Football Season Review

Champions: Troyes

Troyes are heading back into Ligue 1 after a strong campaign, in which they went through a takeover by the City Football Group, which will necessarily have a huge impact on future calls made by the club. Head coach Laurent Batlles is liable to leave, with the CFG set to put their own man in charge, but he did a fine job with the squad this season. He was being judged on more than results; he was also asked to play in a certain style with the squad. Possession football and high-tempo pressing was on the menu and Troyes delivered more than adequately, winning the title with five points to spare. ESTAC often found themselves facing packed defences as a consequence of their technical ability and their 3-3-3-1 formation, which was quite unique at this level. Indeed, because of the CFG’s desires, Troyes would often field midfielders in defence in a bid to increase their technical quality. Jimmy Giraudon was the lynchpin of the rearguard, captaining the side well, while in midfield Florian Tardieu was the side’s outstanding player. He was their technical leader and was vital to their possession-based game. In terms of their attacking play, Troyes had many strong attributes, with Yoann Touzghar deadly in attack and well supported by Alimami Gory in particular. Dylan Chambost also had a strong campaign in a supporting role, while wingers Levi Lumeka and Dylan Saint-Louis were also strong contributors. While Troyes scored goals from many different areas this season, their squad is liable to be transformed by their new owners over the summer, and it will be a challenge for them to remain in Ligue 1 playing this brand of football. There are big question marks over Troyes going ahead, but the support of the CFG should mean that they are well funded, which bodes well for next term.

Player of the Season: Florian Tardieu