Monaco, la recette d'un retour en grâce

Monaco, la recette d’un retour en grâce

On the verge of going on vacation before spring even arrives, AS Monaco, at the cost of an incredible series of successes, offers themselves a more exciting end to the season than expected. Now third, the Rock club will try to chain a ninth victory this Saturday against Brest. Back on the recipe for this revival which allows Monegasques to squat a podium which still seemed inaccessible a few weeks ago.

Like AS Monaco, Dmitri Rybolovlev wants to be rather discreet in the media. A few weeks after having been at the heart of many questions concerning his possible links with Vladimir Putin following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the president of the ASM finds himself again in the light on March 19th. Late in the evening, The Team announced that the Russian was preparing a major cleaning within the club. The oligarch would have had very little taste for the disappointing elimination of his men against Braga in the knockout stages of the Europa League two days earlier. The situation of the Red and Whites in the league – eighth, nine points from the podium – hardly encouraged more optimism for the rest of a season which could well end before May on the Rock, as suggested several banners unfurled at Louis-II for the Paris reception the following Sunday.

” Everything is still possible. But we have to react. Not only against PSG, but in the 10 finals (10 days left to go) » , then tried to defend himself Philippe Clement. However, the Belgian, as well as Oleg Petrov, the vice-president, and Paul Mitchell, the sports director, could bear the brunt of the president’s anger. At the time, only one unknown: the date of this great upheaval. Two months later, all these beautiful people are still in office, and hearing the sweet music of the Champions League resound on the Rock next season is no longer an inaccessible dream.

A more Clement coach

Landed to replace Niko Kovač, dismissed to everyone’s surprise in the last hours of 2021, Philippe Clement delivered, a few days after his arrival, a lucid observation on the Monegasque workforce. “Physically, we have to go through several stages. It’s something I knew when I arrived. I had been told, it is one of the points that we can improve » , advanced the defector from FC Bruges. Four months later, his team seems much more developed in this area. “With coach Kovač, we chained the terminals before touching the ball, now we integrate the ball, we take more pleasure because we are a footballer above alldetails Youssouf Fofana for RMC Sport, visibly not unhappy to have changed coach. He’s calmer, more patient, over time, and I think you can feel that. Even if we win by small margins, I have the impression that we are much more dangerous at the end of the match. » Evidenced by the goal of Ben Yedder against Angers in the 35and daytime. On an Angevin corner at the 60andthe players of the Principality go against and go up the whole field to find themselves at five against the only Souleyman Doumbia and finally double the lead through the intermediary of the French international.

The former Brugge was also able to be patient with certain elements. Youssouf Fofana and Kevin Volland, two of the team’s hardest workers, thus benefited from time to recover their health. Just like Aleksandr Golovin, injured when the new technician arrived. “We have to create the foundations so that he can play more games and we rely on the data for that. He is a player with great qualities, but “engine and body” must be ready to repeat high-level performances” , said Clement, about the Russian, before going to challenge Metz in early April. During this time, Jean Lucas gleans playing time, but does not manage to really impose himself. Quite the opposite of Axel Disasi who perfectly replaces Benoît Badiashile and Guillermo Maripán, both regularly injured.

A story of duos

Gradually emptying the infirmary, at times very full and which now only has Krépin Diatta and Cesc Fàbregas, who should end his Monegasque stay there, Philippe Clement was also able to release an eleven guy and bring a stability that was sorely lacking during the first part of the season. The Belgian can thus count on several duos, some of which were already the strength of ASM last season. Up front, Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland combine again as they used to on the return phase in 2021. More discreet and less publicized, the German still charges 14 pawns and 11 offerings for the current season. Better, he was decisive six times in the last eight meetings while his friend on the front of the attack investigates the goals (six, over the same period). Behind them, Golovin, who has just had eight starts, a first this season, and the revelation Vanderson, whose Clement has“quickly saw the offensive qualities” , dynamited the wings of the Rock, leaving Sofiane Diop glued to the bench. At their side, Tchouaméni and Fofana reign over the midfield.

Shining since the start of the season, the former Bordelais, lined up alone in front of the defense when the Belgian coach took over, especially benefits from the return of the ex-Strasbourg player to go up a notch and weigh in on both surfaces, the image of his double against LOSC last Friday. Having passed very close to facing Angers, Fofana is still waiting to score his first goal with ASM in Ligue 1. The Frenchman could well take advantage of the reception of Brest this Saturday to break this ceiling, just to confirm that he is back to his best level. And, at the same time, to install Monaco a little more on a podium which seemed so illusory at the beginning of spring and for which the players of the Rock now have all the cards in hand to hang on to it until the end.

By Florian Porta

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