French football is never disappointing as it always prefers the world from before to better days. Result of the first week of the 2020-2021 Champions League: two defeats and a draw or one point out of nine possible with yet two home games. The three clubs involved, Paris, Rennes and Marseille, imitate a record twelve years old, with at the time in the role of dunces, Lyon, Bordeaux and already Marseille. It all ended badly since two of them were transferred to C3 when the only qualifier, OL, 2nd, was shattered in the round of 16 against Barcelona.
Worrisome intentions. Anyone can lose, including the best, but we still have to do it! Neither Paris, defeated by Manchester United, nor Rennes, held in check by Krasnodar, nor Marseille, beaten on the ground of Olympiakos, seemed to give themselves the means to fight, showing strange shortcomings in the state of ‘mind. Thomas Tuchel allowed himself to line up a mid-three without creativity, with the charge for his attacking trio to manage. Rennes seemed to start by putting on the handbrake before gradually breaking free, when Marseille never showed an obsession with victory either. The ingredients of the Champions League were gone and as the Britons were playing it for the first time, they are not the most to blame.
It is a test which is won on the intensity put and there were more this week on the edge of the field with the posturing of Thomas Tuchel or André Villas-Boas than on the lawns with their teams. At the end, with so little desire and ambition, the stars fell, from Neymar to Florian Thauvin, from Kylian Mbappé to Dimitri Payet, undoubtedly the best appetite suppressant of the moment at curfew time. .
Marseille has just aligned a tenth consecutive defeat in the competition, not far from the twelve losses in a row for Anderlecht between 2003 and 2005. The record is within the reach of OM which receives Manchester City next Tuesday. As for PSG, in the group of RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir, it is exposed to finish second in its group with the risk of falling in the round of 16 on teams like City precisely, Liverpool, Juve or Barça and Bayern Munich of course, which is never a good idea in the 8th as in the final.
The shadow of bankruptcy. This sporting gloom comes in a tense economic context, with Mediapro, the main broadcaster of the French Championship, which refuses to pay for what it has bought. Already financially handicapped by the non-resumption of Ligue 1 after confinement, ticketing revenue at half mast and unrealized transfers, French football is advancing in the fog, weighed down on all sides.
Only the national team is still moving and well, with two successes and a draw in its last three meetings and a first place in its League of Nations group to pick up on November 14 in Portugal. But we have known since at least 1998: the national team is a tree that hides the forest of the doldrums of French club football.
However, the worst is never certain: he has just placed two clubs in the last four of the Champions League (PSG and OL), even one in the final, an unexpected summit, a brightening without a future for the moment. He failed to ride this success but it’s never too late for a second wave.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr