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Red Bull In Paris : RB Paris

Started on 13 November 2020 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 8 May 2021 by TheLFCFan
Loving the premise. Great write ups so far. Im definitely following.
Tidy designs. Nothing out of the ordinary though from a Red Bull franchise club.

Growing pains was the theme of this summer as Patrice Evra tried to adjust the roster to fit a 4-3-3, with little to work with on the transfer market General Manager Frédéric Hébert looked to free transfers, youth signings, and loans to help bridge between the current team and the youth the team would like to develop. Evra inherits a squad that barely escaped relegation after a 17th place finish in the 2019-20 season, only (2) points kept the team out of the Championnat National with the second worst goal differential in Ligue 2. It won’t take much to improve on that finish, the media and ownership are aligned on their expectations for this year with a Top 10 place.

With some early financial restrictions hanging over their head RB Paris did not look to make many summer signings, but things have a way of getting out of control. The club did not have much to work with in terms of transfer budget, so players needed to be sold and a large group of players needed to be allowed to leave as their contracts expired. There is some additional reluctance to spend too much before the club is in Ligue 1, so a failure to earn promotion might make things even more difficult on Evra. In terms of locker room atmosphere, things didn’t go well right out of the gate as a number of older players were allowed to leave on free transfers and a few well liked veterans were sold to add some much needed transfer revenue and reduce pressure on the wage budget. The tipping point became the sale of DM Cyril Mandouki, an influential player and best option as the anchor man / defensive cover in a 4-1-2-3 formation. The €375K offered for him nearly tripled the reported transfer budget and Mandouki appears to no longer have a place in the squad with Evra favoring a 4-2-3-1, for management the sale was easy but a number of senior players were concerned with the sale and cited a lack of midfield depth. Trading away a captain is never popular, but at the moment Evra can’t be too concerned with the status quo as Red Bull GmbH pushes to rebuild the club.

If €375K for your captain works then €450K for a second choice LB looks really good, two teams were in on Algerian LB Ali Adbi and Hébert had to make the move. The team has been tracking a number of wing-back options, free transfers and loans, so making a big sale was almost a no-brainer on this one. Scouting Director Rachid Khalifa was working overtime since the moment Evra arrived with the club getting very aggressive on free transfers and loan signings. The tiny staff on hand, which ownership will look to expand in the future, looked all over France for young players who could add much needed depth to the squad and may have struck gold in a few instances. RW Wilson Isidor of AS Monaco was a huge snag for Evra, the teenager becomes an excellent option at either wing, and he’s very affordable so there is little pressure to play him over more established players. Crossing the English Channel to sign Fulham U-23 player RB Cody Drameh was also a solid grab for a rapidly dwindling wing-back depth chart. Both Isidor and Drameh have the best chance of getting starts, hopefully it won’t come to that but Evra feels good about the additions.

Can Wilson Isidor solve Evra's problems?

When it came to permanent signings Hébert had a very solid start with one major exception. The moment signing Yohan Cabaye seemed like an option reporters started swarming and the club faced some pressure from fans and the media to get things done. The hype was not commensurate with the reality of the situation, Cabaye was indeed willing to talk about a 1-year deal but once talks advanced it became clear this deal wasn’t going anywhere. Inside sources report that salary and agent fees killed the deal, one of the oddities of the situation was that Cabaye was acting as his own agent so the RB Paris board had an issue with the agent fees. In the end the club just couldn’t afford the deal and Hébert had to switch his approach to younger players, luckily for him things worked out much better than expected. Argentinian CAM Cristian Ferreira, available on a free, was a massive snag at a position the team was looking to improve and he has a chance at taking the starting job. At (25) he’s also young enough that he could bring stability for a number of years. Hébert stayed in South America for the clubs’ first big transfer fee with São Paulo CB João Paulo who, much like Ferreira, may have a chance to grab a starting spot. €75K was almost all of their initial transfer budget, but the pending sales of Mandouki and Adbi made €75K very affordable. Things got even easier when Marseille came in for RB Paris 2 midfielder Adama Barro, an offer of €81K for a player that had no place in the squad was a sitter for Hébert and Evra. A club with a long history of surviving on free transfers was suddenly able to invest in better players, while the sums are small the Red Bull touch is already obvious.

