In front of 11,512 at Stade Marcel-Picot, Nancy delivered the performance of their young season by handing Feyenoord a demoralizing 3-0 loss. Even though there was thankfully none of the crowd violence which marred the event 2 years ago, the massacre of the field was enough for the goal-hungry supporters in Nancy.
There can be no question about the veracity of this win. We had goals from Julien Feret, Monsef Zerka and Helder…all in the second half! All three goals were beautiful and possibly equals our goal output for the season so far in one game The first goal was class as Zerka beat an offside trap to go it alone again the Dutch keeper Timmer and juked his pants off to slide the ball in the back of the net. Feret took down a cross in the box with his toe, turned, beat his defender and lasered the ball into the right corner, beating the keeper for the second time. Finally, to dim the lights on Feyenoords European hopes, Helder scored a one-man wrecking crew hustle goal late in the match to seal the deal. He cleaned up an lazy header clearance from Tim De Cler, dribbled 20 yards directly between two goal box defenders and then placed a beauty in the top shelf above Timmer’s outstretched gloves.
Really, the second half was the best I’ve personally seen Nancy play this whole season, and most of last season. It could have easily been 5 or 6 goals for Nancy, (and to be fair, Feyenoord should have had one where their player missed an empty net on a cross) and it took some great first half saves from the Dutchman to keep things 0-0 in that half.
For the second half we substituted Marc-Antoine Fortune and Benjamin Gavanon, who both infused the pitch with their energy and confidence. After this change, there was no turning back.
So, while we may be bottom of the table in Ligue 1…we are at the top of the table in the UEFA Cup!
Hey guys, sorry it has taken me so long to write a post. (I don’t have a good excuse!) There has been some substantial news in the past two weeks. First, obviously Nancy is in the next stage for the UEFA cup, garnering a draw in group H with FEYENOORD ROTTERDAM, LECH POZNAN, CSKA MOSCOW, DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA.
I know absolutely nothing about Lech Poznan, so I’ll have to furiously hit Wiki before this game. As for the other opponents, I’ve got to be honest…This is some stiff competition. Interesting enough, the first match against Feyenood on Oct. 23 will be an affair at Marcel-Picot sans Feyenoord supporters. Due to their last unruliness in 2006 in Nancy, the club has banned supporters from going to France. I think this is probably a good idea since we will probably pound them into submission again. In all seriousness though, violence and soccer do NOT go together, so this is the right choice. More to the point financially, for Feyenoord, since they were thrown out of the cup because of it last time, it’s probably a sensible idea coming from the higher ups.
Well we all know about the international break and guess what, Chretien is injured!!! How I hate these stupid breaks in the middle of the season. It’s not know yet according to the club website how long he will be out, but we will get more info this week.
Also, we play Le Mans this weekend, a team which I am very unfamiliar with. Except that their keeper just got called by Domenech to be a part of Les Bleus for the first time, so I expect him to be top notch, and the are currently sitting on an impressive 4 wins. Also, they have former Liverpool reject Anthony Le Tallec. If anyone has any secrets regarding this team, leave them in the comments, I’m interested if I’m missing anything on them. (Which I most certainly am since they are little-known to me for some reason)
22nd…Gavanon scores off free kick 20 meters out!
20th…Ouaddou on, Sami off injured
18th…Fortunre in the 18th. It was a rebound off the keeper from a Nancy free kick. Action has been fast paced. Down to 10 men for now with a man down injured. More to come.
There has been a bit of news this week regarding our boys in Nancy so lets start from the top.
1. Nancy succeeds in a preliminary test in this early season, by beating Grenoble in the Coupe de la Ligue. This comes as good news, seeing that most of the Ligue Un clubs embarrassingly lost these tilts, albeit with reduced or weakened squads.
2. This Saturday Nancy will travel to Lyon to face the giants of Ligue Un. To many in the league, this is probably a fixture circled right after the schedule came out. Getting 3 points against Lyon at home would be a great result for any team and it is for this reason that I believe Nancy should fight strong and not assume that a draw is a “great” result, as what happens so often when the weaker meet the stronger.
There are some bits of news that shed a glimmer of hope. Obviously François Clerc is still injured and I’ve heard late news that Juninho may not be able to punish us with a free kick goal due to his absence from the match. But Lyon is so deep that I wouldn’t expect this news to change how Lyon, or Nancy for that matter, will look at how to approach the game.
3. With our 13th position in the table, Nancy president Jacques Rousselot has issued a statement to supporters asking for patience this season. He acknowledged the departure of Puygrenier and Kim have hurt the team to a certain extent, but that the heart and soul of the team is largely unchanged since regaining Ligue Un status in 2005. Also, he mentioned that Nancy tried to find players to boost the roster in France and the rest of Europe, but those searched came up fruitless so far. Basically, to sum up the one page memo, give the youngsters a chance to adjust and improve and Nancy will be in the top 10. At least that’s my read. Il faut juste laisser un peu de temps au temps…
So that’s the news this week…This weekend is a great opportunity and I’d much rather see us try to go for the full three points rather than try and settle for the draw. In any case, Allez Nancy!
Good news to report, as you see from my title Nancy has kept their home pitch advantage and got off to a great 1-0 scoreline Thursday night at Stade Marcel-Picot. The goal is a sweet header by Pascal Berenguer. Seriously well placed ball and a great downward header into the corner where the Motherwell keeper had no chance.
