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French Champions: What awaits Monaco next season?

Leonardo Jardim finally hit the bull's eyes after leading Monaco to their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years. Of course, the Principality club, by far have been the best in the country, hence, more than deserved to be champions. But what exactly should they expect from now onwards?

Monaco's cruise to the title is one that will certainly remain in our minds for many years to come. Like a magician, Jardim mysteriously transformed an inexperienced bunch into one of Europe's most entertaining sides. His lads have showcased a hedonistic brand of attacking football, so good that often than not, the opposition subconsciously finds themselves cheering them.

"Like a spectator, it is so nice to see them. I am really impressed how good they are – physical, strong. It is the most successful team in Europe in terms of scoring goals." - Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola opined.

Indeed Monaco has simply been unstoppable in front of goal. Led by the inspirational skipper, Radamel Falcao and emerging youngster, Kylian Mbappe, The Reds and Whites have notched an unbelievable 155 goals in all competitions. With that, they've successfully managed to overturn the hegemony Paris Saint-Germain had on French football.

"Winning the title with a team that is not the favourite is a great trophy," Jardim said after securing the title late Wednesday. "Monaco as champion is worth four times PSG as champion. When PSG wins, it's normal, but Monaco ..."

But it hasn't always been this good for the Portuguese tactician. For the last few years, he was criticised for producing a style of play that was far too defensive - evidently is the fact that they're just four goals shy from equalling their combined tally for the last two seasons. Not only is the 42-year-old's self-reinvention doing wonders but also the obvious tweak on the club's Philosophy.

Mass exodus

Now the manager and his players are in the sight of almost every side in Europe. And there's every likelihood that they could get cherry-picked apart over the summer, which is unfortunate, yet inevitable, the consequence of a smaller side winning the title. Keeping Jardim, who himself was the subject of a stratospheric offer from China, could prove to be decisive.

"I hope Jardim stays," Monaco vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, prayed. "He's the perfect coach for our project and I have a lot of esteem for him. We are very close. Of course, there will be offers made to him."

Not just Jardim, nearly all Monaco's first team players have been linked with a summer exit - highlighting the surmounting task which lies ahead for the owners. Even Vasilyev, who stated that they will "do everything we can to keep as many players as possible", reckons that "of course there will be some departures". So where do Monaco go from here?

Second season syndrome

Even without the obvious exit of some key players, Monaco on their own could capitulate next season. Complacency on the part of the manager and players might see the Principality club slip shamefully. Furthermore, teams will come firing at them next term. These sides would somehow have come up with an antidote to their attacking style and consequently aim to frustrate them. To add to that, Monaco has never had it good defending the Ligue 1 title. Every time they clinch the league, they seem to go backwards in subsequent seasons. In fact, the average waiting time between each of their eight titles is around seven years. So we won't be too surprised if history repeats itself knowing that the odds are against them.

A perfect team, who do they sign?

Another conundrum for Jardim and his employers ahead of next season could be who to add to their squad. Monaco's all-conquering team appears to be solid in all aspects which could in a way become a bane. With a couple of exits all but certain, finding the right replacement could prove horrendous.

Anyways, we expect Monaco to still challenge for the title next season no matter what happens.

About the Author Toby Prince

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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