Tag Archives: France

Jeremy Mathieu: Frenchman proving there is life after Alba


Jeremy Mathieu playing for Valencia

Of all the players at Valencia that will have lamented the loss of Jordi Alba in the summer, Jeremy Mathieu must have wondered what life would be without his left sided partner in crime.

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Filed under La Liga

France vs Iceland: 5 Things England will have learnt about Les Bleus


Olivier Giroud France Euro 2012

In a weekend where Hodgson made his England managerial debut with a largely uninspiring 1-0 win against Norway, England’s Group D opponents France continued their own pre-Euro 2012 preparations with an entertaining 3-2 win against Iceland.

While the rest of the British population were tuning into to watch Soccer Aid, Hodgson and his England backroom staff will have no doubt had their eyes on events in Valenciennes. Giving some of his fringe players a chance to impress, Blanc also picked a side that contained players expected to start the Group D opener in Donetsk and there was plenty for Hodgson to think about before that June 11th meeting to ensure England doesn’t suffer defeat like the last time the two met in a European Championships opener. Steven Gerrard back-pass anyone?

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Filed under Euro 2012, Football, Le Championnat, Ligue 1

Can Hatem Ben Arfa be head and shoulders above Ginola?


“I’ve paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it.”

Prior to securing his season-long loan to Newcastle United, Hatem Ben Arfa revealed that he took a good look at the tale of the Toon before deciding to move to the North East.

It’s understandable that the 24-year old, who has yet to find a home for his unquestionable talent and often fiery personality, has given this move some thought. Ben Arfa surely need only look back fifteen years to the summer of 1995 when a long-haired left winger from France arrived on Tyneside where he would swiftly acquire a Geordie God-like status.

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Filed under Football, Le Championnat, Ligue 1, Premier League

Sparky’s Random Player Cam: Yaan M’Vila


Prompted by an empty bank balance leading to a Saturday night in front of the telly, the notion of Player Cam was first introduced amongst my fellow football-loving colleagues.

Whether it was a new signing, or a player putting in a string of good performances gone largely unnoticed by most, Player Cam involved watching Football First and studying an individual performance.

Applying that to the wider realms of European and international football, the first of many Player Cams on Sparky in Rotterdam ’91 begins with a look at a young midfielder seizing his opportunity in an international side supremely low on confidence.

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Filed under Euro 2012, Football, Le Championnat, Ligue 1

Gourcuff to Lyon a good move for Le Championnat


Hindsight is one of those great things in life; that opportunity to reflect on events with a clearer state of mind mind, to see where things went wrong, how you would do things differently next time, or whether you should have been in that situation in the first place.

If 23 Frenchmen and one astrology-obsessed manager looked back at the two chaotic weeks spent in South Africa this summer with hindsight, they probably would have joined Shay Given and the entire Republic of Ireland team in remonstrating with the referee over Thierry Henry’s handball antics on that night back in November.

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Filed under Football, Le Championnat