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Conor McDonald: The Student

Started on 18 April 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 19 May 2023 by Viola Gray
The loss to Dijon can be forgiven, I'm guessing that Conor had enjoyed a late night with Chloé the night before and wasn't feeling as energetic as usual. Drink some Gatorade and Red Bull next time mate, you still need to get the 3-points ;) You've turned it around after that, the Bayern loss isn't a poor one by any means. Keep plodding along, the end of PSG's dominance gets nearer everyday.

Bordeaux Confirm Bigot Arrival

Girondins de Bordeaux have confirmed their first transfer of the January window, snapping up Paris Saint-Germain’s Lenny Bigot for €18million.

The 21-year-old French U21 international was transfer listed after failing to make a first-team appearances since returning from his successful loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach last season.

Born on 7th March 2006 in the capital of Paris, Lenny Bigot joined the Paris Saint-Germain academy at the age of 11 years old. Just four years later, made his first senior league appearance aged 15 years old for Paris’ reserve team in the Championnat National 2.

Bigot pushed his way into the first-team with a Parc des Princes debut in 2024, starting against Lille in Ligue 1 at the side of Marquinhos. He would go on to finish the season back in the Paris Saint-Germain reserves but Bigot would force a more permanent role in the first-team the next season.

In the 2024/25 French season, Bigot made 12 league appearances for his boyhood team, including 8 starts in Ligue 1. He also made 3 cup appearances for the first-team as he halved his playing time with the reserve team.

With Bigot not yet ready for a more permanent role in Paris’ back line he was loaned out to Serie A outfit Fiorentina where he flourished, making 35 appearances for La Viola in the 2025/26 campaign as his team finished 9th.

After seeing the progress of Bigot’s development speed up on loan abroad, Paris sent him out on loan once again last season, this time to the German Bundesliga as he joined Borussia Monchengladbach for the season.

Once again, he performed very well both individually – picking up three Man of the Match awards – and as a team, becoming a key part in their qualification for the Europa Conference League with 32 league appearances along the way.

Following Paris Saint-Germain’s big spending on defenders upon his return, splitting a grand total of €175million on three new centre-backs in the form of Nikola Milenkovic, Marcos Senesi and Federico Aguero, Bigot would not be able to get close to a first-team spot as he had done previously.

He was transfer-listed for €18million in December and an offer was accepted two days later from title rivals Bordeaux who subsequently agreed a contract with Bigot and his representative to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

Scott: I agree but it's just a shame that we have to rely on them to be successful.
Seb: He shoots, he scores ;) The Lille game was disappointing but certainly made up for with that run.
James: We won against Dijon! It's the other way around, Chloé was the factor in our run ;) The Bayern loss wasn't bad so far in the fact we have now qualified for the next round, so we'll take it on the chin :P
Ooooh, it was the game against Lille :( Should've checked again before posting! Bigot looks like a good get for €18m, but I am a little concerned by the somewhat lack of height that your defenders have. I've no doubts that Conor will get them performing, it's just a personal preference of mine to have lads that are 6'2" or taller :)
Bigot looks a fantastic acquisition having the perfect blend of attributes for a central defender. Pace in abundance but with plenty of strength and obvious ability. One that PSG will miss in the future, I bet.
It's certainly both a blessing and a curse having PSG in the same league as you. A lot of incredibly talented homegrown prospects are developed and because PSG have money in abundance they go out and spend ready made players allowing you to scoop in with bargains like this. However it does mean PSG have world class players at all times. Bigot looks a great player who can really develop into one of those world class centerbacks, high hopes for him.
Almost perfect months for you, but PSG is maybe the hardest to dethrone, don't loose hope and you will catch them!

December & January Results

Ligue 1 Standings (as of 31st January 2028)

Champions League Group B Standings (as of 31st December 2027)

Conor’s Verdict

These two months have been simply exceptional in almost every aspect, we maintained a 100% win record as well as securing an extremely important win against Paris in the league.

December was very good for us with the exception of our final Champions League game. We had a fairly simple schedule but with our previous records against middling teams, it was excellent that we managed to go through the month without a hiccup.

Similarly, with January the two fixtures against both Paris and Nantes were games that I had my eye on immediately. Paris were six points ahead and their team were steamrolling the division since the beginning of the season. Nantes are a team that I have struggled with since taking over and almost every time I see them on the list, I dread our contest.

The late Kingsley Shagari winner against Paris Saint-Germain was a fantastic moment for all of us to be able to turn around a 2-1 deficit and grab possibly the most important result of the season in our last opportunity to directly affect the course of Paris’ and our seasons.

In the Coupe de France, with the win in the league against Paris, I didn’t mind going out of the cup despite being the current holders of the competition. That said, the way we went out with another 4-0 loss at the hands of Paris should’ve been dealt with a lot better than we did.

In the coming months towards the end of the season, all we can hope for is another slip-up from Paris Saint-Germain and for us, to keep the wins rolling in the league.

One thing I will be focusing on in training is our defensive work. We have kept a good record with clean sheets but in the games where we do concede, we seem to let a couple go past us and that is something I really want to fix and possibly look at reforming the defence and goalkeeping next summer.

In the Champions League, we have drawn RB Leipzig which I consider to be a less difficult opponent than last year’s draw against Dortmund but a challenge nonetheless. I personally have history with Leipzig after beating them with Cobh in the Europa League Final and I intend to cause another upset.

