OGC Nice: Lucien Favre, the fever rises

OGC Nice: Lucien Favre, the fever rises

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July 2017, OGC Nice is in Divonne-les-Bains for their pre-season camp. Lucien Favre is worried. His squad has no margin to play the Champions League preview that is coming. The Swiss is on the verge of resignation. Jean-Pierre Rivère joins Divonne in the disaster to convince the manager, who will eliminate Ajax a few weeks later, to stay. That season, Nice will play the round of 16 of the Europa League and finish eighth in Ligue 1. A worthy record given the quality of the squad. Four years after his departure to Dortmund, Favre did not imagine finding an OGC Nice similar to the one he had left. That is, with ambitions higher than the available means. When he talks about the C1 in the next two years, during his presentation press conference, the technician has guarantees. Verbal. Two months later, he would consider himself cheated on the goods.

Ilie and Viti, their only two options for the transfer market

Rares Ilie and Mattia Viti, two potential players under the age of 21, are your options. To prepare for the future. For weight and immediate boosters, it’s Ineos and Iain Moody who come up with the ideas. Like going to find Kasper Schmeichel when Favre wanted Sommer. The two lobs conceded by the Dane against Strasbourg and Maccabi reinforced the coach’s skepticism, quite satisfied with the preparation made with Bulka in the woods. Ineos would seem insensitive to the coach’s feelings. “The opinion of the coach is very important, explained Dave Brailsford in our columns, last July. Like Ineos. Then you have to find the right discourse between all the parties. (…) And when you think, six different opinions and sensitivities are better than one to make a decision. »
The observation that is made a month later is terrible: there is a huge vagueness inside the club because of all this external kitchen. Julien Fournier is gone and the collaboration with the recruiting unit does not exist either. The consequence of several failed transfer windows according to Ineos.

The British are now in charge, but the ship is rocking. Because there is no longer a captain who stirs up the troops after an apathetic game like the one in Clermont. There is no longer a “Père Fouettard” who imposes fines for the slightest misconduct. “Favre has never known that,” slips a relative.
Since the beginning of the summer, words have been good but actions have been slow. Nobody really sees the course. Not even the locker room executives. “Since Fournier’s departure, nobody is afraid in this club, one of them lamented even before the start of the championship. Many people understood that. Some people have changed, they feel safer and think first of their personal interest before that of the club”.

“The objectives of the club are not very clear”

Dave Brailsford’s investment and goodwill are beyond question, unlike the way the transfer window is run on the offensive level. Nice lost Kluivert and Guessand and knew that Dolberg was injured, but no striker has arrived.

Forced to operate with Brahimi up front to beat up Delort, or to keep an invisible Stengs in the eleven in the absence of a signing already expected since the beginning of the summer in this position, the Swiss coach asks himself serious questions. Marcus Thuram’s dossier, which he lobbied hard for, could have been completed with more conviction in the negotiations.

“The objectives of the club are not very clear,” Favre said in the middle of the press conference before the first leg in Tel Aviv. What seemed surprising became fully audible a week before the end of the transfer window. The fate of the Gym will still depend on Delort tomorrow, given the form of Gouiri and the others. The Swiss coach refuses to be the turkey of the farce at this start to the season marked by only two goals scored in 4 games, one of them from the penalty spot. The squad needs at least three attacking players.

Cavani, Pépé, Ben Brereton Díaz, Bemba Dieng, Belotti are names that continue to be mentioned in a rush. With the message that addressing these issues necessarily requires patience until the final days of the transfer window. Like the Dante-Belhanda-Balotelli trio had been drawn at the end of 2016. Except that the context is not the same with a tight schedule until the World Cup. Suddenly, Lulu is no longer amused to see that nothing is coming. And if the next seven days prove disappointing, perhaps the Swiss will remember Divonne and the wish he expressed during the famous summer of 2017…

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