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Monaco coach Jardim laments poor start to season after latest setback

Paris (AFP) – Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim saw his side endure another disappointing result on Tuesday but he is not putting their dreadful start to the season down to the huge turnover of players at the club.

The Portuguese saw his team slump to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Angers in the principality, leaving the 2017 champions without a win in six league matches since beating Nantes on the opening weekend of the campaign.

The Angers defeat was played out in front of a sparse crowd of just 5,502 at the Stade Louis II, but the home fans who did turn out booed their team off at the end, and Monaco are languishing in 16th place in the Ligue 1 table.

“It is normal that we were booed, and yet the supporters here are nice,” said Jardim after witnessing his team fail to muster a single shot on target.

“It has been a very difficult start to the season for different reasons. We have had injuries, players away on international duty, poor form, the bad state of the pitch,” he added.

“But I am not here to explain the reasons. The main reason is our lack of points.”

Monaco again lost a host of key players in the close season, as has become customary at a club whose business model is centred around investing in talented young players who are then sold on at a profit.

The list of players to have left since Monaco’s title triumph last year, when they also reached the Champions League semi-finals, is remarkable.

Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy, Fabinho, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Thomas Lemar and Valere Germain — all regulars in that side — have been sold.

Against Angers, the only key members of the title-winning team to feature were skipper Radamel Falcao and the defensive trio of Jemerson, Kamil Glik and Djibril Sidibe.

Meanwhile, a summer spending spree headed by the signing of Russian World Cup star Aleksandr Golovin has not yet produced positive results for a club owned by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

“We can’t hide behind the changes. That is the club’s policy,” said Sidibe, a member of France’s World Cup-winning squad.

Monaco were also beaten by Atletico Madrid in their opening Champions League match and their hopes of progressing to the last 16 in Europe may depend on them picking up a positive result away to Borussia Dortmund next week.

Meanwhile, if challenging Paris Saint-Germain for the Ligue 1 title was never a realistic objective, it will still be galling for them that they can find themselves 15 points behind the capital side on Wednesday evening.

PSG are at home to Reims looking to make it seven wins from seven league games under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

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