James: If you're good enough, you're tall enough ;)
Scott: I can't believe a French kid of his quality was let go for such a fee! I feel that he's an automatic starter for all the reasons you mentioned.
Seb: Indeed, it's a strange one for them to let go of him to a club knocking on their door in recent years but I guess they have such a good defence that they find Bigot dispensable. Now to catch up with the Parisians and make them regret it!
OneMoreGame: It's a tough one is this division with the financial powerhouse of PSG there. All we can do is maintain this form and hope for a slip up!
That last gasp winner against PSG :O YES! Not bothered by the loss to Inter, or the loss in the cup to PSG either, as the league is far, far, far more important than the Coupe de France. You're making some great progress, and I think it's quite clear that Chloé is having a positive influence on Conor's career... keeping his head clear so to speak ;)

Best of luck in your upcoming games, but it appears that you've got your team on a roll now. Look out! :D
Perfection! Win the important matches and focus on the main competition when you've already qualified in the CL, great work! Get out of the way, Paris!
That victory over PSG is incredible not in all aspects with it really closing that gap on the leagues dominant side. I wonder if this could be the year...

Bordeaux Edge into Quarter-Finals

Conor McDonald’s Bordeaux have qualified for the Champions League Quarter-Final with a 7-6 aggregate win over RB Leipzig.

Bordeaux finished top of Group B to draw Leipzig in the Round of 16 who could only muster a 2nd placed finish in Group E, three points behind winners Paris Saint-Germain.

The Ligue 1 leaders have not lost a game in 21 matches domestically despite being knocked out of the Coupe de France in January.

Leipzig on the other hand are enduring a domestic fight with Hannover 96 for the final Champions League spot this season as Wolfsburg dominate the Bundesliga unbeaten.

In the First Leg of this tie that Bordeaux were knocked out of by Leipzig’s German counterparts Borussia Dortmund, Conor McDonald guided his team to an away victory at the Red Bull Arena.

Stéphane Pruvost and Robbert de Kok led Bordeaux to a 2-1 lead before Geraldo Szpilman added his first just before half-time. Timo Werner pegged the opposition back but Szpilman sealed an all-important 4-2 win by completing his brace in the 78th minute.

Three wins in Ligue 1 saw Bordeaux go into the Second Leg at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in high spirits. Another Stéphane Pruvost opener continued this momentum in the 17th minute.

Despite a Werner equaliser in the first-half, Abdelkader Cheraitia filled in perfectly for the injured Szpilman by scoring a brace to take the Second Leg to 3-1 in Bordeaux’s favour.

However, things began to get nervy for McDonald’s team with three consecutive goals from Leipzig in the last fifteen minutes as the away team took a 4-3 lead in the Second Leg.

With two minutes remaining after Torsten Trommer’s 93rd minute Second Leg winner, Bordeaux’s defence had to scrap to keep the German onslaught out as they confirmed their place in the Quarter-Finals with a 7-6 aggregate win.

Bordeaux have now been drawn against English Premier League outfit Manchester City in the Quarter-Finals. Whichever side comes out on top in that tie will face the winners of the Liverpool-Borussia Dortmund Quarter-Final.

The only other French side, Paris Saint-Germain defeated Real Madrid in the Round of 16 and have been drawn against the current La Liga and Champions League holders Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals as they look to secure a second consecutive European victory.

James: The PSG game was something else. Pure elation! Chloé has certainly added an aspect to Conor which has played out onto the pitch ;)
OneMoreGame: It really is the league focus this time! CL, fine, but it's the league that matters now - especially after that PSG game.
Seb: It's getting that feeling about it... Something could happen!
You've managed to get through that tie by the skin of your teeth, I only hope that your defenders can actually defend in the next round against City. Although, I wouldn't be too disappointed to see you go out if it means you can win the league... If you can beat City though, one would assume that you can go on to win it all, because all the other teams are considerably weaker ;)
That was a close call but you have done well to come through it with the win in the end without your star striker in the second leg. City will be a very tough matchup with their spending power, but competing with PSG domestically, you are used to it now.
Superb job beating Red Bull even though both matches were tough to watch I assume. The next opponent though will be extreme test and your players must be an their top game to get a result!

February & March Results

Ligue 1 Standings (as of 31st March 2028)

Conor’s Verdict

Things are beginning to become very exciting now. I have spent two years at Bordeaux and at this
stage I have not felt so buzzed yet nervous about the outcome of a league campaign, even since I
was at Cobh Ramblers.

As it was always, it is a two-horse race but with a nineteen and a seventeen-point splitting both
ourselves and Paris with 3rd, our focus is all on the title and the Champions League now.

Paris lost their game against Lyon 4-1 at the Groupama Stadium in February and we have capitalised
on that tremendously by continuing our unbelievable run of form in the league.

As mentioned in January, we worked hard defensively in training and aside from the Leipzig
matches, we have been solid at the back with five out of a possible eight clean sheets in the league
from February through to March.

Thankfully, both contenders are still in the Champions League so we have equal focus on the same
competitions going into the decisive final months of the campaign.

However, I do believe we have a much tougher run-in than our title rivals. We face Monaco in our
first game of April along with Europa League contenders Marseille and Toulouse immediately after
that and our Champions League games against Manchester City. We also play Lyon in May as our
third-from-last game of the season and they are chasing Lille’s Champions League spot.

On the other hand, Paris have a much easier run-in with Lille, Nice and Saint-Étienne really being the
only three teams we can expect a slip-up from.

The next time we correspond I hope to have my first Ligue 1 trophy sat in front of me.

James: You might be right about the height of these defenders, who knows?! :P City will be a tough task, but our run of form may benefit us.
Seb: This is the issue: so many teams with money, yet there's little old Bordeaux with relatively not as much and we're expected to compete. Any game from here should be counted as a giantkilling if it ends in victory.
OneMoreGame: Two very different games despite the same teams. Even if we do go out here, the boys have done the club proud by getting this far.

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