29/01/2018

2017-18: the story so far


Well, 2017-18 is turning out to be a strange season for the Girondins, although the arrival of new coach Gustavo Poyet may mark a turning point in the team's fortunes. We look back on the story so far. 

Before the season had even begun in earnest, things started badly for Bordeaux, who were knocked out of the Europa League in the preliminary stages on away goals by Hungary's Videoton. European football would not be on the agenda this time round... But the team managed to brush off that disappointment by making a bright start to their Ligue 1 campaign, producing a number of solid, attractive performances including a spectacular 3-3 draw away at Lyon which was as good an advert for French football as you're ever likely to see.

By the end of September, Bordeaux were sitting comfortably up in third and travelled to Paris as serious contenders for one of the top spots. But they were given a resounding hiding by PSG (losing 6-2) and went into the subsequent international break on a bit of a downer.

Over the following weeks, the Girondins were unlucky and, although they produced positive performances, results began seriously slipping away and defeats were suffered at the hands of Amiens, Monaco, Rennes and Caen. Intermittently, there were brighter moments such as a home draw against Marseille in which Bordeaux showed they could still rise to the occasion (Marseille pulled back to 1-1 with the last kick of the game) and a convincing 3-0 win against an ailing Saint-Etienne, but on the whole the team's collective confidence was on the wane.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, things went from bad to worse, with four straight defeats in Ligue 1, including two full-on embarrassments on home soil (against Strasbourg and Montpellier), and a lacklustre exit from the Coupe de la Ligue at the hands of Toulouse, putting a premature end to any hope of playing a part in the final being hosted in Bordeaux in March. To further compound the situation, the team's most effective forward Alexandre Mendy suffered a serious injury, in all likelihood putting an end to his season. 

By early December, the team had gone from simply being unlucky to losing any form of design, desire or coordination. The hardcore home supporters turned on coach Jocelyn Gourvennec, demanding his resignation/dismissal, but the club's management stuck by their man.

After the Christmas break, Bordeaux threw away a slender one-goal lead against amateurs Granville in the Coupe de France, where they had to contend with strong winds, dubious refereeing decisions and cynical tackles. The Girondins eventually went down 2-1 and had three players sent off in what turned out to be a humiliating afternoon.


Gourvennec's squad, which had now been strengthened by the arrival of creative midfielder Soualiho Meïté (on loan from Monaco) and the charismatic local-boy defender Paul Baysse (not to mention the return of previously-injured striker Gaëtan Laborde), somehow managed to secure an away win at Troyes but this was followed up by yet another home defeat at the hands of Caen. This time, there would be no way back for Gourvennec, who was relieved of his duties. Veteran captain Jérémy Toulalan, Gourvennec's closest changing-room ally, also jumped ship.

Under the guidance of interim coach Eric Bedouet, Bordeaux then shocked everyone by beating high-fliers Nantes 1-0 away, the goal coming from hitherto underperforming forward Nicolas de Préville. Immediately after the match, it was announced that the Girondins were bringing in the former Chelsea and Tottenham star Gustavo Poyet as their new coach.

Supporters were initially nonplussed by the appointment, given Poyet's meagre credentials as a coach: other than a good spell at Brighton & Hove Albion and a prominent rescue job at Sunderland, his track record is a succession of unglamorous stop-gap jobs. But, in Poyet's first game in charge, Bordeaux delivered the goods against a strong Lyon side who arrived on the back of wins against PSG in the league and Monaco in the cup. The Girondins looked solid and creative for the first time in months, they played with verve and energy, and proved effective on the break, most notably on the first goal, which was a case study in fluid, counter-attacking football.


The Girondins have struggled throughout the season but, at the time of writing, they have won three of their past four games, which no longer sounds like the makings of a team in crisis. They now lie 9th in Ligue 1 and might just start looking up at the teams in front of them rather than having to watch their backs and focus on the danger zone below them.

Will Poyet's arrival spark a full-on revival or will this prove to be a momentary new manager bounce? Only time will tell.

