#main #responsible #collapse #Ligue #ASSE
The weight of 10 French championship titles and 18 consecutive seasons in Ligue 1 was not enough to save AS Saint-Etienne. After a barrage of extremely high tension against AJ Auxerre (3rd in Ligue 2), culminating in Ryad Boudebouz’s failure to shoot on goal (1-1, 4-5 on penalties) and absolute chaos on the pitch de Geoffroy-Guichard calmly, the Greens sink in Ligue 2. The almost logical outcome of a nightmare season at all levels, with 20 defeats in the League. 20 minutes look at the responsibilities of this XXL fiasco in Sainté, and obviously it is not reduced to a poorly controlled bombing against AJA.
A duo of presidents in trouble
In sixteen years at the helm of AS Saint-Etienne, the Roland Romeyer-Bernard Caïazzo duo has often been confused in their choices. His sense of timing once again wowed everyone on Sunday night. Just 15 minutes after the Greens’ fatal loss to AJ Auxerre, the shareholders issued a statement of course prepared, and which was not followed by any statement to the press, be it from Roland Romeyer, Pascal Dupraz or players.
“This failure, we must accept it. As major shareholders, we take full responsibility for this. At some point, we will announce important news about the future of the club and ours. An essential page of our lives is going to turn, but we put the ASSE institution above all else, which, we are convinced, will very quickly find the path of the elite”, specify the two presidents, indicating almost clearly that they will shortly formalize the sale of the club, more than a year after officially starting this process.
If indeed the relegation and the latest show of force by the Saint-Etienne ultras on the pitch on Sunday does not dissuade American billionaire David Blitzer, or any other buyer, which would be understandable… This sea serpent of a sale that It never succeeds before It has crystallized the tension between supporters and managers. And if Bernard Caïazzo, who has been living in Dubai for two years, is very far from the electric context of Saint-Etienne, this weighs heavily on Roland Romeyer (76 years old), increasingly marked by recurring criticism and insults from the main supporter groups. , as his home labeled after the defeat against Reims (1-2) on May 14.
After having had the merit of financially stabilizing the club, with the famous salary cap, and achieved great human choices on the bench, with Christophe Galtier and Jean-Louis Gasset, Roland Romeyer and Bernard Caïazzo then planted broadly. Since Ghislain Printant, former deputy for Gasset, ASSE has consistently found itself struggling to stay in the top flight. Julien Sablé’s interims did not bear fruit, as did the election of Pascal Dupraz, and especially that of Claude Puel before him, installed with full sports powers, in a very rare (and therefore very risky) managerial position in League 1.
The terrible step of Claude Puel
What better way to understand the abysmal gap between the ambitions shown by Claude Puel and the sporting reality than an interview dated January 2020, three months after his arrival on the bench? “The goal is the Champions League. Aiming for fifth place doesn’t interest me. You have to build something to try to get much higher, ”he announced at the time on Eurosport. In the end, he certainly took the Greens to the Stade de France (0-1 against PSG in the 2020 Coupe de France final), but he was saved the same year by the premature end of Ligue 1 (10 days from the end). due to Covid-19, with a 17th place in 2021 (6 points behind), the former Lyon coach was 20th with 12 points in 17 games when he was fired on December 5 after a memorable win against Rennes (0 -5).
In his defence, he was unable to count on any major signings during his time at Saint-Etienne, and the late withdrawal and against his will of Wesley Fofana (sold for €40M at Leicester) hampered part of his 2020-2021 season. More than they are regulation of fast comptes avec Stéphane Ruffier to his disaster management of cadres assumed as Wahbi Khazri et Ryad Boudebouz, Claude Puel never semblé en mesure d’impulser au sur las club sur las projet d’envergure lisible et tourné vers Young. Although he has been out of the club for six months, he played a central role in the collapse of the ASSE, which went from the Europa League to Ligue 2 in three years, as Magic banners remind the fans on Sunday.
A draft side of the plate
Released from the famous 2018 winter transfer window made in Jean-Louis Gasset, with old veterans tipping the Greens out of the race to hold Europe’s in five months (Subotic, M’Vila, Debuchy), Sainté has run into the wall in each of his elections for almost five years. In bulk, the large investments made at the salary level for the players in the tough and with no prospect of resale (Boudebouz, Khazri) or even at the end of the career (Cabaye), a record transfer compensation for an alleged crack proving to be a colossal failure. (Diony), or even an expensive bet signed by Claude Puel with Adil Aouchiche (ex-PSG). But the apotheosis of disaster class Saint-Etienne’s recruitment took place this winter, under the direction of Loïc Perrin.
In addition to the choice of coach Pascal Dupraz, the big three Mangala-Crivelli-Gnagnon (track sought by Puel) joined the group to help him in his maintenance operation. Eliaquim Mangala is light years away from his level at Porto and Manchester City. Enzo Crivelli has not scored a goal in an official match since December 2020 and, unsurprisingly, he confirmed the shortage of him at Forez, especially after arriving injured. As for Joris Gnagnon, he showed a good thirty extra pounds in each picture Loop on social networks, and saw his contract cut three weeks ago, without the slightest appearance with the professional team. With such saviors, plus the chronic bankruptcy of a would-be executive like Timothée Kolodziejczak, Sunday’s dire result is no real surprise.
Pascal Dupraz, the firefighter no longer has the flame
Evidently there was a Dupraz effect, with these 4 wins in 6 Ligue 1 games in the middle of winter, a far cry from the flat encephalogram of the first leg with Claude Puel. The Savoyard coach mentally remobilized a group and knew how to restore the confidence of a player like Denis Bouanga. But in just five months with the former savior of ETG (2014) and Toulouse (2016), we already noticed signs of wear and tear in the Saint-Etienne dressing room. Once he was back in 17th place, his team sank completely twice, in Lorient (5-2) and Nice (4-2), after consistently leading by two goals.
Hard blows in which the chilly Pascal Dupraz has an undeniable part of responsibility, as well as in the management of the final sprint, such as the setback against Reims (1-2) and this uncontrolled final match against Auxerre (1-1, 4-5 on penalties), despite a favorable score in Burgundy (1-1). Dupraz’s adventure will already stop there in Sainté and we have the impression that no one will really regret it, whether on the side of the leaders, the players or the fans. Although he did not appear in the press room on Sunday night, he immediately deleted his Twitter account, as if to better disappear from the radar.
The twelfth man, seriously?
the battle among the fan groups who have caused damage to their club is causing a furor this season in Ligue 1. But frankly the ASSE ultras should win the day, so many episodes have sealed the Greens supposed advantage to evolve in their Caldera . Two behind closed doors and travel bans followed the pyrotechnic displays that concern both Magic Fans and Green Angels, with incidents and penalties taken against Angers, Jura Sud and then Monaco. The maintenance of the 30th anniversary of the Green Angels, with smoke bombs thrown and match interruptions, as expected, resulted in full camera for the crucial 37th matchday against Reims. The defeat (1-2) that afternoon almost cost Stéphanois a play-off place.
The chaos seen after this game, and even more so after Auxerre, demonstrates once again the extent to which the ultras do what they want at Saint-Etienne. In a few days, we suspect that the Greens will take a new ration behind closed doors. Suffice it to say that the already eventful start to the season in Ligue 2 will be hampered by several home games without support, or even worse. How to open this new era in Ligue 2 in the worst way? The last word in this upside-down end of cycle is for Eliaquim Mangala, who assured, upon his arrival in January: “See you in May for the French Cup final and maintenance”. Bergerac and AJ Auxerre have been there and made the best of this drifting ASSE.