Ligue 1 / Strasbourg – Monaco: summer, ASM’s big battle

Monaco has its specialties. Some who intend to keep it, like this ability to set the pace of Hell in Final Sprint. and others with whom he was happy to share, such an annoying tendency to procrastinate when starting his championships. It’s a bit brief about the last two seasons. A good finish has allowed him to take third place in the standings each time. A poor start prevented him from achieving higher goals. To go from podium status to title contender, the Monacos know what they have to correct. A successful summer is the key to achieving higher goals.

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It is an understatement to say that the literal and compact have been accustomed to struggle in the summer period. Last season, I scored only a small victory, in two draws and three defeats, during the first six days. So he was irresistible a few months ago (7 wins in the last 9 matches in 2020-21), the team led by Niko Kovac lost 13 points during this period and appeared only 14th in the standings. Monaco finished the season 15 points behind the champion, Paris, and two points behind their runner-up, OM. Had it not been for his spoiled summer, the story would have been different. And perhaps the most beautiful.

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To a lesser degree, ASM actually suffered from delayed ignition in the previous season. After an agreeable summer (two wins, one draw, one loss), it went through a big air pocket between mid-September and mid-October and was in a modest tenth on the evening of the eighth. Only four points from second place, though. But four points, it was precisely the gap that separated him from Paris Saint-Germain, Lille’s runners-up, at the time of the verdict. What, indeed, is fueling his great regret regarding the missed start of the season.

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Monaco knows where the shoe pinch. However, correcting the situation is a delicate task. Like last season, Monaco had to deal with the third qualifying round of the Champions League, and a possible play-off, in their summer preparations. The challenge of qualifying for the group stage involves wasting both physical and mental energy, which could have a negative impact on the club’s league results. This was verified last summer, even if it wasn’t the only explanation for the poor start Monaco took.

Too heavy to start

But the most difficult hurdle to overcome to finally start in the championship is certainly the particularly indigestible calendar that Monaco inherited until the end of the summer. With no fewer than six teams in the program that ended the previous year in the first part of the schedule to face off during the first seven days: three members of the top 5 (Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Nice) plus Lyon, Lens and Strasbourg, the first opponents of Monaco, on Saturday in La Meinau.

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The trip to Alsace well symbolizes the complexity of the start of the season that awaits the players of the principality. It will take place between the two Champions League third qualifying round matches against PSV Eindhoven, and just three days before the risky game in the Netherlands where ASM will play the play-off qualifier after Wednesday’s draw in Lewis. -II. What complicates the preparation for a duel with a competitive race, driven by his fans, which used to cause misery to the Principality Club (only one defeat in the last eight confrontations).

Ready for battle

The mission is somewhat delicate, but Monaco was expecting it. ASM was prepared accordingly. She already has the experience of last season and knows the mistakes that she should not repeat. Above all, it has the advantage of meticulous physical work carried out on orders from Philippe Clement, a key parameter given the sequence of matches against good opponents. The Belgian technician can also count on a large workforce, which could be further strengthened by the end of the summer, even if Aurélien Tchouaméni has not been replaced.

If summer is going to be a big battle, Monaco is ready to go to war. The fights promise to be tough and the ASM will not have the right to the slightest relaxation. But the game is worth it. If he emerges unscathed from such a strong program, if he can find a place at the top of the table at the end of the summer period, then Rocher will have good faith in the quality of his play and the effectiveness of his play. He will be able to show the highest ambitions. I hope to finally complete the season without regretting the mistakes of the summer.

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