The attention paid to the many twists and turns around the case of the Girondins de Bordeaux, administratively demoted to National 1, then reinstated in Ligue 2, Wednesday July 27, by the French Football Federation has eclipsed another reality: this year the fight to maintain will be even more relentless than in previous years. And for good reason, at the end of this season, four teams will be relegated to National, against two so far. League 2 will indeed suffer the full brunt of the reform put in place by the Professional Football League, with the gradual passage of the professional championships to 18 clubs, against 20 currently.
>> Ligue 2: Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne as surprise guests, two climbs on the program … All you need to know about the new season
For the clubs which discover or rediscover, Saturday July 30, the second division on the occasion of the first day of the championship, the task will be more difficult than usual. “We know that we will have to be very competitiveanalyzes Olivier Frapolli, the coach of Stade Lavallois in Mayenne, National champion and promoted to Ligue 2 after five seasons away from the professional world. We are in a division above, so inevitably we have to increase all the sliders a little. The whole club got on board very quickly.”
“There are a lot of things to put in place to meet the standards of the requirements of this Ligue 2. We haven’t been idle. The preparation went very, very quickly.”Olivier Frapolli, Stade Lavallois coach
More pressure, no doubt, but that should not change the way of approaching the season. “Last year it took 45 points to not be in the last four. That’s 15 wins, notes Laurent Guyot, the coach of Annecy, a club also promoted this season. The counters are reset to zero. If there had only been three descents we would have approached it in the same way.
“In Annecy, the mountains are all around us. Climbing passes, we know what that means literally and figuratively. We must draw inspiration from that to approach this championship.”Laurent Guyot, coach of FC Annecy
Some teams hope to escape this maintenance pressure. This is particularly the case of AS Saint-Etienne, relegated for the first time since 2001. The Forez club receives Dijon this Saturday, and aspires to return to Ligue 1 as quickly as possible. “All the teams that go down are given favorites for the comeback”recognizes Anthony Briançon. Summer recruit of the Stéphanois, the central defender wants to see the club play at the top of the table. “There are a lot of big teams in this Ligue 2 championship, it’s not going to be easy.”
The defender may already have in mind the matches against Metz, Caen, Sochaux or Paris FC, other teams with strong ambitions. “It’s going to be a great championship.” concludes Anthony Briançon. Beautiful and certainly very disputed because if there will be four relegations, only two clubs will join the elite at the end of the 2022/2023 season, the accession play-offs being, this time, put in parentheses.