Girondins de Bordeaux

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2019-11-08 19:45 More Reports
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Girondins de Bordeaux

In


Ui-jo Hwang (att) (Gamba Osaka); Enoch Kwateng (def) (Nantes); Loris Benito (def) (Young Boys); Mexer (def) (Rennes); Paul Baysse (def) (Caen), Jonathan Cafu (mid) (Red Star), Alexander Mendy (att) (Guingamp), Valentin Vada (mid) (Saint-Etienne), Daniel Mancini (mid) (Auxerre), Raoul Bellanova (def) (AC Milan) (all loan ends)

Out


Jules Kounde (r)(def) (Sevilla); Lukas Lerager (mid) (Genoa); Zaydou Youssouf (sp)(att) (Saint-Etienne); Jerome Prior (sp)(gk) (Valenciennes); Igor Lewczuk (sp)(def) (Legia Warsaw); Over Mandanda (gk) (Creteil); Jaroslav Plasil (sp)(mid) (retired), Aaron Boupendza (att) (Feirense, loan)

When Bordeaux were taken over earlier in the year by a group of American investors, there was great excitement as to where the club might go. So far, they have been travelling backwards at significant speed with little sign of that negative momentum stopping over the summer. Head coach Paulo Sousa, their fourth permanent coach in 18 months and third last season alone, has made a poorer start to his career in the dugout than anyone in the past. They finished last season in 14th place with just 41 points and 17 matches lost – the most in a generation. Reasons for optimism ahead of the new campaign are few and far between. Rather than strengthen the squad, it is actually looking weaker now than it did when the season finished. Key centre-back Jules Kounde has been moved on and, while no other big players have departed, the likes of Lukas Lerager and Zaydou Youssouf were both very useful squad members. In return, the defence appears to have been bolstered by a succession of free transfers: Enoch Kwateng and Mexer, seasoned Ligue 1 players who should do a steady job, and Loris Benit from Young Boys have arrived, while Ui-jo Hwang joins up as an entirely unknown quantity from Gamba Osaka. There is decent depth in the defence, if little impressive quality, while in the midfield there remains uncertainty over the future of many players, with Younousse Sankhare, Valentin Vada and Francois Kamano all linked with moves away. A reliance on younger players is likely, with Albert Lottin, Yacine Adli and Aurelien Tchouameni all teenagers likely to see a good deal of game time. In attack, meanwhile, there are also issues with a sector largely composed of players who misfired last season. With Sousa still apparently unsure what his strongest side is, Bordeaux go into this season in a mess.

Target


Of France’s traditional big guns, Bordeaux are in the worst state by far. While there’s talent in their ranks, exploiting it will be difficult. A good start is key but it will be a long season otherwise and a top-half finish looks beyond them at this point.

Season Review
2018/2019

№14: Girondins de Bordeaux

Bordeaux endured a traumatic 2019-20 campaign, in which they saw two coaches sacked, incompetence at boardroom level and a takeover of the club. On the field, meanwhile, they endured a record losing streak and finished 14th – their lowest position since 2005 – while their points tally in Ligue 1 was their worst since 1960 if three points are given for a win. The season started early due to the Europa League, but while progress was made, head coach Gus Poyet soon quit the club over their handling of transfer matters. Gaetan Laborde had been sold to Montpellier without his knowledge. Further proof of the incompetence throughout the club came when summer signing Toma Basic was not registered for the Europa League group stages: he had meant to be. Then came the appointment of Ricardo, who was the de facto head coach but could not be given that job title as he did not have the correct qualifications to work in France. As such, it was Eric Bedouet’s name that went down on the teamsheet each week. Ricardo had been a solid but unspectacular coach when last with Bordeaux, and though he had enjoyed some success in his native Brazil, he proved ineffectual this time around. Bordeaux did flirt with the top half of the table in the middle part of the campaign, largely thanks to Francois Kamano’s goal scoring contribution, but once the winger had his head turned by transfer offers in January, which were not taken up by the club, he slipped back into mediocrity. A takeover midway through the season only served to muddy the waters for Bordeaux. In the latter part of the campaign they were neither one thing nor the other, and that was especially evident once Paulo Sousa took over from the sacked Ricardo. The Portuguese endured a dire start to life in France, which saw Bordeaux slip to a record six-successive Ligue 1 defeats, having plenty of the ball but no penetration to speak of. A final day win over Caen finally broke that run but the squad clearly needs an overhaul in the summer, while Sousa’s poor conclusion to the season means that the pressure will be on him to achieve it quickly. There were no clear success stories this time around; this cannot be the case in 12 months.


Player of the Season: Pablo Nascimento Castro

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