The final impact signing was CF David Faupala. Getting him on a free wasn’t easy with Red Star FC and Rouen also vying for his signature, but the opportunity presented at RB Paris was too much to pass up on. Faupala instantly enters the race for the starting CF spot while adding much needed depth to the attack. Youngster Lamine Diaby-Fadiga could also benefit from a veteran presence, even if he wins the starting job.

Senior / Major Transfers (Out)
Ali Adbi (LB, Kasımpaşa) €450K
Cyril Mandouki (CM, KV Kortrijk) €375K
Adama Barro (CM, Marseille) €81K
Thomas Garcia (RB, US Concarnoise) €23.5K
Didier Laurent (CB, Brest) €27K

Senior Transfers (In)
João Paulo (CB, São Paulo FC) €75K
Cristian Ferreira (CAM, Free Agent) €0
David Faupala (CF, Free Agent) €0
Manu Fuster (CAM, Free Agent) €0
Marcel Lavinier (RB, Free Agent) €0
Théo Sainte-Luce (CB, Nîmes) Loan
Wilson Isidor (RW, AS Monaco) Loan
Daylam Meddah (CM, Le Havre) Loan
Cody Drameh (RB, Fulham) Loan
Costinha (RB, Rio Ave) Loan

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Evra and his back room team are certainly stamping their authority on the squad. Some big incomings and outgoing already!
Some very impressive additions! Particularly looking forward to seeing Faupala and Isidor in action.

Quimper, near the mouth of the Odet river in western France, was the setting for Patrice Evra’s first look at his squad. A few players had already signed before training camp had started but there would be a few additions and departures before the week was up. Evra wouldn’t face a great deal of pressure in his first season, outside of the pressure of being a first time manager, RB Paris would enter the season at 16-1 odds for promotion to Ligue 1 with the media picking them to finish 11th.

Outside of the Cyril Mandouki transfer fueled acrimony, Quimper was the perfect low-key backdrop for a reshaping of tactics. Evra would need a nice relaxing view out over the Odet almost immediately as starting right-back Gaëtan Belaud would suffer a fairly concerning hip injury. The injury would knock Belaud out for up to (3) months, a serious blow to Evra’s plans, promoting 21-year old Thibault Campanini to the starting lineup and sending the club running to the transfer market for right-back depth.

Evra’s opening effort on the sideline was sobering but not discouraging as Red Bull affiliate RB Salzburg would edge Les Taureaux 1-0 at Stade Sébastien Charléty. A modest crowd would be in attendance, with a healthy scattering of Paris FC jerseys among the newly minted RB Paris ones, it was pretty clear that it will take some time before the fans buy in completely. Their second game, hosting Sochaux, would be a wildly different outing from the first. A straight red for Campanini at 41’ would put RB Paris a man down, already up 3-0 it would look like Sochaux would have a way back into the game. Starting RW Jonathan Pitroïpa would leave the game with a pulled groin, opening the door wider for the visitors, but somehow Evra pulled the right strings and his side would stun Sochaux by adding (4) more for a solid 7-0 win.

A limp loss and a wild blowout would paint two very different pictures, but Evra was quick to bring expectations back down to earth.

“We are still learning, still coming together, still dealing with some losses. I would love to win 7-0 every week, but sometimes these things happen before the season. We need to be better than Salzburg, what we showed in that game, but we also can’t have people sent off.”

