“What did you like about the profiles of Cédric Hountondji and Abdallah Sima?
We are talking about fairly confirmed players, whether Cédric with his good seasons in Clermont and Abdallah with his superb year in the Czech Republic (Slavia Prague) and his year in England (on loan at Stoke City). It would be disrespectful to him to say that Cedric is a bet. He is an experienced player, he held his defense last year with great respect, he was voted among the best defenders in terms of duels in Europe. Abdallah was a profile of depth, of speed that Gérald (Baticle, the coach) wanted to. He is complete, capable of playing in several offensive positions, with a good heading game.
” The sale ? I actually don’t care. I am not here for the Americans, for the English, for the Russians or for the Poles. I’m here for the Angers SCO, to work. »
Does the prospect of four runs at the end of the season change the approach to the championship?
It doesn’t change anything at all. At the start, we don’t take players to calculate if we are going to go down or if we are going to be champions, we take them because we think they are good. When we attack a season, I want to be champion, I don’t look back. Afterwards, I don’t leave the asylum, I’m not crazy. In any case, when my team enters the field, it is to win matches and to be respected. We’re going to have to get even more respect this year, and go as high as possible. Inevitably, for clubs like us with a much lower budget than some, we put you in a cart. We had already been put in a cart last year, we will be put back in a cart this year. The good thing is that we are used to some. We know what to do and how to do it. I have a very strong confidence in my group, in my coach and in our workforce, and I am sure and certain that we will have a very good season.
Nick Sakiewicz, representative of the American investment fund GFC, came to Saumur to watch the match against Saint-Etienne (4-1) on July 23. Since then, has there been any progress on the process of selling the club to the Americans?
I actually don’t care. I am not here for the Americans, for the English, for the Russians or for the Poles. I am here for the SCO of Angers, to work, that we do the best and also try to be efficient in my work. The rest is not my problem.
What will be the rest of the transfer window? The coach calls for two defensive reinforcements. Are these cases progressing?
We are aware today that we have a need. It’s complicated to do a season with two real professional defenders, Miha (Blazic) and Cédric (Hountondji). Batista (Mendy) can lend a hand but we need some extra defensive backing. I’m not used to working in a hurry, I’m in no hurry. We won’t do anything. The player will arrive when he should arrive and when he has been validated by everyone.
You mention a single defender, against two by the coach …
For now, it will be one. We are not going to renew the plethoric workforce which is not manageable afterwards for Gérald (baticle) and which are annoying for us too. The coach must already have the right car to drive it well. One more won’t be bad.
Last Tuesday, Baticle seemed to say that the central defender was already found and that “the setback” came “from the other club”. Do you confirm it because there, to hear you, it’s not in a hurry…
I didn’t say we weren’t in a hurry, I said we wouldn’t do anything. Time is not pressing, it is pressing a little more for the coach and that is normal. Make players to make players, I don’t know how to do. We take a little more time and we agree to wait a bit and have a player who suits everyone, especially the coach.
“It would be good if we were left to work a little serenely, if we stopped trying to add fuel to the fire all the time. »
But are you set on one player?
We are fixed but it is not signed. We work, we work.
Are players still likely to leave?
Every three days, Ounahi leaves, or Bentlaeb, or Sofiane Boufal. I think we are very negative around us. No one will leave. We must stop now! It would be good if we were left to work calmly a little, if we stopped trying to add fuel to the fire all the time with bogus information. Players will not leave. The transfer window is over.
Even loan returns?
I don’t think I was asked questions about these players. Some, from the beginning, know very well that they are in the process of leaving and have exit vouchers (Diony, Bobichon, El Melali). There are others who don’t.
“If we can put a little positivity in all this. I have the impression that for six months here, it’s been grim. »
Has Paul Bernardoni’s situation changed? You said at the start that Yahia Fofana had left to be number 1 and we were surprised to see Bernardoni start for the last preparation match against La Spezia (2-2)…
This kind of question, I do not answer it. This is Gerald (Baticle). Today, Paul is in the three goalkeepers of the SCO and that’s very good.
And what about Sada Thioub? While the club did not seem to rely on him, he was used a lot during the preparation…
Sada today is used a little more… If we can put a little positivity in all that. I have the impression that for six months here, it’s been grim. It’s starting to get heavy. I feel it from what I read and what I see, it’s starting to annoy me. I would rather we talk about the positive things of the club, the chance to have recruited Sima, Hountondji, Blazic…, rather than from morning to night hearing things that are starting to really annoy me. We died with the DNCG, we died with the Americans, we were sportingly cooked. I feel like we’re still standing. I would like us to be a little fair with us in the work, I don’t have the impression that we are too fair. Maybe it would suit people if we went to Ligue 2, I don’t know. Well, that wouldn’t suit me. »