Category Archives: Follow the Ball

Follow the Ball – A Reflection

 
When 2016 started I had grand plans to watch more football. Born from a place of good, I wanted to reconnect with the beautiful game and find my love for watching the sport again – away from the hullabaloo that I am all too often allow myself to get caught up in.

The idea was simple. Pick a team, watch their match and then whoever won that game, watch that team’s next match.

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Follow the Ball – Game 18: Lyon vs Nice

 
With only a few weeks left in the season, Lyon taking on the fourth placed team in Ligue 1 is not a nice scenario (see what I did there?). Though both teams are heading into this match in decent form (Nice have won four and lost of their last six, Lyon have won and drawn one), I just don’t think I can trust Nice to see out the season and take me into Europe at the beginning of next term.

Lyon are my best bet and I’m plugging for them to see the job through.

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Follow the Ball – Game 17: Montpellier vs Lyon

 
The first time that I started to get ahead of myself and look towards the end of the season with the same winning team in charge of Follow the Ball, I was flicking through Paris Saint-Germain’s league fixtures and reckoning that they could go untroubled. I was rewarded with a victory for Lyon in the next game and tried to tell myself I wouldn’t do it again.

As you’d expect – I haven’t learned my lesson.

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Follow the Ball – Game 16: Lorient vs Lyon

 
This is already’s Lyon best run of form since September when they won two and drew three games in a run of five. Since putting in what I’ve now come to understand as their best performance of the season against Paris Saint-Germain a few weeks ago, they have been pretty good. They are yet to better that Paris victory but in truth, they haven’t needed to.

As I hit 16 games for the year, I’ve glanced ahead at Lyon’s fixtures and I’m not completely sure there is a game during April that should worry them. They could very well be Follow the Ball champions until the final weekend of the season.

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Follow the Ball – Game 15: Lyon vs Nantes

 
After two impressive wins, it was always going to be tough for Lyon to keep the winning run going. It’s not something they have been good at so far this season as shown by their struggles in the league, but they were good enough for a deserved point. The alternative could have been Marseille versus Rennes which may have been fun, but instead we’re back to the Parc Olympique Lyonnais (sadly not literally) for the visit of Nantes.

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Follow the Ball – Game 14: Stade Rennais vs Lyon

 
After an impressive start to their reign as Follow the Ball champions, Lyon will no doubt have no idea whatsoever what this is and pay not attention to it at all be keen to keep their run going over the next few weeks of domestic action. Having played around with a number of potential scenarios, there is a small chance I could return to European action with Paris Saint-Germain before the end of the season but that would require the runaway leaders of the French league to basically go all the way to the final of the Champions League. Instead I intend of fully embracing my new existence in French football.

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Follow the Ball – Game 13: Lyon vs Guingamp

 
Another week and a new champion. Paris Saint-Germain didn’t hang on nearly as long as I expected and were beaten by Lyon in only their second game as Follow the Ball champions. The result means I will likely spend the next three months watching French football. With the right set of results I may end up back on the PSG bandwagon and possibly back into Euroe; but for now I’m looking forward to watching some Ligue 1 action.

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Follow the Ball – Game 12: Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain

 
For anyone joining the Follow the Ball project two months in, throughout 2016 I have the simple aim of watching more football. To achieve that I am going to watch a series of matches in a Winner Stays On style. After starting with Arsenal thanks to the Twitter poll, they were dethroned by Chelsea in the Premier League, who remained in charge of the story before PSG showed up 12 days ago and took this adventure onto the continent.

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Follow the Ball – Game 11: Paris Saint-Germain vs Stade de Reims

 
When I first decided that I wanted to take on this Follow the Ball “challenge” it was because I wanted to watch football I wouldn’t normally enjoy. I watch a fair amount of football as it is; but the majority is either English domestic competitions, a sprinkling of the Champions League and Europa League, and a few games featuring players from the In Bed With Maradona 100 (with a focus on watching the specific players from The 100 rather than necessarily the overall match).

That’s a decent haul all told and yet I want to push myself just a little further, for shits and giggles more than anything. And so – here we are with Paris Saint-Germain hosting Stade de Reims in Ligue 1, a game I certainly wouldn’t have bothered with if it wasn’t for this project.

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Follow the Ball – Game 10: Paris Saint-Germain vs Chelsea

 
Here we are. The 47th day of 2016 and a chance for Follow the Ball to go international with the return of European football and the UEFA Champions League. When I first decided to watch games in a Winner Stays On fashion, I expected that this week would be my first chance to leave the English domestic game behind – and so far, we’re on track.

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