Evra’s approach to the Sochaux result turned out to be very sage as things leveled out in the coming weeks. A 3-2 win over Brest would serve as a flash point in the CAM competition as it started to turn into a three man race. Marvin Gakpa, the incumbent, would find himself on the wrong side of the coaching staff with rumors that Cristian Ferreira was rapidly becoming the favorite. Things got worse for the veteran when he would be taken off for Said Arab after a slight injury only to see Arab score, Arab would also go on to have a great game while helping his side flip a 1-0 deficit into a 3-2 win. Gakpa’s summer got even worse in the next game when Evra called on Ferreira to face LOSC Lille, the best team on the preseason schedule, and he would earn PoM honors in a dominating 2-1 win. João Paulo would also get his shot at the starting roster with Ousmane Kanté in central defense, Axel Bamba would feel some heat but many believe that Evra will stick with the Kanté-Bamba partnership. The two have played together before and show a solid partnership, with depth issues up the middle Evra might not gamble with a semi-unknown like João Paulo in his first senior season. The final game before the Ligue 2 opener would be a good 2-1 win over Standard Liège which would set the right tone for the season, in both the Lille and Liège games Evra would be able to show the attacking width and control desired. Lille and Liège both struggled to contain RB Paris on the wings which is exactly the kind of attack Evra has been working on all summer, hopefully this will carry over into the league and 11th place will look like a silly prediction.

João Paulo’s hopes of making his way into the starting XI took a hit in the week before Ligue 2 commenced when the club announced a new contract for Bamba through 2023. Reports of improved wages around €4K / week point to confidence in Bamba and a scarcity of CB options, the addition of Théo Sainte-Luce on loan from Nîmes is a short term solution but many believe the club will look to improve their depth either during the January window or next summer. The seemingly good news was overshadowed by Evra’s first real challenge on the man-management side of things when Gakpa did not turn up for training on the last day of the preseason. Rumors are swirling that the club has been shopping him around, happy with the Ferreira-Arab depth at CAM, and he’s upset about being forced out of the club. Whether or not he’s sold it looks like his time in Paris is over.
A move such as this will most definitely divide supporters and there will be many that can only identify with the former identity of Paris FC rather than the newly adopted identity as RB Paris, so I'm not overly surprised that you note there were supporters who still adorned the shirts of Paris FC.

As for Evra's comments, he's spot on. Rome wasn't built in a day and nor will this new project.

*I'm not adding COVID-19 to this mess, so the Euro happens on time.*

Few events come close to the spectacle of the UEFA European Championships and this year was no different. Only the World Cup can claim to be a bigger draw than all the best nations in Europe facing off, and nothing short of a global pandemic would keep spectators from cramming into stadiums to cheer on their heroes. RB Paris had little stake in the game with none of their players getting a call, but with France looking like potential Champions the city of Paris was all about Les Bleus.

The French fell short, but Spain found themselves back on the European throne at Wembley Stadium. A tense 2-1 win over Portugal, with Jordi Alba scoring the winner, would deny Ronaldo his last chance at Euro glory and give Spain their 4th title. The Spaniards would get there thanks to a 1-0 win over Italy in one semifinal and Portugal would squeeze by Belgium in the other 5-3 on penalties after finishing the game 2-2. Belgium’s Divock Origi would be denied by David De Gea to seal the win.

Robert Lewandowski would finish the tournament as the top scorer with (6) while Alba’s winner would be the perfect end to a great showing. Alba would walk away with (2) PoM awards and (3) assists, more than anyone else, to go along with the trophy.

It will likely be years, maybe a decade, before RB Paris will have players suiting up for France or any national team but ownership is committed to making that as commonplace as it is for PSG or any of Europe’s elite.

Patrice Evra doesn’t inherit a particularly bad roster, but he is going to run into some age issues very quickly. His best player, left-back Florent Hanin, is (30) and as the idiom goes he’s not getting any younger. Team captain Vincent Demarconnay (37) suddenly retired before the start of the season and forced Anthony Maisonnial (22), who was likely the future GK prior to Demarconnay’s retirement, between the posts. Algerian Yanis Laïb would be called up from RB Paris II to serve as backup. Demarconnay won’t be the last retirement hanging over Evra’s head with right-wingers Jonathan Pitroïpa and Lalaïna Nomenjanahary announcing their retirements before the season, only Pitroïpa will figure into the current squad.