Lead photo courtesy of Girondins Autrement

12/08/2017

Summer 2017 arrivals

Coach Jocelyn Gourvennec has pulled out all the stops during the summer 2017 transfer window to continue building a team that will deliver the efficient free-flowing style he is seeking to develop. Squad stalwarts of recent years Carrasso, Maurice-Belay and Pallois, not to mention last season's top earner Ménez, have all made way for a new generation of players.

  • Cafú (#22): the 25-year-old Brazilian joined from Bulgarian club Ludogorets. This energetic, fast-paced winger can also slip into a striking role when required.
  • Benoît Costil (#1): the well-respected Caen-born 30-year-old goalkeeper has previously enjoyed a six-year stint at Rennes. Regarded as one of France's best between the posts, he is regularly called up to the national squad, acting as understudy to Hugo Lloris.
  • Lukas Lerager (#19): the 25-year-old Danish international has joined the club from Belgium's SV Zulte Waregem. The box-to-box midfielder is already proving highly influential on the pitch. 
  • Alexandre Mendy (#15): old-school 23-year-old striker who never quite broke through at Nice ahead of showing great promise at Guingamp where he was noticed by Gourvennec. So far has mainly shone in cup games but hopes to become a Ligue 1 regular at Bordeaux.
  • Otávio (#5): The Girondins do love their single-named rising Brazilian stars! This 23-year-old midfielder has been drafted in from Brazil's Atletico Paranaense to sit in front of the defence, collecting the ball and distributing further upfield.
In addition to those new faces, Youssouf Sabaly (previously on loan from Paris Saint-Germain) and Vukasin Jovanović (previously on loan from Zenith Saint Petersburg) have signed permanent contracts with Bordeaux.

Photo source: www.holidayextras.co.uk

11/08/2017

Summer 2017 departures

The 2017 summer transfer window was particularly active in Bordeaux and Jocelyn Gourvennec's squad for the new season features a number of new faces. But before we familiarise ourselves with the newcomers, let's salute the players who have moved on! 

  • Mauro Arambarri: the promising midfielder has joined Boston River (Uruguay).
  • Paul Bernadoni: understudy youth international goalkeeper, has joined Clermont on loan. 
  • Cédric Carrasso: number one but injury-prone goalkeeper, currently out of contract and without a club.
  • Enzo Crivelli: fiery-tempered forward, after loan spell at Bastia has joined Angers on a permanent basis.
  • Frédéric Guilbert: mild-mannered defender, after loan spell at Caen has signed permanently with them.
  • Nicolas Maurice-Belay: attacking midfielder, the dribbler is currently out of contract and without a club.
  • Jérémy Ménez: forward and last year's flagship but under-achieving signing, has joined Antalyaspor (Turkey).
  • Adam Ounas: dynamic but temperamental midfielder, has joined Napoli (Italy).
  • Nicolas Pallois: defender, one of most consistent players of past three seasons though prone sudden outbursts of temper, has joined Nantes.
  • Kévin Soni: young untested forward, has joined Peralada (Spain).
  • Abdou Traouré: sturdy midfielder, currently out of contract and without a club.
  • Cédric Yambéré: out-of-favour central defender, has joined Dijon. 
Finally, please bear in mind that there may be further updates to this page as there is a great deal of speculation about Malcom, who is a target for clubs including Marseille and Wolfsburg, and Diego Rolan, who can't quite make his mind up about where he'd like to go (but is running out of options...). To be continued? 
Picture source: www.barcelona-airport.com

17/05/2017

2017-2018 home strip unveiled

For the final home game of the season, the 1-1 draw with Olympique Marseille on May 14th, the Girondins unveiled their 2017-18 home strip

This latest Puma production is fairly minimalist compared with last year's offering: a plain navy blue top broken up by the team's trademark white V, the catch being that the V is made up of hundreds of white and blue dots that blend in to each other. The shirt is topped off by a no-frills white-and-blue button-up round collar which, to the rear, comes complete with the words "Girondins 1881" in reference to the year the original sports club was founded. Meanwhile, on the front, the home shirt now comprises the logo of the lead sponsor, energy supplier Sweetcom. 

