US international Greg Vanney started and played 90 minutes as Bastia traveled to Toulouse on Saturday night only to lose 1-0 on Saturday night
“It was a pretty uneventful game,” said Vanney in a telephone interview on Monday. “They had some chances but were most dangerous on set pieces and that’s how they ended up scoring. We had a couple of chances but most of the game was played in midfield.”
Returning to the starting lineup at left back after being omitted last week, Vanney was able to reduce the leakage, last week Bastia lost 3-0 to newly promoted Saint Etienne, but was unable to change the outcome.
This latest loss marks the tenth match in a row without a win for the Coriscan team that has taken only two points since a 1-0 win over Auxerre on 11 September. As a result, Bastia, which started brightly and was up to first place in the early days of the season, has steadily slipped down the table and now rests in the relegation zone in 18th place (of 20) with only 14 points from 15 matches.
The steady run of poor form has had an impact on the team, its players and the fans of the team that represents an area with fierce pride in its Corsican identity.
“I’ve never been in a situation quite like this before,” noted Vanney. “The fans are getting frustrated and starting to whistle and boo if we’re not winning in the first 15 minutes. It’s almost better to be on the road.
“There’s not much problem amongst the players but the management is pressuring the players. It’s always the players fault and blame is not being shared equally.
“After not winning in 10 matches the coaches still haven’t come up with any changes other than saying it’s the players’ fault and we need to work harder. Even if we play well the coach is negative. It’s not a good situation.”
Next up are a couple of matches against the newly promoted sides of Caen (next Saturday at home) and then away against Istres that will go along way in determining whether Bastia has the means to stay in the top flight or should start making plans for playing in Ligue 2 next season.
Having started his first match in the US uniform in Wednesday’s US World Cup qualifier against Jamaica, Onyewu only arrived back in Belgium on Friday afternoon and was given no chance to rest as he was pressed into service for the match on Saturday night.
In Belgium, US international Oguchi Onyewu played 90 minutes on Saturday night for Standard Liege as they hosted second division side Maasmechelen in Belgian Cup action and won 4-1.
Even though he is a bit fatigued and jet-lagged after his globe-trotting week Onyewu will have to recover quickly as Liege will play host to Parma of Italy’s Serie A on Thursday night in UEFA Cup action.
Looking forward to the match Onyewu said, “Hopefully we can get a win. We need a result since we lost our first game this round.”
“I don’t know much about the team yet, but being in Serie A they can’t be bad. They lost their first game too so they’re in the same boat as us.”
Original Article written by Robert Price