Demarconnay’s departure also forced Evra into re-evaluating the leadership structure, going with former Vice-Captain Ousmane Kanté and promoting veteran midfielder Moustapha Name to his vacated Vice-Captain slot. The shuffling also created an opening for improvement as senior GK Coach Mickaël Boully would leave the club after his contract expired and Evra opted not to renew it, instead the club would bring in Cristian Mas who spent the last two seasons at Le Have AC. The hiring would be considered a solid upgrade with the hope that his experience will help Maisonnal settle into the starting spot and improve quickly.

Things look even worse in attack with two of his best attackers, RW Jonathan Pitroipa (34) and Florian Martin (30), moving past their prime and on the other extreme Evra will be looking to Lamine Diaby-Fadiga (19) to hold down the center forward position in his second senior season after coming over from OGC Nice on a free. The addition of Cristian Ferreira on a free transfer looks like a huge snag for Evra, the team was in desperate need of a creative attacking element in the middle of the field and he could be just that. Beyond that the first time manager is grasping for anything that will bolster his squad, specifically on attack and at wing-back. Evra did manage to fill those holes during the transfer window, but most of them were done with loan signings that are more like a high-risk high-reward venture. Landing right-winger Wilson Isidor from AS Monaco was a big win, despite his age he floated right to the top of the depth chart and looks to be the starter on the right. He’s the kind of player Evra could really use long term but an outright purchase was out of the question with their transfer budget. Cody Drameh was also a major win, the Fulham right-back represents a massive upgrade and will hopefully combine with Isidor on the right to form a dangerous attacking duo.

CB João Paulo took up the bulk of Evra’s transfer budget and managed to force his way into the senior squad over the summer, so far his signing is looking like the kind RB Paris desperately need to keep improving. He lacks pace but his passing and positioning has proven key, it also helps that he’s shown himself to be dangerous on corners during practice and games. Evra hasn’t admitted it to the media, who constantly press him on the issue, but their big signing has pushed Axel Bamba out of the starting lineup. If he continues to play well he could be the difference between a mid-table finish and a playoff spot.

Can Diaby-Fadiga handle the responsibility?
As a NY Red Bull season ticket holder ( live a half mile from the arena), i'm looking forward to see how this turns out.

Red Bull Paris enters the Ligue 2 battle with a number of teams ready to push ahead of them in the promotion race. Patrice Evra will have his work cut out for him, but many believe that finishing near or in the promotion playoff isn’t out of the question, the trap he will need to avoid is becoming a yo-yo team that never manages to settle into the top tier life.

The top of the Ligue 2 ecosystem is populated by teams who have tasted the good life in Ligue 1 and a number of those teams are picked to make a return trip. SM Caen, Amiens SC, and EA Guingamp are the odd-on favorites for promotion with all of them just a few seasons removed from Ligue 1 runs. SM Caen looks to be the primary favorite, the definition of a yo-yo team, as they have the longest recent history of promotion and have a younger core of talent. Their biggest issue is instability at manager, Pascal Dupraz barely made it through half of the 2019-20 season before he was sacked and replaced by current manager Franck Dumas. Dumas was basically taken off the scrap heap, stolen from Algerian side JS Kabylie, having last managed in France (AC Arles) in 2014. Amiens SC is in a similar managerial boat with a revolving door for managers, but while they have a decent veteran core they are all aging and the team lacks a solid goalscorer they can rely on. EA Guincamp aren’t much better off after poaching Philippe Hinschberger from Grenoble, he’s basically spent his whole career bouncing around Ligue 2 and has the weakest squad to work with of the three. Making things worse for Hinschberger is a sell off; Ludovic Blas (€8M), Sikou Niakaté (€5.7M), and Pedro Rebocho (€3.9M) have all been sold with few comparable replacements. Their best addition is the loan of Manchester United’s Aliou Traoré, if he can show some scoring form perhaps their chances will be better than they appear.

The dark horse candidate to win promotion is FC Metz, the fared poorly in Ligue 1 recently with relegation seasons in 2018-17 and 2019-20 but made it back by winning the league in between. Rémi Garde inherits a decent side from Vincent Hognon, who was sacked midway through their 2019-20 relegation campaign, and there is a chance that FC Metz have another league title in them.

