Monaco hover on the brink while fans look the other way
It should be one of the stories of the season: the last French team to reach a European final have a long-standing dressing-room split, an unpopular coach, a president and his deputy who were sacked a month before the end of the season (and only found out from the press) and fans that have branded the players a disgrace. They lost 2-0 to Toulouse at the weekend, and are not safe from relegation. But because the team is Monaco, no-one in France seems to care. As former goalkeeper Jean-Luc Ettori, now technical director, put it: "When Monaco wins it upsets people, and when we lose, best canada goose jacket reddit people just don't give a hoot."
He's right about that: the moaning about the "unfair advantage" that Monaco's tax-haven best canada goose jacket status gave them in the transfer market, led by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas around the time Monaco reached the 2004 Champions League final and finished third in Ligue 1, has now stopped, as has the infrequent speculation that Monaco go and play in the Italian league. At the moment, with one win in their last 11 games, everyone wants to play against them. They black canada goose best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest parka are five points clear of second-from-bottom Strasbourg, but with their next two opponents local rivals Nice and Marseille, might soon join high-profile clubs Lens and Paris Saint-Germain in the fight to survive.
How has it come to this? Poor management and poor recruitment played their part in a slump that began when Didier Deschamps fell out with then-president Michel Pastor and quit in September 2005, and was forecast on these pages some 18 months ago. The region's financial status has also been a mixed blessing. "It's difficult for players to succeed in Monaco because there is no pressure from the press or from the club, while there are not many fans," wrote France Football. "Because of the salaries they pay, you need self-motivation and this lot don't have it."
None of Monaco's five coaches since Deschamps have been their first-choice and the current boss, the Brazilian Ricardo, has upset players with his training methods. "The team has no game-plan and no tactics, and we don't even work on it in training," said striker Frédéric Piquionne (David Jemmali said something similar about Ricardo at Bordeaux last season). "I can't understand what half the players are saying in the dressing-room as they speak in Spanish like it," was team-mate Serge Gakpe's verdict on the club's ten South Americans, most of them highly-paid best canada goose jacket for men disappointments.
'The Prince chops off their heads' was L'Equipe's headline following last week's 'official resignation' of Pastor and his deputy, Gérard Brianti, who was shown the door for signing the likes of the under-achieving Leandro Cufré, Nenê, and Sergio Almirón. Prince Albert of Monaco, the owner, took the drastic step now because he fears the team could yet be relegated. Ricardo only kept his job because the board did not think there was anyone else at the club who could take over.
At least the fans have recently shown some passion: last month, 30 of them waited at Nice Airport to greet the players with bottles, branches and an onslaught of canada goose coat 1000 bulbs reviews abuse after their 4-1 defeat at Caen. Later that week, five fans sat down with Ricardo can i wash my canada goose coat and heard his side of the story. "At least it shows some people care and it might canada goose coat - hybridge lite just spur us on," said a surprised Ettori. The stadium is still rarely full but it's an improvement from when the team knocked out Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2004. "The streets were dead after that game," remembered then-captain Ludovic Giuly. "Christ, we'd just beaten Real Madrid, but there was nothing happening. It was so sad."
"The stars have gone, the prestige has gone, and for two years Monaco has been letting itself go," said one French reporter who covers the team. "But no-one honestly cares that Monaco are playing for survival and if they go down, it won't create much fuss."
The same cannot be said of Paris Saint-Germain, who took another step closer to the trap-door after conceding two late goals in a 3-2 home defeat to Nice. They moved out of the drop-zone by not playing on Saturday - thanks to Lens's unlucky defeat at Lorient - but slipped back into it after Sunday's loss. Le Parisien has suggested four solutions to get out of the mess: 1. Sack Le Guen, "his record is calamitous and Luis Fernandez is dreaming of that scenario"; 2. Change the president, "Monaco did it last week and the club needs shaking up"; 3. Restore players' confidence, "the players had hardly worked on Le Guen's tactical change (of going with only one holding midfielder); 4. More go-karting evenings, "which actually brought everyone together".
Strasbourg remain behind PSG on goal difference after losing 2-0 to Valenciennes, whose coach Antoine Kombouaré, a former PSG hero (because of this goal, 4mins 30sec in), watched the game from the sidelines after his four-match suspension. "I got the ban for calling the refs a bunch of arseholes, and said they were shitting themselves because we were playing Lyon," he said, ending the pathetically flimsy truce with French officials. "You can get away with anything in football these days - cheating, breaking someone's leg, tackling from behind - but you mustn't touch a referee. I could end up losing my job over something like this."
At the top, Bordeaux closed the gap on Lyon to four points after beating Caen 2-1, thanks to shaven-headed Cavegol's fifth brace of goals since January. A tip for next opponents Toulouse: Bordeaux's last 12 goals have all come from set-pieces. Lyon, meanwhile, could only draw 1-1 at home to Rennes, and berlin film festival ends canada goose jacket sponsorship amid as they stumble unconvincingly towards the title, the chances of Alain Perrin black canada goose parka remaining as coach appear ever more unlikely. Didier Deschamps is in pole position to replace him. Ironically enough, Perrin's next job may be... at Monaco. That should be punishment enough.
Results, Week 33: Lyon 1-1 Rennes, Lille 2-1 Nancy, Metz 1-2 Marseille (up to third for the first time this season, great winner by Samir Nasri), Sochaux 1-1 Saint-Etienne, Le Mans 3-0 Auxerre, Lorient 1-0 Lens, Valenciennes 2-0 Strasbourg, Monaco 0-2 Toulouse, Bordeaux 2-1 Caen, PSG 2-3 Nice.