Friday, 21 December 2012

Brest vs PSG: [insert terrible Brest pun of your choice here]

the first picture that appeared when I typed autumn into Google
I don't really get this business of being Autumn Champions.

Call me old fashioned, but I'd prefer to be actual champions and, as any cliche-spouting football manager will confirm, no prizes are handed out in December, except meaningless ones like Sports Personality of the Year. What do you get for being autumn champions anyway? Some conkers? A bag of fallen leaves? Bottled smell of bonfire?

The French seem to think it's a big deal though. PSG were Autumn Champions last year (for the uninitiated, this title goes to the team topping Ligue 1 going into the winter break), and are likely retain their "crown" with a win in Brest tonight in what is our final game of the first half of the season.

"The coach told us to focus on the fact that the holiday is only on Friday (today) at around 11pm, and not before," said Christophe Jallet, taking off his Santa hat and frantically trying to hide a half-eaten mince pie.

"[Brest] is a very dangerous team because they are very good at home. They need points and us? We want to be Autumn Champions."

"On a psychological level, I think we need a vacation," added Carletto. "Players need to recover a bit. Afterwards, physically, we will be at the best time of the season."

Brest's league form has sagged (sorry) after a good start, and they currently lie 13th. Despite this, their home record is decent, and they've only lost twice in eight matches. If they do beat PSG it will be their first victory against us since 1985.

Missing for Les Rouges-et-Bleu will be Alex, Bodmer, and Nene, but everyone else is fit and the starting line-up will probably be unchanged.

Yesterday's Champions League last-16 draw pitted us against Valencia. The first leg will take place in Spain on February 12, with the return match at the Parc scheduled for March 6. Woof.

"Valencia is a good team with great individuals," said Ancelotti. "We have time to observe them, and they have a tough schedule in January including Madrid and Barcelona. At this time, they have problems, like all teams can have. One might think that this is a good draw, but we must be ready. "

Certainly should be an occasion to look forward to in 2013.


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