Sunday's clash of the titans signals a new era of French football as Paris-Saint Germain and Monaco prepare to collide

Former PSG star David Ginola tells Jack Pitt-Brooke that his old club should have been wiser in their preparation for when manager Carlo Ancelotti departed for Real Madrid

A new era of French football begins in earnest on Sunday evening. Paris-Saint Germain and Monaco – the two financial giants of Ligue 1 -  meet for the first time since Monaco entered the benefactor elite of the European game.

The French league has never made too much of an impression in Europe, with just one European Cup win to their name – Marseille in 1993. But that could change in the next few years, given the enormous wealth at the disposal of Paris and Monaco, as shown by their respective summer buys of Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao.

“This is a first in France, it has never been done before,” said Ginola – formerly of PSG, Newcastle and Spurs, and now an analyst for BT Sport’s European football coverage. “For us there is a bit of expectation, what will the future be in France. We are not used to that, buying a lot of foreign players is not what we normally do, but Paris and Monaco are doing it differently.” 

And after a difficult and poorly-planned summer, Paris legend David Ginola fears there might be some problems for them to retain their Ligue 1 crown.

“They made some average decisions, especially towards the end of last season,” Ginola said of the club’s management. “For a club like that, being in a position where you are just a few weeks away from the new season with no manager, and you have to rush to get someone on board, I think that was pretty bad.

“Sometimes you need to be wiser when you are doing that, money cannot buy everything. Carlo Ancelotti went to Real Madrid, they expected him to stay, but he didn’t. They wanted Rafael Benitez, they wanted Andre Villas-Boas, they wanted Jose Mourinho.”

In the end Paris appointed Laurent Blanc, and Ginola said Blanc cannot be distracted by the fact that he was not first choice. “It is difficult knowing that, always. But he should not think too much about it, he is charge now, people expect him to do that job and that is it. He knows that.”

The big issue for Blanc is how to partner his two world-class strikers, Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both brilliant players, certainly, but not an obvious partnership. “Cavani is a goal-scorer, Ibrahimovic is one too, and both will want to be top-scorer for the season. It is going to be difficult, difficult not to play them both, but on the other hand in some games, someone will have to step out and stay on the bench. It is going to be tough for the manager.”

“At the moment it seems that Ibrahimovic is not really happy. It is going to be really complicated. Ibrahimovic got 30 goals last season. If he does not this year, I think he will ask to go.”

Monaco, where there is only one big name striker, seems a relatively calmer place. “With Claudio Ranieri in charge, the players have found someone they want to work with and work for.”

“Watch BT Sport’s exclusively live coverage of PSG v Monaco on BT Sport 1 from 8pm on Sunday 22 September. Build up to the big game with Sunday Night Football, which covers the game across the continent, from 6.45pm on BT Sport 1 on Sunday 22 September.” [please keep]

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor