PARIS FC Preview
5 August 2016
Usually we do not cover the Championnat National in full or at all but when it comes to season previews we do always add the two or three clubs that were relegated and participate in the current seasons Coupe de la Ligue. Today we preview Paris Football Club.
Paris Football Club will be looking for a way to return to the Ligue de Football Professionnel after being relegated at the end of the 2015/16 Ligue 2 season. In their first season back to the LFP in decades the club finished dead last.
Last season saw two managers take control of the club. The most recent Jean-Luc Vasseur quit the team a day after the season had finished. It was a troubling time for Chairman Pierre Ferracci as his club was also in severe debt.
Vasseur left the club a huge void and now 34-year-old Kévin Gauthier has been brought in from New Caledonian side AS Mont-Dore to improve on his predecessor’s record.
It will be interesting because during the offseason the club saw tons of change with the roster. Several new players will have a shot at impressing their new manager.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FROM LAST SEASON:
Gauthier replacing Vasseur on the bench is obviously the biggest change from last season but PFC have had a huge turnover on the roster with twenty-five new faces three of which have joined since Gauthier took over in June.
Mehdi Tahrat and Tiécoro Keita have moved on, to Rival Red Star nonetheless. While several other players have left on frees and have found new homes. Thomas Martin, Apoño, Anthony Ribelin, Quentin Othon and Anthony Ribelin have replaced those departures. Also, one of Gauthier’s first signing was Eddy Lecygne.
The latter, a decently rated French youth product, joined on loan from English Premier side Stoke City until the end of the season but the other four will all form part of Gauthier’s new-look PFC that is based more on a strong collective than in previous seasons.
Anything less than at least a return to Ligue 2 this season will be deemed unacceptable and could land Gauthier in difficulty after less than a year in charge.
Although PFC’s board knows promotion is the main objective cup play is even more important. The club is needing to make up for the relegation back into the Championnat National so advancing in both cups is important. Especially in the Coupe de la Ligue as this is their final season of participation unless they return to the professional levels.
However, failing to win the Championnat National title would be considered a massive failure, so Gauthier must make sure his team is mentally and physically prepared into the long season to be in with a chance of keeping his new bosses happy.
The turnover from last season has Paris FC in a very uncertain light but with how well their preseason went for them and the new signings since Gauthier took over, I can easily see them as promotion favorites.
Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, Le PFC will return to Ligue 2 for the 2017/18 season. The question is, will they be able to stay healthy?
Strangely, the moves made by the French capital outfit this summer arguably make them stronger in league competition but raise questions if they can win in the higher leagues with such a small budget.
This will be the season that PFC spends its final season in the Championnat National. With the addition of Kévin Gauthier I have a feeling that they will be a stable club in the LFP for years to come.