From the match reports I’ve read, Nancy was fairly dominant the entire match, and could’ve won 2 or 3 to nill. Dia even missed a penalty later in the game (ahhh!), which could very well come back to haunt us in Scotland. The great thing to me is that we didn’t allow a goal, meaning that if we can put one away goal in at Motherwell, we’ve got ourselves a grand chance to move on to the next stage. And that means some money coming our way also, which is never a bad thing huh?
Also, we are now ranked right up beside Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and L’Olympique Lyonnais!!!! Well at least in terms of our touchline “benches,” I mean thrones. These babies are made by a German company specializing in upper class cars and planes interiors. Plus, if your little buns get cold, they are even heated…
Here is the first goal from last match scored by Jonathan Brison at Marcel-Picot against Le Havre, très, très magnifique!!!!
I don’t know how to post WMP media on here, so the link is here.
3 Points is exactly what Nancy were looking for before this match vs Le Havre, and that’s exactly what they got. After falling behind early to a pesky Le Havre offense, second half goals from Jonathan Brison and Andre Luiz ensured that Nancy would get their first win of the season.
This home win makes me feel a bit better about my prognostications earlier, especially knowing that we can and did come back from being a goal down to get the victory. All positive signs.
Also, the UEFA Cup draw was announced this past week, and Nancy will be playing against Motherwell from Scotland. I’ve been reading the boards and write-ups in reaction to this match, and I believe that Motherwell (whom I admittedly don’t know much about) will be a good, competitive draw for Nancy, but in the end the strength of Ligue One vs Scottish Premier bodes in our favor, and I definately think Nancy SHOULD advance and defeat Motherwell.
After another thriller last weekend, Nancy now reigns as the lowest scoring team in Ligue One! Yes, its early, but we really need to get some reinforcements up top. Ok, so our defensive unit is performing well, (thank you Chretien and co) but we need points! I hope we make a move, if possible, before things get too out of hand. PS I’m not going to post highlights until we at least get a goal. (Ok maybe a crossbar or a cool save will count)
Issiar Dia will be will be suspended for the next match due to his late red card in the last draw with Toulouse. In other news, there is a rumor floating around that bottom of the table Nantes is interested in our defender Jean Calvé. This was the man who was tipped to replace Michael Chretien, but with his contract extension it seems Calvé has quickly found his way to the reserve squad. And with last place Nantes sacking their coach this morning and giving up five goals in the first three matches, you can be sure they are desperately seeking some new blood.
Finally, Nancy will meet Le Havre this weekend. After their debut win against Nice, Le Havre has dropped the last six points, and should be a great opportunity for us to win at home this weekend. No selections have been announced yet for the game, but when those are available I’ll be back to post my thoughts and try to get the Le Havre side of things as well. A bientot!
The online edition of L’Equipe has an interesting take on Nancy’s new season, from the mouths of the players. Here are a few points that I found interesting.
Jean Calvé is inspired by the history of FC Seville. A smaller club playing against much better funded opponents, but staying consistently successful. It’s a model that Nancy would like to emulate. Overall, staying in Ligue One for many years is the top concern, to ensure stability and the like. The team is also trying to avoid the situation of a few years back, when they last made the UEFA Cup and through attrition and fatigue, sank down the table in the second half of the season.
I like the comment from Jonathan Brison, he wants Nancy to be a team “That counts of the French scene.” I’m also pleased that they aren’t saying they have to beat or equal their 4th place finish last season for this season to be a success. (Maybe its just the Olympic TV marathon making me bitter, but I get so annoyed when they show these athletes who just won a silver or bronze and their faces are completely despondent, like their life is over or something because its not golden. Back to the topic…) And although I haven’t been to a game at Stade Marcel-Picot, keeper Gennaro Bracigliano credits the Nancien atmosphere and challenges the supporters to be the “12th Man” again this season.
Tomorrow Nice and Nancy will dance and see who comes out the victor (That’s me hoping there’s goals and someone is victorious) Nice just lost to Le Havre last week, one of the new members to the top flight this season, so hopefully there is something missing in their formula. I’d like to see some great service up top to Fortune and hope the guys learn from last week and be a bit more physical in the middle of the pitch. Match report to follow, if the action warrants it.
Finally, I’ve read that it’s hard to catch most Ligue One games online, but does anyone have a good source feed for this weekend? Otherwise, I’ll be reading match reports, interviews and watching video clips!
Well, with a nil-nil scoreline against Lille, things could have gone better…Like not being the only game in Ligue One without a goal. But I’d argue that a draw to begin the season is nothing to fret about. According to the highlights and match reports I’ve seen, Nancy was a bit stale and failed to “catch fire” during the game. In the second half a header went off the crossbar, nearly giving us the advantage, but it took our solid defense and keeper to ensure the point, even into stoppage time. According to the AS Nancy site, two main areas where we can improve are getting better service to Fortune up front and beginning to win more midfield balls up for grabs.
But let’s not forget, we were missing some key players, and even had one man, Feret, making his Ligue One debut. So all in all, a good start. I’m excited to see us take it up a notch when we get some of our suspended and injured targets back.
In other news, Pascal Berenguer won a trophy Saturday night, without stepping foot on the pitch! He was awarded the Jean-Stovenot Trophy, which goes to the best Corsican athlete of the year. Not a bad way to start the season! Felicitations Pascal.
Up next…Nice. I’ll try to do a bit of a preview later on in the week, but I think our chances are looking good. Until then, take care!