Toulouse

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Round 12

Toulouse 2 - 3 Olympique Lyonnais
2019-11-02 19:00 More Reports
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2019-11-10 16:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Toulouse

In


Efthymios Koulouris (att) (PAOK); Agustin Rogel (Samara) ; Jean-Victor Makengo (Nice, loan), William Vainqueur (mid) (Antalyaspor, loan); Steve Yago (def) (Le Havre, loan end)

Out


Christopher Jullien (r)(def) (Celtic); Andy Delort (att) (Montpellier); Alexis Blin (mid) (Amiens); Steven Fortes (def) (Lens); Yannick Cahuzac (sp)(mid) (Lens); Yann Bodiger (mid) (Cadiz); Clement Michelin (def) (Lens); Francois Moubandje (sp)(def) (Dinamo Zagreb); Jimmy Durmaz (r)(mid) (Galatasaray); Hakim El Mokeddem (mid) (Laval); Jessy Pi (mid) (Caen); Marc Vidal (gk) (released); Firmin Mubele (att) (Astana, loan)

Toulouse have spent recent seasons fighting against relegation from Ligue 1, though the last time they were not in the top flight was 2003. In all five of the last campaigns, they have finished in the bottom half, while only twice have they been more than a place above the automatic relegation spots. Last season, when they finished 16th, could be argued as something of a success, but given that they picked up only 38 points from 38 games, they were fortunate there were not a couple more teams better than them. Indeed, over the last two campaigns, they average less than a point per match. Alain Casanova can feel himself somewhat fortunate to still be in charge of the club ahead of the new campaign, but the same problems they suffered last term still appear to be evident. The squad has not changed dramatically, though they have worked to sign four additional players. Efthymios Koulouris could perhaps be the most important of these. The striker from PAOK scored a very impressive 19 goals in 28 Super League matches last season and Toulouse need him to return significantly if they are to attain more comfortable survival. There is, of course, no guarantee that he will settle easily, but after Aaron Leya Iseka and Yaya Sanogo both flopped last term, they need a source of offensive inspiration that is not Max Gradel, who was leaned upon far too much. Yanniack Cahuzac left for Lens in the summer, depriving TFC of the kind of battling qualities that a side in the relegation fight needs. William Vainqueur seems to be his replacement but is not quite as gritty, while Jean-Victor Makengo also reinforces the heart of the field. He will add more energy to the side than Manu Garcia, who was on loan from Man City last season but had only a modest impact. Defensively, Christopher Jullien, who is perhaps their best centre-back, has moved on to Celtic. Agustin Rogel has been added from Samara but arrives in France a rather unknown quantity. One positive for Toulouse is that they have a strong youth section and their academy players have typically stepped up impressively when called upon. It seems likely they will need these qualities this season.

Target


Avoiding relegation is again the target.

Season Review
2018/2019

№16: Toulouse

Toulouse spent another campaign fighting against relegation, finishing one point and two places better off than they did 12 months ago, when they needed a playoff to secure their Ligue 1 status. Alain Casanova was brought back to the club last summer as head coach and reinstated the pragmatic football that had helped him to succeeded – relatively speaking – with the team previously. The net result was adequate but a lack of excitement combined with poor home form for much of the campaign means that winning the home support over remains elusive. TFC had seemed to have made positive steps to improving their attack last summer but they ended up scoring only 35 goals – the fewest they have managed since they returned to the top flight around 15 years ago. Offensively, Toulouse were utterly reliant on Max Gradel. When he was not on form, they struggled badly. Others should have been capable of contributing more, with centre forward Aaron Leya Iseka and Yaya Sanogo not coming up to scratch. Winger Mathieu Dossevi was also capable of better. In the midfield, there were too many non-performers. Manu Garcia only impressed fleetingly, having arrived on loan from Manchester City, while Jimmy Durmaz finished the season excellently but had not played like that for the eight previous months. One man who did have a very good season was Ibrahima Sangare, whose defensive contribution was immense. He is set for a big summer move. Even at the back, the area of the squad where Casanova should have excelled in fixing, Toulouse were not impressive. Indeed, they had to switch shape midway through the season, finishing with three centre-backs, as they struggled so much. Christopher Jullien had an especially bad start to the season, making numerous silly errors. He did tighten up in the second half of the campaign but was not his usual force from offensive set pieces. Meanwhile, the arrival of Gen Shoji in January was important. Even in goal, Toulouse did not find any great solidarity, with Casanova unclear whether Mauro Goicoechea or Baptiste Reynet would be first choice. Once again, TFC are faced with the prospect of a busy summer to confront numerous problems.


Player of the Season: Max Gradel

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