Furlan, but surely

Furlan, but surely

#Furlan #surely

Nine years ago, PSG won their first title in the Qatari era. Also nine years ago, Jean-Marc Furlan won his last Ligue 1 match. Since then, unable to play in the top flight, Girondin have confirmed his role as promotion specialist. The proof: he could, as of this Saturday, register a fifth in Ligue 1 in his career as manager.

Upside-down hat twisted around his bleached hair, sunglasses, and controlled like no one else – Birama Touré, his “stremon” will testify -: Jean-Marc Furlan lives with the times. “It’s funny to see this discrepancy. I remember, when he came to Troyes, he had just arrived from Libourne-Saint-Seurin, he had a bucket hat, in another style” funny remembers Benjamin Nivet. In short, it is difficult to give his 64 years to Jean-Marc Furlan, coach of AJ Auxerre for three seasons. But precisely this time, JMF knows how to tame it. Because in three years he managed to turn this AJA, a club that was at risk of falling into anonymity in Ligue 2, into a serious candidate for promotion. As he had promised.

Nivet: “I had a blast” with Furlan

This recurring attraction between Furlan and the race for the podium is not limited to the Ligue 2 championship, although, of course, it is in the prelude to the League of Talents that the capricious manager has spent most of his coaching career. . At the dawn of the new millennium, during his debut in the profession at Libourne, after having coached the club’s youth ranks, Jean-Marc Furlan turned this modest Aquitaine club into a surprising third division team. Under his orders, the club was promoted to the CFA (the former Nacional 2), then to the Nacional. At the same time, the Penguins put up strong performances in the Coupe de France. The Girondine club becomes a regular at 32 years oldare of the final of the Old Lady and even manages to make some great successes, with the headliner, that of 2003: the elimination of Olympique Lyonnais by Grégory Coupet, Patrick Müller, Sidney Govou and others, champions of France in title.

Jean-Marc Furlan’s reputation for advocating attacking play and encouraging risk taking doesn’t date from the last rain either. As soon as Troyes gave him the opportunity to get in touch with the professional world in 2004, the former central defender won the Ligue 2 coach of the year title, put ESTAC on the podium, and this, with the best attack . the championship. “When he arrived, he had set up a 4-4-2 diamond that worked very well. But that, he hasn’t done for a while, because you have to have the right players, and it’s hard to put them in their place.recalls Benjamin Nivet, a Trojan during Furlan’s two mandates. I had a great time, because I was playing like a true number 10 behind two attackers, with three midfielders working behind me. » Furlan and ESTAC therefore kept the first season, not the second. The opportunity for the coach to resurface in Strasbourg, but also to suffer a second consecutive relegation. Subsequently, the recovery operation narrowly failed: Racing finished at the foot of the podium, one point behind Montpellier (2Y) and Boulogne-sur-Mer (3Y), blamed for a defeat at the Hérault during the final day of the championship. Furlan’s decade ends with a brief freelance at FC Nantes (9 games to be exact), which allows him to be among the seventeen coaches used in fifteen years by the Canaries of the Kita era. Maybe the last time we prevented it from setting his draft.

Never two without Troyes

“To anchor your game principles, you have to build a team. Normally, it takes time to convey your game principles to your players.declared the Sainte-Foy-la-Grande native in an interview with World eleven. There are many people who adapt depending on where they are and when. I do not. As I say, if you hire Furlan, you know you’re going to be taking risks. If you don’t want to, don’t hire him. » Benjamin Nivet reinforces this feeling of guarantees that those who know how to talk about themselves in the third person need: “He likes to have players he knows well, who must also have a certain intelligence, because for him it is important that the players understand what he wants to put in their place. »

