Are PSG going to be left behind by Monaco?

July 10, 2013 in Ligue 1, Transfers by Daniel Lloyd

With recent rumours that star centre back and captain Thiago Silva is seemingly on his way to Barcelona, there is a real chance that the once all powerful Paris Saint-Germain could be left behind this summer in the transfer market, at least compared to their high spending counterparts AS Monaco.

AS Monaco have already signed a grand total of nine players, with no signs of slowing down. Most of these players will go straight into the first team - footballers such as Falcao, Moutinho, Rodriguez and Toulalan will have no problem overlapping their Ligue 2 predecessors - while ageing veterans Carvalho and Abidal will provide some much needed defensive cover. So far, Monaco have spend £127m, compared to PSG’s…£0. So what has happened to the team that splurged almost £130m last season, and why have they not secured anyone as of yet?LEO

As we all know, the likelihood of them signing a major name this week is pretty high, with the arrival of Edinson Cavani all but confirmed, who, if rumours are to be believed, will cost the club anywhere from £50-70m. But is the arrival of Cavani really necessary for the Parisian outfit, or is it just a case of buying him so another team won’t? After all, their current star striker scored 30 goals in 34 games last season, in Ligue 1 alone. Ibrahimovic is no doubt one of the best players in the world, but how will he feel sharing some of the glory with a new player? And in Cavani, PSG would have a player who could potentially eclipse Ibrahimovic in the pecking order, which would not do the Swede’s monumental ego any favours. And let’s not forget, with Ibrahimovic at 31 years old now, Cavani would be the much simpler choice to make, although if this were to be true,  I would imagine Ibrahimovic would start seeking a club almost immediately, with a team like Anzhi more than willing to pay Zlatan whatever he wants.Edinson+Cavani+Gran+Gala+del+Calcio+Aic+2011+PNFbNZsGwHWl

So in the very near future, PSG could be losing two players that they paid Milan through the nose for in Zlatan and Thiago Silva, but in my opinion, if they sign Cavani, they shouldn’t have too much problem competing for the title, as Mamadou Sakho can more than cover Silva’s absence in defence. While obviously not the same class, Sakho is still young, and is very capable at holding his own. Also, PSG still have a much stronger squad than most of their competitors. If Falcao got injured for Monaco, they would have to revert back to their Ligue 2 strike force, whereas PSG would still have Cavani, Lavezzi and Gameiro to put up front.

And with the Thiago Silva transfer potentially becoming a saga of the summer, PSG would expect to recoup a lot of money for the talented Brazilian, with President Nasser Al-Khelaifi even going as far as saying: “I wouldn’t sell Thiago Silva if I received a €1bn offer for him. He is not leaving.” Obviously an exaggeration from him, but needless to say, PSG will not let their captain leave easily, even though apparently Silva has agreed personal terms with the Catalan club.THIAGO

Monaco’s main problem of the next season will be that while they will have a great first team, they still need to develop their squad. Also, another target they need to focus on is their goalkeeper. They currently have either Flavio Roma or Danijel Subasic, neither of whom are particularly great keepers. And I don’t see how the likes of Carvalho and Raggi (Monaco’s current best centre backs) could cope with the potential pairing of Ibrahimovic and Cavani, however long that may last.

Bottom line is that Monaco are not on PSG’s standards quite yet, although they may very well be if they continue their spending habits.

Yaya Sanogo: The Young Gun With A Bright Future

July 5, 2013 in Ligue 1 by John Gray

After meandering his way through five amateur clubs surrounding the Paris region throughout his formative years as a teenager (from 2000-2006), Arsenal’s latest recruit, 20-year-old Yaya Sanogo was recruited by the then Ligue 1 outfit AJ Auxerre in 2006 aged just 13.  His career at Auxerre started in “post-formation” (a kind of “finishing school” for professional outfits for polishing up “rough diamonds” acquired from amateur football,) and after doing his apprenticeship in the academy and reserve set-ups, at the tender age of 16, he got called up to first team duties in the 2010-2011 season for the first time making two appearances, one in the league, one in the League Cup.  His promising season, though, was cut tragically short, just as it seemed that he had finally made the breakthrough into the professional ranks.  In a run-of-the-mill reserve team outing at Mulhouse in the French regionalised fourth tier – CFA (Championnat de Football Amateur) – he suffered a horrendous injury, suffering a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in a collision with an opponent, resulting in an enforced break of seven months.  A year later, in October 2011, having been in the first team for a mere three months, he had already racked up six appearances (of which three starts) and his first goal in professional football (against Toulouse).

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Why Andre Villas-Boas should ignore PSG and stay at Tottenham

June 17, 2013 in Ligue 1, Premier League by Aman Pathiara

Football’s history is littered with cases of players that moved too far too fast. Cases where someone got a bit excited and jumped the gun, resulting in a terminal downhill spiral. Steve Sidwell springs to mind; how the Reading midfielder thought he would get into a Chelsea team ahead of Michael Essien and Frank Lampard is beyond me. It’s not been quite the same for him since. The same kind of situation – giving up what looks like a promising career for the first train of opportunity that comes your way – looks dangerously close to happening to Tottenham’s manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has so far not quashed speculation linking him with a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain. In case my train of thought hasn’t articulated my opinion on this matter already, I’ll make it clear: this would be a TERRIBLE move for him.

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The Monaco Transfer Saga Continues…

May 27, 2013 in Ligue 1, Transfers by Daniel Lloyd

Let’s wind the clocks back to 2011: Monaco, just seven years after coming up short in the Champions League final against Porto, had been relegated to Ligue 2 after a shocking 2010-2011 season. The club then gets bought out by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, and Claudio Ranieri is brought in to steady the sinking ship shortly after. Fast forward to the present day, and Monaco seem to be back on their way to prominence after just having topped Ligue 2.

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Monaco try to become French footballing royalty once more, but at what cost?

May 17, 2013 in Ligue 1 by John Gray

One of France’s clubs with European pedigree (previously finalists in the Champions League and Cup Winners Cup) is returning to the nation’s top footballing table after an absence of two years.  Monaco’s relegation from Ligue 1 in 2011 so nearly became successive relegations, but the arrival of Russian businessman Dmitry Ryboloviev halted the slide, and his financial input (109th in the 2012 Forbes Rich List with an estimated net worth of 9.1 Billion US Dollars) helped the team rediscover it’s form in Ligue 2 – appointing former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri as the man to put Monaco back in the top flight.  On the 11th May, that particular mission was accomplished with victory at Nimes.

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