It took David N'Gog just 13 minutes to score on his debut for new club Stade de Reims
As debut’s go, for former Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers forward David N’Gog, his Stade de Reims bow couldn’t have gone much better. He wasn’t fancied to start against Toulouse, but Coach Jean-Luc Vassuer gave him his debut and within 13 minutes he had opened the scoring.
N’Gog started upfront in Reims 4-4-1-1 and it was Olivier Fortes from the left that slid the ball across to the striker and he let fly first-time and his right-foot effort beat Zacharie Boucher into the top corner. If he was struggling for confidence before his debut, it certainly didn’t show in taking on the shot from outside the box without taking a touch.
People in France had forgotten all about N’Gog, this was his first game in Ligue 1 for six years, after he left Paris Saint-Germain as a 19-year-old. Toulouse fans will be wishing he never came back.
It was the perfect start for both N’Gog and Stade de Reims. The side from the Champagne region had been looking extremely flat since they opened the season with a 2-2 draw against Paris Saint-Germain. Three defeats followed and even at the Stade Auguste Delaune, where they are usually hard to beat, they gave up points they should have won.
Stade de Reims won the game 2-0 in the end, N’Gog’s fellow striker Gaetan Courtet made it safe in the second half, his second goal in two games. It takes Reims to four points and gives new coach Vasseur some light to build upon.
For N’Gog it is a great start to his new life in France. After Liverpool – where he scored nine league goals in three seasons – he had a better time at Bolton, scoring eight in his second season. However, in his third season he only made 17 appearances and was later loaned out to Swansea City where he barely featured.
His free transfer for Reims gives him a new opportunity, les rouges et blancs need goals and the fans want a new hero they can rely on. There is no real risk for either the club or the player, so hopefully he can finally find a club he can call home.