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French Ligue 1 > BPL


Macksam

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I have been watching a lot of matches from France's top division this past little while and I have to say that it is way more skillful on average than the Premier League. England does have a handful of clubs like Arsenal and Man City that skew things and make it very skillful but the drop off after that is dreadful.

The big thing for me is how the league plays. This past Sunday was the last day of matches in France's topflight and the league had a scenerio that mirrored the BPL season's final match day quite well (albeit not perfectly). PSG had to win their last match of the season to have any hope of winning the title and were facing a relegation-threatened team in Lorient. This was something pretty similar to Man City facing QPR. However, the big difference was in how the matches played out. Lorient did not park a bus in front of their goal hoping to occasionally go on the counter attack to score a lucky header. The team came out from start to finish and played great, attacking football from start to finish and matched PSG stride for stride before losing 2-1 in a closely contested match, something you never ever see in the Premier league when two teams from opposite ends of the table meet.

QPR, and other teams in that mold like Wigan, Stoke, etc., can't play great football against teams like Man City and be competitive. This is a stark contrast to France where teams near the bottom of the table can play great and be competitive against the best competition the country has to offer. Why can bottom feeder teams in France do this but not their counter parts in England? Easy, the bottom feeders in England just don't have the talent to do it plain and simple. A team like Lorient, while a basement dweller this season, is comprised of players that have great technical ability, sublime first touches and can take any ball into stride when they receive them. The same can't be said of most Premier league clubs.

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Your Wigan example is terrible, they more than matched big teams this year. Norwich and Swansea played their games against everyone and did well. QPR weren't just bunkering against Man City until 10 men and 2 1 up. Everton did superb, Newcastle were a revelation, Blackburn got a couple of huge results vs the big teams, Stoke play their own style they don't bunker. It's actually very competitive every game. That's the reason why there were so many twists in the title race, 3rd/4th place race and relegation spots. I've never watched Ligue 1 so can't comment on that

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I agree there is a far bigger gap between top and bottom in England than France. However I think the fact the top 6 or so teams in England are far better than the top 6 teams in France making the bottom teams in England look worse. There may not be much of a difference between the bottom teams in each league but the top really makes the difference.

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Your Wigan example is terrible, they more than matched big teams this year. Norwich and Swansea played their games against everyone and did well. QPR weren't just bunkering against Man City until 10 men and 2 1 up. Everton did superb, Newcastle were a revelation, Blackburn got a couple of huge results vs the big teams, Stoke play their own style they don't bunker. It's actually very competitive every game. That's the reason why there were so many twists in the title race, 3rd/4th place race and relegation spots. I've never watched Ligue 1 so can't comment on that

Bunkering may be slightly harsh but QPR were definately being negative, even before the sending off of Barton. Anyhow, the gulf in skill was still definately evident between the two teams which is the biggest take away. However, in the Ligue 1 match between PSG and Lorient, two teams on opposite ends of the leader board, both teams displayed a high level of skill and ability in a back and fourth match. You could not even tell that Lorient were fighting for their top flight lives.

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I agree there is a far bigger gap between top and bottom in England than France. However I think the fact the top 6 or so teams in England are far better than the top 6 teams in France making the bottom teams in England look worse. There may not be much of a difference between the bottom teams in each league but the top really makes the difference.

They are better currently but not by too much. I think player development is a bigger factor. Player development in France is better than it is in England and it shows in the attractive style of play most French teams employ.

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There is a big difference between style and skill level. I won't argue if you think that Ligue 1 plays a more attractive style of play than the EPL. Higher skill level, no way. Also players often look more skilled than they are when they are playing against lower level players especially in leagues in which offensive play is emphasized and defence is an afterthought.

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Macksam,

Would you consider the speed of the games to be equal?

I've not seen much L1, but it seem the type of league where you get time to play.

I once saw a Man U / Liverpool game in the late 1980 where Jasper Olsen and Jan Molby were total spectators as the game whizzed by them. They both commented about the fact afterwards.

to some extent the division has got more competative but with a higher skill factor as well.

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They are better currently but not by too much. I think player development is a bigger factor. Player development in France is better than it is in England and it shows in the attractive style of play most French teams employ.

The top 6 in England is miles better than top 6 in France. That's, in fact, what the UEFA coefficient measures and England is 30 points ahead of France using that indicator! I know that coefficient is biased towards leagues that lack parity, but if we're just talking about the top 6 teams in each league, then its a good measuring stick.

Great story it is that Montpellier won Ligue 1! That will not happen in England in my lifetime so in that sense France is better. But I agree with the posters suggesting that if Lorient played Man City in Manchester, they would not have looked any better than QPR. It is also an extreme (unfair) example - QPR worst road record in EPL and in poor form, Man City best home record and in very good form.

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There is a big difference between style and skill level. I won't argue if you think that Ligue 1 plays a more attractive style of play than the EPL. Higher skill level, no way. Also players often look more skilled than they are when they are playing against lower level players especially in leagues in which offensive play is emphasized and defence is an afterthought.

Defense is definately not an after thought in Ligue 1 considering the influence holding mid fielders play in the game. Some of the best have come from that league. As for skill level, the average Ligue 1 player does indeed have more skill than your average Prem player.

Macksam,

Would you consider the speed of the games to be equal?

I've not seen much L1, but it seem the type of league where you get time to play.

I once saw a Man U / Liverpool game in the late 1980 where Jasper Olsen and Jan Molby were total spectators as the game whizzed by them. They both commented about the fact afterwards.

to some extent the division has got more competative but with a higher skill factor as well.

I would say the speed is similar, but in a different way. The Prem is fast as teams tend to bang the ball up the field to the flanks very quickly. Ligue 1 is fast in how teams quickly build up through the mid field via quick passing.

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I'm currently listening online to the BBC Radio5 7:41 GMT.

They have just highlighted the Newcastle situation, and the influx of French based talent that took them into the Top Six in England.

I'm not surprised. With PSG trying to become the French Man City, we'll see where the best French players go next.

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