Dupraz, stockings of ideas / Ligue 2 / Saint-Étienne / May 29, 2022 /

Already in bad shape in December, ASSE had chosen to trust Pascal Dupraz to save the Green ship. Still surfing on the wave of the magnificent maintenance of Toulouse in 2016, the Haute-Savoie technician has, this time, planted himself in what he loves the most: a rescue mission. Once the mental effect of the coach’s arrival passed, Saint-Étienne never showed the face of a team that is resting on a more or less solid foundation.

“Yet trailed by ten points by the first relegation with ten days of the end of the championship, the TFC, carried by the momentum instilled by the Haut-Savoyard, had ended up saving thanks to a success on the final day. » Here is how Saint-Étienne introduced Pascal Dupraz on December 14 in his press release. This time, the former coach of SM Caen recovered a team behind three points by the barrage, twenty days from the end of the championship. More time to allow him to build a real dynamic? Why not, yes. At the end of winter in any case, the famous Dupraz effect seems to work. Fifteen points in eight games between the end of January and the beginning of March. The Greens, then play-offs, took advantage of the cataclysmic performances of Bordeaux and Metz to give themselves some air.

Ten games, then nothing

Mission accomplished. Too early ? Surely. Because the Forézien coach is very optimistic, while there are ten games left in the season. “If we keep this rate of two points per game until the end of the season, we can make a turn in the kops before the hour” , he explains on the eve of the reception of Troyes, which will end in a draw (1-1). Almost like a return of karma, this two points per game rhythm disappears as soon as it is mentioned. Sainté takes only 6 points over the last ten days. Far, too far from the 18 harvested over the same period of time when he arrived in Toulouse.

The break was therefore made exactly after ten games on the Saint-Etienne bench, and while there were still ten to play. In the first half, the coach only conceded 11 pawns. On the second, he took 27. ASSE ate 6 against Lorient, 4 against Marseille, Monaco and Nice… However, Dupraz had insisted on this point, on the defensive friability of his men, as soon as he arrived . “My job is to make players offer less goals first” , he detailed a few days after taking office in Saint-Étienne. What followed, and that coincided with the good form of his team. But perhaps he failed to establish real tactical precepts.

“Which book does it say that you have to go and take the ball from them right away? We are in place. You will see that the more we go back, the tighter we will be and the more difficult their passes will be. » Pascal Dupraz, in training.

Barely 24 hours after his appointment, for his first training, he announced the color: “It’s not a big deal if the team in front of you exchanges passes sixty, seventy meters from our goal. It is marked in which book that it is necessary to immediately go and take the ball from them? We are in place. You will see that the more we go back, the tighter we will be and the more difficult their passes will be. » A sequence which had already caused debate on his qualities as a tactician, he who was only defined by the prism of the savior, the leader of a man. And that’s even how ASSE presented it. “Today, in modern football, you shouldn’t talk about defending. Because if you talk about defending, you are a backward-looking person” he justified himself at the beginning of January, while indicating that it was not enough ” to say “come on guys” so that the results of a team are transformed » .

The precepts of Pep Guardiola

Finally, this last match against Auxerre only showed the tactical failures of his team. That we had already seen since mid-March. But there, while the sacrosanct dynamic no longer existed for a while, his Greens could not rest on anything. Facing the Auxerrois, much more in difficulty physically, but much more in place tactically, Sainté never dominated his subject. To be condemned by a team that Jean-Marc Furlan kills himself to make play by relying on possession is a nice snub for someone who does not particularly carry this kind of tactical aspirations in his heart. “It’s good to have beaten the pawn for this Clermont team which claims the precepts of Pep Guardiola” had turned on Dupraz after his victory in Auvergne on February 13 (1-2). “I’m happy to have shown Pascal Gastien that a mountaineer could make his team play” , he then boasted. Doing more than ten games on a bench is perhaps a little too long for the mountaineer who, in addition to tarnishing his reputation as a savior, places himself a little more in the category of coaches who cannot manage to install the slightest project of play. Whether shimmering or not, for that matter. Failing in big meetings, what more guardiolesque ?

Auxerre comes home

By Leo Peat