His second passage in the Aube is the archetype. He returned there in 2010, was promoted to ESTAC for the second time in 2012 after finishing third in Ligue 2. On May 18, 2013, on the occasion of the 37Y Furlan won what was his last Ligue 1 success to date. The promoted player, who fights for his support, beats Bordeaux (1-0). Immediately relegated to the season finale, Troyes hits the elevator button again two years later. In 2015, the Aube club was crowned French Ligue 2 champion. The following year, spent in the elite, turned into a fiasco again. The DNCG initially invalidated ESTAC’s Ligue 1 promotion, before reversing its decision, but blocking transfers. At the beginning of December, without having won a single league match, Jean-Marc Furlan resigned. The debacle against Toulouse on December 2, 2015 (0-3) remains in what is currently his last game in Ligue 1.

The game as a vector of emotions

However, his miracle worker and game lover labels remain intact. In 2016, Jean-Marc Furlan bounces in Brest, which aims to find the elite. The Finistère club are very close to promotion in the first season of the Furlan mandate, but lose their access by only a small point, due to one of the few final sprints lost by JMF. Fifth the following season, Stade Brestois finally secured promotion in 2019. Furlan’s fourth promotion to Ligue 1 as manager. Where the shoe is tight is that the Pirates don’t really plan to continue him in Ligue 1, preferring instead to turn to Olivier Dall’Oglio, who espouses the same offensive virtues. “Leaving Brest, after three magnificent years, with these players, this melting crowd, this promotion, was a terrible suffering, especially when I just received, on February 15, an extension offer for one year. For me I felt it as a message from my management that it was the end of the cycle” he explained at RMC in August 2019.

Be that as it may, Jean-Marc Furlan took the opportunity to jump on the proposal of AJ Auxerre, who had been flirting with him for several months. And after a first year in the soft belly, another at the gates of the dams, the third – the last of his contract that has not yet been extended – invites the Auxerre fans to dream. The test, the Abbé-Deschamps will be packed this Saturday for the reception of Amiens, which could, at best, record the return of AJA to Ligue 1, and at worst, sending blocks from access. Lockers closed in Auxerre, it hadn’t happened for more than seven years and a semi-final of the Coupe de France against Guingamp (1-0). It’s obviously related to the stakes, but it’s also a win for Furlan and his vision of his football. “My true passion is bringing people to the stadium” said in the same interview with World eleven. And Benjamin Nivet to support this supreme wish of Jean-Marc Furlan: “He wants to give emotions, he is a purist, an esthete of the beautiful game, many times he wants to succeed at home. I see him at Auxerre: I played there for seven years, I have many friends and acquaintances there… And I see that what he brought to AJA is enormous. People come to the stadium to have emotions. They don’t come because AJA is third, but because AJA plays well, that the fans identify with this team, and that’s what’s important. »

the five chances

On Saturday, the fate of Auxerre will be closely linked to that of Ajaccio, which, at the same time, receives Toulouse already promoted and champion. Furlan’s fate could also depend on it. Will the coach from Gironde finally have the opportunity to savor Ligue 1 again? Three years after Brest, here he is on the verge of a fifth promotion in Ligue 1 with AJ Auxerre who could find the elite after a ten-year absence. However, if so, should we trust a coach who, however ambitious, has only collected 0.92 points per game in his first 159 games in the top flight? It’s a big yes, according to Benjamin Nivet: “He has already kept us with Troyes for a season. But you often find yourself with the lowest budget in Ligue 1. And when you look at the rankings, the budgets often make the difference. But if we give him the means, with players, because he always wants to play, create something… I am convinced that he has the capacity. »

This year, AJ Auxerre have given themselves the right to dream at the cost of an almost flawless end to the season, as evidenced by their ten wins in their last thirteen outings. Jean-Marc Furlan is in any case used to the fact. “Oftentimes, he does well at the end of the season, because throughout the season he’s practiced so much in training the set attacks, the quick attacks, the game codes that you shouldn’t deviate from, that at the end of the season, everyone knows how to play” Nivet explains. Gather in front of the Unicorns to change this wonderful world.

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