The remainder of the strip is the same shade of navy blue. The socks feature an unusual touch: they are topped off by a succession of horizontal white hoops of differing widths which, much like the dots that form the V, combine to form a gradual shift from white to blue.

All in all, it's a tasteful, timeless shirt, and has initially proved popular with supporters, judging by feedback on social media. The fans can now sit back for a few weeks until the 2017-18 third shirt is revealed - in recent years the Girondins have earned quite a reputation for surprising, outlandish, unconventional designs, and there is no reason to think they won't aim to do the same again this time. Meanwhile, the away shirt (plain white topped off by a red V-shaped motif) is set to remain unchanged for 2017-18. It now sports the logo of away shirt sponsors Bistro Régent.

12/03/2017

Farewell Jean-Louis Triaud, Bordeaux's father figure for 21 years

On Thursday March 9th, Jean-Louis Triaud announced that, after 21 years at the helm, he was stepping down from his role as chairman of the Girondins.

In what we might term as "mutual agreement" with club owners M6, the 67-year-old retired Médoc wine sector player is moving on to a new, low-maintenance role on the board, while the position of chairman is to be taken over by former banker Stéphane Martin.

This change marks an unexpected end of an era in the club’s history. There have been ups and downs during Triaud’s tenure, but the legacy he leaves is both successful and healthy: twice Ligue 1 champions (1999 and 2009), three times Couple de la Ligue winners (2002, 2007 and 2009) and a Coupe de France title in 2013; not to mention numerous European campaigns, the highlights being quarter-final stage matches in the Champions League (2010) and the UEFA Cup (2004).

The club has also grown and developed in keeping with the times, moving to a new stadium, enhancing the training facilities in Le Haillan, and branching out into new territories (such as by launching a women's team a couple of years ago by merging with Blanquefort).

Above all, in the wake of the announcement, many have saluted the personality and approach of the former chairman, who was popular among supporters in spite of frequent differences of opinion. He became renowned for his pragmatic, no-nonsense analysis of the first team’s shortcomings, his self-deprecation, his dry sense of humour in press conferences, and his old-school father figure approach to both running the club and managing its staff - from backroom employees to star players. Oh, and also for his chain-smoking!

Although originally a rugby player, his conversion to football was a natural one. He was an effective coordinator, overseeing operations and getting involved in the thick of it whenever necessary. In a Sud Ouest piece published in the wake of the announcement, Triaud is quoted as saying that he wasn't so much drawn to the financial and administrative side of running a club as he was to the sporting aspects: "That's why I'm where I am. It enables me to experience emotions by proxy with a group of youngsters who are, on the whole, good guys."

The duties have been handed over to new chairman Stéphane Martin, 46, originally from Bordeaux and a long-time supporter of the club (he is reportedly an authority on the history of the Girondins). His experience in the banking sector, holding a management position at Santander bank in Madrid, would suggest that the club is moving into a new era focused on objectives, targets and a healthy bottom line, but time will tell. His first statement was to reassure onlookers, saying that minor, gradual adjustements were on the cards, but that a complete overhaul was out of the question.

A new era then for the Girondins and its parent company M6, and a new, quieter, more peaceful life for the likeable Jean-Louis Triaud; who will be missed by everyone associated with the club.

05/03/2017

Introducing the International Girondins website

Greetings and welcome to International Girondins!

This website aims to compile useful information about FC Girondins de Bordeaux, all of which is available here in English for an international audience.

If you've ended up here it might be that you're enquiring about forthcoming fixtures or interested in finding out more about the squad. Perhaps you need background information about Matmut-Atlantique stadium or the training facilities in Le Haillan.

Or maybe you're planning a trip to Bordeaux to see a match and would like to know what to expect. Or else you're just interested in the history of the club and an overview of titles won to date.

If any of the above, we hope you find what you're looking for. The pages will be upated whenever necessary and there will be occasional blog posts when deemed relevant, such as when the Girondins release another mystifying third kit or whenever another up-and-coming South-American teenager joins (or leaves) the club. 

Thanks for passing by, watch this space and see you soon!