Posts Tagged ‘Jérémy Menez’
“PARIS — Ligue 1 title favourites Paris Saint-Germain returned to the top of the table after overwhelming third-bottom Ajaccio 4-1 at a rain-soaked Parc des Princes on Sunday.”
My AFP report on PSG’s return to the Ligue 1 summit, including a summary of all the weekend’s major stories in the French top flight, can be read here.
“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
- 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
“PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain brought a measure of solace to their beleaguered coach Antoine Kombouaré with a 3-2 win at home to Auxerre on Sunday that ended a damaging four-game winless streak.”
Read my round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action for AFP here.
For the pundits on Canal+’s Ligue 1 review programme, Les Spécialistes, it was something of a radical departure. Usually tasked with the scrutiny of borderline offside decisions or the analysis of new tactical experiments, the panellists on Monday night’s show were asked to study Javier Pastore’s smile. Or, more specifically, its sudden disappearance.
Ever since a jaw-dropping piece of control during a warm-up shortly after he arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, Pastore’s pre-match preparations have been the focus of much more attention than the more perfunctory stretching and jogging of his contemporaries. As a result, the production staff at Canal+ were able to compare and contrast footage of the Argentine’s demeanour in the build-up to PSG’s match at Ajaccio three weeks ago with his behaviour in the hour before kick-off at Bordeaux on Sunday.
At Ajaccio, he was all smiles and loose-limbed jollity. At Bordeaux, a concentrated frown did not leave his face – not when he alighted from the team bus, not when he went through his pre-match routine on the pitch at Stade Chaban-Delmas, and not when he lined up with his team-mates in the tunnel prior to the start of the 1-1 draw. “He doesn’t smile once,” observed host Hervé Mathoux.
PSG may be three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and on course for the Europa League knockout phase, but that has not spared them from criticism. Paris, it is widely agreed, are impressive on occasion, but they remain a team of individuals. When Pastore isn’t on his game, Jérémy Ménez steps up. When Kévin Gameiro leaves his shooting boots at home, Antoine Kombouaré’s side turn to Nenê.
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.
Dariusz Dudka’s 86th-minute equaliser in Auxerre’s 1-1 draw at home to Lille last Sunday may ultimately prove to be nothing more than a footnote to the Ligue 1 season, but Lille will know that it could very well become one of the goals that defines the title race.
Had Lille held onto the lead earned by Moussa Sow’s sublime overhead bicycle kick early in the first half, they would have finished the weekend seven points clear at the top of the table. Sow’s inattention at a late free-kick allowed Dudka to spring the offside trap, however, and give the chasing pack fresh hope that Lille may yet stumble in the home straight.
It was a weekend of false starts for the title pretenders. Paris Saint-Germain remain second, but a 1-0 loss at Rennes prevented them from capitalising on Dudka’s helping hand. Yacine Brahimi scored the only goal, leaving Claude Makelele for dust and firing into the bottom-right corner, as Rennes put the 5-1 drubbing at Sochaux and their Coupe de France upset against Reims squarely behind them.
Marseille are a point behind PSG and Rennes in fourth, but their 1-0 win at home to rock bottom Arles-Avignon was a wretched affair that will have inspired little confidence as Manchester United loom on the horizon in the Champions League. The fare was better at Lyon-Bordeaux on Sunday night but there were no goals, as OL dropped three places to sixth and Les Girondins fell to ninth.
With Dimitri Payet cast out to the reserves, an Emmanuel Rivière brace gave Saint-Etienne a 2-1 win at Montpellier that lifted the 10-time champions above Lyon into fifth place on goals scored ahead of Saturday’s second Derby du Rhône of the season. Moussa Sissoko was also on target twice as Toulouse sank Monaco 2-0.
Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Brest 2-1 Nancy, Caen 0-2 Lorient, Lens 1-1 Valenciennes, Marseille 1-0 Arles-Avignon, Montpellier 1-2 Saint-Etienne, Nice 1-0 Sochaux, Rennes 1-0 PSG; Sunday: Auxerre 1-1 Lille, Toulouse 2-0 Monaco, Lyon 0-0 Bordeaux.