On the wrong end of the spectrum is A.S. Béziers, US Orléans, and AJ Auxerre. A.S. Béziers has risen rapidly from the French CFA 2, going from Championnat National 2 in 2010-11 to Ligue 2 in 2018-19 only to find themselves back down in the Championnat National again. They did bounce back to win the league and make it back to Ligue 2, but they are one of the favorites for relegation this year. US Orléans has a similar history though they peaked at 8th in Ligue 2 in 2018-19, but two consecutive seasons near the bottom with a different manager every one of those seasons points to a team moving in the wrong direction. AJ Auxerre is a bit of a wild guess, they were a Ligue 1 side until falling out in 2011-12 but just about every season since then has been a wild swing in the wrong direction. They finished 9th, 16th, 9th, 8th, 17th, 11th, 15th, and 3rd (lost in the playoffs) in recent years and many in the game have them picked for a big drop after most feel they overachieved by finishing 3rd.

RB Paris lands somewhere in the middle of these, with the organizational strength brough by Red BUll GmbH few think the team will need to worry about relegation barring a massive collapse on Evra’s part. Early indications are that he’s got the team playing on a level that should keep them mid-table all year with a ceiling of a playoff slot.
There is some tough competition in Ligue 2, that's for certain. It will be interesting to see how Evra and the team go about their business, especially early on in the campaign.
good luck

Paris FC, now Red Bull Paris, hasn’t played in Ligue 1 since the 1978-79 season and based on how this season started the drought will continue at least another year. First time manager Patrice Evra had a decent preseason as a newly constructed roster started to get used to playing together, but friendlies always have a way of falling short of the real thing.

An opening game against Rodez Aveyron Football seemed like the perfect fixture to ease the team into league play, but instead it turned into a perfect example of how far this team needs to go. A 3-2 win would be a whirlwind of problems and hope, primarily Cristian Ferreira scoring twice in the first half to erase a 1-0 deficit after just 4’ of play. Mohamad Omar Malta would head in a free kick to give Evra a rude awakening and Aurélien Tertereau would do the same in stoppage time to pull Rodez even at the half. Ousmane Kanté would head in a corner at 79’, adding an assist to Ferreira’s PoM resume, to win the game and rescue Evra’s first league outing.

“I saw a lot of good things,” said Evra after the game “and I saw some things we need to work on. We have a long season ahead of us and plenty of work.”

The next four games were a continuation of the problems that popped up against Rodez, primarily defending set pieces, as the offense started to move in the wrong direction. SM Caen (1-1) and EA Guingamp (0-0) saw Evra’s tactics fall flat on their face, needing a penalty (handball) to get the ball in the net against Caen. The fact that it came at 90+2’ to rescue a point only made it more frustrating, enjoying possession and piling up shots wasn’t resulting in goals. To be fair, RB Paris had two goals called back for offsides against Caen, perhaps things just weren’t breaking their way.

RB Paris would seem to right the ship against RC Lens with a 2-1 win, but a Florian Martin goal just 2’ into the game looked more like a fluke than a correction. Where the disallowed goals against Caen seemed like bad luck, now they look like disciplinary issues as Evra had to suffer through two disallowed Jonathan Pitroïpa goals on corners. It looked like unforced errors were going to cost Evra the win, but Ferreira saved the day with a late goal on a free kick. The good feelings wouldn’t carry over to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Grenoble, a 1-0 lead would vanish at 89’ with some sloppy defending on what could be called classic Route One football. RB Paris has shown an ability to dominate possession and attack with width and pace, just like Evra and management promised, but they are getting caught out at the back much too often and Anthony Maisonnial has proven to be a liability in one-on-one or breakaway situations.

The player of the month would be Ferreira, with Florian Martin a distant second. Ferreira’s (3) goals would be key, and with nobody else showing a propensity to put the ball in the goal his efforts would stand out. Anyone who doubted João Paulo would be able to contribute right away turned out to be very wrong, he appears to be a step away from being a permanent member of the starting squad.

A decent start given some of the opposition have been some of the contenders for promotion such as Caen, Guingamp and Lens.

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