the league’s last unbeaten record. Saint-Etienne slipped a place to third after Dimitri Payet ballooned a last-minute penalty over the crossbar in a 1-1 draw at home to Caen. Promoted Brest are now level on points with Marseille and Les Verts in fourth, having registered their fourth straight away win with a 2-0 victory at Bordeaux.

Paris Saint-Germain’s defensive frailties unexpectedly returned as they lost 3-2 at home to Auxerre, despite Nenê’s sweet curler having put them ahead after just 50 seconds, while Lyon’s recent momentum petered out in mystifyingly meek fashion in a 1-1 draw at Arles-Avignon.

Marseille’s fans were celebrating, meanwhile, after a court in the city suspended the Professional Football League’s (LFP) decision to ban away fans from this season’s two games between OM and PSG.

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