I thought the Real Madrid goal might have kept him around.
Pretty much. Though the club isn't struggling financially, Lyon are in transition after spending all of that money in 2009 and not backing it up with titles. Not to mention since the club fired Puel before his contract ended, the team has to pay him the money for those years left, similar to Ancelotti at Chelsea. Aulas has already said that, for the next two or three seasons, the team will revert back to its previous strategy and invest in young players, nurture and develop them, give them league and European football, and then sell them for inflated fees. He didn't actually say the last part, but that is the most obvious conclusion to the strategy.
Not sure what to expect from the French Derby tonight, both Marseille and PSG have been underwhelming as of recent. I hope it will be a good game. So far watching Lille, Toulouse or Montpellier has been more entertaining.
Bottom table Nancy beat Lyon.
Bottom table Nice beat Bordeaux, the best team in 2012 so far.
Bottom table Auxerre snatch a point from Lille.
Dijon snatch a point from #1 spot Montpellier.
Toulouse beat Marseille at the Velodrome.
Evian beat St. Etienne away.
The only normal result today was the draw between Sochaux and Valenciennes. Can't wait for the highlights. PSG plays Ajaccio and can go #1 again if they win, but I wouldn't be 100% sure they can do it; Ajaccio played some great matches recently. This is turning into a great, vintage season.
For those of you who liked P.E. Aubameyang at the African Cup of Nations, check out this screamer that he scored for Saint-Etienne just after coming back, and this hattrick that he scored more recently. A star in the making.
I have to be honest, I don't follow the French League, but what happened to Auxerre, a couple of seasons they were playing the UCL and now they are last?
BTW I like their jerseys.
There is extreme parity in French football. I'd say more than the four leagues ahead of them. Monaco was in the CL final a few years ago and they are now in Ligue 2. Nantes was playing CL football and regulars in Ligue 1 and they are in Ligue 2 as well. Clubs like Le Mans, Lens, Metz, and Le Havre all have played in Ligue 1 the past couple of years and have the budgets to succeed in the division. However, at least one of them will be playing in the third division next year.
It is almost impossible for mid-tier French clubs like Auxerre to maintain success simply because they can't hold onto their players unlike say Lyon, Marseille, and most recently Paris Saint-Germain. Lille is a perfect example. They won the league and had a nice core of players and probably could of started a consistent domestic and European run, but after their one-year success, the club had no choice but to sell some of them; some for money (Sow) and others because the players wanted a change (Gervinho and Cabaye). This off-season, Lille will lose Hazard and Debuchy, which will see the club's championship squad completely dismantled in just two seasons.
Montpellier has a chance to win the title this season. This summer, more than likely, all of their key players will be sold and they will go through the same thing that Lille is experiencing. This is another reason why our Champions League co-efficient is pathetic. Our clubs don't get a chance to showcase its players once they qualify for the Champions League because they will be sold prior to the competition