Ligue 1, queen of the year 2021

Beyond the crises of TV rights and incidents in the stands, Ligue 1 has made a success of its year on the pitch. Show, goals, play and the fruit of an evolution of mentalities that must be emphasized and encouraged. What if the French championship soon becomes fashionable?

It’s been a while, not to say too long, that the French favorite soap opera hadn’t been so exciting. There is no question here of More beautiful life or from Josephine, guardian angel, but of Ligue 1 and its twists. This past year, the purring, but still comforting, routine of the French championship has taken a very exciting turn. Fewer purges, more playing teams and fewer sleepy weekends. However, it would be easy to put aside the truth on the ground to focus on the problems in the forums, recurring since August and occupying a prominent place in the media in recent weeks, to the point of sometimes obscuring the pleasure. to see a transformed talent league that is fun to follow. It will of course be essential to quickly find solutions to avoid overflows and to ensure that each match can take place in a full stadium and come to an end. In the meantime, you have to savor and ask yourself a question: is this enchanting parenthesis only just beginning?

“I can feel the new face of Ligue 1 on the pitch. ”
Fabien Lemoine, FC Lorient midfielder

The attack and spectacle bonus

It would probably be a bit chauvinistic (just a bit) to ensure that Ligue 1 got closer to the famous four big leagues, in particular the Premier League and Serie A, and the time is not anyway. not to shaky comparisons. The showcase of French football deserved this year that we stop in front. Beyond Christophe Galtier’s title of LOSC champion, who reminds everyone else that Paris Saint-Germain is not totally untouchable, there is the satisfaction of having witnessed small (r) evolutions in the mentalities. “I think it calculates a little less, everyone wants to play, confided Fabien Lemoine to us last month. I have a lot of fun on the pitch, I can feel the new face of Ligue 1. In the middle, we are now in an area with a lot of time and space, that must make things interesting for the spectator. ” Yes, the ball enthusiast has a blast at the stadium or in front of his TV watching Lens recite his scores wonderfully; Nantes to beautify itself; Strasbourg to offer a show; the well-oiled collective of Stade Rennes; the surprising Angers team led by Baticle; the usual return to form of Monaco and that of Brest; the Montpellier de Savanier and many other beautiful things.

Not every game is exciting, but every team (or almost) has something in particular. Among the locomotives, OM and OL have not always been spectacular, which does not prevent us from carefully observing the tactical attempts of Sampaoli and Bosz, the first being more successful than the second. The defending champion, now coached by Gourvennec, also disappointed a lot, compensating for his sluggish first part of the season on the national scene by brilliant in the Champions League. After a great start, Nice shone more thanks to its individualities (Gouiri, Delort) than to an ambitious game plan. All is not perfect, starting with the PSG of Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, more often sad than attractive, but the general photography of this year 2021 encourages optimism. This is also reflected in the figures: never had a first part of the season been so prolific since the beginning of the century (536 goals after 19 days, a record when the bar of 500 had only been exceeded twice. , in 2017-2018 and 2020-2021).

The European revealer and the excitement of the future

An impression reinforced by the behavior of the French representatives in European competitions. Far from the deserved mockery of recent years, the six clubs involved in the Champions League, Europa League and the small new Europa League Conference have posted an unprecedented record at the end of the group stage (19 wins, 14 draws, 3 defeats and more 12 points per participant on average). This allows France to be at the top of the famous UEFA index ranking with 14,416 points, almost double last season, ahead of the Netherlands and England. All this will remain to be confirmed during the next, most important, deadlines, but we must not shy away from our pleasure to see LOSC become embedded in the European top 16 or Monaco and Lyon easily reign over their respective pools in C3. Ligue 1 has never been so beautiful, and it is paradoxical with the multiple crises it has experienced over the past two years (TV rights, Covid-19, incidents in the stands, etc.). We must now be patient, hoping that this is not the coup of a season, but rather the beginning of an evolution driven by foreign and French coaches, whose new generation is perhaps based on other principles and ‘other models. “After, we will see in the second part of the season, Fabien Lemoine warned us. With the point pressure it might be a little different, but I feel like even struggling teams go ahead and score goals. ” Something to reassure Vincent Labrune: Ligue 1 is not about to become the Slovenian championship.

By Clément Gavard

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