How do you analyze the first nine games of Stade Brestois?
From an accounting point of view, it is not satisfactory, we cannot say that it is good. In the bad start, there were still some interesting things. In the end, it was against Lyon, Rennes and Paris that we produced the best content. There are other games where we got through it completely, and I think we would have deserved 4-5 more points, which would have put us in a soft stomach. Today, we are not there. And if we’re not there, there’s a reason.
How to explain that the content of the matches has liquefied over time?
I don’t see anything other than the mind. Against teams like Rennes, Lyon or Paris, maybe we feel over-motivated, that we want to perform. When we are in this state of mind, we are able to do beautiful things. And when you play against less flashy teams, maybe this degree of concentration, demand and efficiency is less present in the minds of the players. And that gives a very average team, worrying about certain services, especially outside.
Today, we are said to be a young team, and I hear it. But last year, we still had seven exceptional months, then four very difficult months. And there, we are in continuity. The players showed things, won games, scored goals, were able to perform very well. Many are not at the level they were able to show before. Obviously, there is a problem. But they didn’t become bad players overnight. There are blockages. Players need to be technical leaders on the pitch, and they aren’t. We are lucky not to be dropped in the standings and it’s up to us to find the right speech, that if they want to take a step forward, they must show something else. I believe that we must remain very positive and convey a maximum of things so that they regain this confidence, that they manage to unite to find this trigger. There has to be awareness. If there isn’t, they will stagnate, and the team will suffer.
I don’t see a clan, no guys beating each other on the face in training! Now, do they speak the same football language between them, that’s something else …
Are there problems in the team?
No, I don’t see a clan, no guys who hit each other on the face in training! Now, do they speak the same football language between them is something else. And that is my question.
That is to say ?
Are they in the same direction with respect to a common goal? The goal is not to say I’m in Brest and I’m going to use Brest to try to get out of the way. There, they are wrong. And if it is the entourage of the players who convey this discourse, there will be disappointment, and it will not work. No one, individually, will become the savior of Stade Brestois.
There is an urgent need for points today …
We have to move forward, get out of this spiral. Victories bring confidence, everything is linked. Today I want to stay positive, not to darken the picture, because they are capable of winning. But it is important to gather, that the group is free. The match against Reims is very important. In a season, there are always moments that can change a spiral.
The discourse towards the players seems much more peaceful than a few weeks ago. Are harsher messages ineffective with this group?
The generations have changed. In my time, I was confronted with coaches, a bit like Michel (Der Zakarian), who did not hesitate to go into it. Or you toughen up and stay afloat. Or you sank and you were put aside. I have the impression that some people need more affect now, and it’s probably also up to us to adapt. It’s a different way of managing. Afterwards, they are the ones on the ground.
For me, it’s not a question of a coach …
What is the credit of Michel Der Zakarian?
For me, it’s not a question of a coach. Sometimes you can put the best coach, if the group is timid, you can not do a miracle. The idea is to analyze certain things and activate a few levers. There are players who showed great qualities a year ago. Today, we wonder if some have already played football.
What are the levers?
There are thoughts to bring more things to the players. Afterwards, I am lucid, I know that there are gaps in certain positions. It is not just a matter of state of mind. But if everyone increased by 5% what they must do … Here, I am talking about daily investment. The players don’t cheat, I don’t see any, anyway. On the other hand, they must understand that if there is not this surplus investment, we will not be able to win a game. And I find, it’s true, that there is a bit of carelessness about that.
Are you satisfied with the proposed game project?
No one is preventing players from playing. When you pass to the opponent, we are not talking about a game plan, we are talking about quality.
Is the workforce sufficiently calibrated in quality to remain in Ligue 1?
Do Troyes and Clermont have a more calibrated workforce? Saint-Etienne has a more calibrated workforce, they are last… We cannot know. On paper, is there a huge gap with Reims? Did you see a huge difference with Angers when we played them? On the confrontations of our championship, I do not feel we are inferior to the others. We never had our base eleven to start, and we need stability. We do not have the luxury of having 23 potentially titular players. Some are still too tender to hold each game. So, yes there are gaps.
(The descent in 2013, in the third season) At the time, there were clans, it was very divided, very complicated. We felt a break from the start
Will there be recruits in the winter transfer window?
It makes us think. At one or two stations, there is a need for more quality. We will take stock sportingly, but once again, we are in a delicate financial situation.
Not having such a young workforce is prohibitive to maintain oneself?
No. Players who have more experience have been offered to us and have been refused. It is a choice, because everyone felt that it was not enough in quality.
Rami (who signed in Troyes, Editor’s note), Capelle (extended to Angers), there are plenty of others.
In 2013, Brest came down after three seasons in Ligue 1, and you were a player at the time. Are there any similarities?
No. There were clans, at the time, it was very divided, very complicated. We felt a break from the start. What I do not feel today when I discuss with the players, with the staff.
How worried is the current situation?
We know that is not enough. In football, there are cycles. You can be upstairs or downstairs. There, we are at the bottom, in a situation where you have to be clear-headed, calm, not to go off the hook. The weight of words matters. Is the goal to shit everything and put a lot of pressure? I do not think so. It is a group that needs to be accompanied.