This Thursday a (nth) documentary about Guy Roux premieres on Amazon Prime. Subtitle a history of france, recounts the link between the man in the cap and the club of his life, AJ Auxerre. The problem is that you don’t learn much new. Despite this, paying for a bit of nostalgia for 90 minutes isn’t necessarily off-putting.
Somewhere, you could say that the Amazon Prime team had a pot with AJA’s rise in Ligue 1, after a suffocating blitz against AS Saint-Étienne. The end of this decade of purgatory for the icaunaise team came at the right time to premiere their large-format documentary dedicated to the most beautiful VRP of the Blue and Whites: Guy Roux. For 90 minutes, the octogenarian tells his story in the first person, with the support of some personalities who have marked his ajaísta career. Among them, former players from all eras (let’s mention a jumble of Lionel Charbonnier, Éric Cantona, Djibril Cissé, Lucien Denis…), but also local personalities (starting with Gérard Delorme, former sports director of the Yonne Republican)henchmen of the club (Gérard Bourgoin, Daniel Rolland, Guillaume Collin…), not to mention some appearances random (Raymond Domenech, Jacques Vendroux and, most surprisingly, Sir Alex Ferguson). In other words, the cast is strong and each speaker has an opinion on it. Adding a skilful production, nice aerial shots and a package of archive images -sometimes rare- and quite well chosen, it ends up giving a nice story that lasts the time of a football game, one of those that hold breath from the beginning. start to the final whistle.
Some (pretty) hot
The problem is that nothing presented is really exclusive. By dint of media presence for almost half a century, adorned with a handful of autobiographies, the character of Guy Roux ended up being known as the white wolf. From his modest childhood between Yonne and Haut-Rhin to his beginnings as a player-coach in the early 1960s, from his paternalistic and uncompromising personality to his old-fashioned working methods, the irresistible rise ahead brings nothing new. to nobody. who knows the man at all (Cantona and Cissé are there to tell once again the anecdotes of the odometers, the spies at the tolls and the need to make the bed and say hello). To caricature, we will say that this modern history is an achievement for 99% of AJ Auxerre fans and, with a big dipper, for 80% of French football fans. The almost unavoidable risk in not falling into the copy and paste of what has been done in the past is to step aside (for example by talking about AJA in a general way or leaving the microphone troublemaker Gérard Bourgoin who, due to his legendary verve, he also offers himself a particularly humorous biographical chapter, especially when recounting his exploits as a self-taught airplane pilot). And so, moving away from the character of Guy Roux, who was supposed to be the subject of the documentary. Probably the reason this one is subtitled. a history of france and so he comes out of it with a skillful pirouette.
the timeline The fastening has some holes that are difficult to explain, except to stay inside the nails of the imposed length. Example with European epics: if the elimination against Dortmund in the semifinals of the 1993 UEFA Cup is recounted in detail (and the hearts of those who have forgotten the tears of Stéphane Mahé are broken), no reference to the trauma of this quarter of C1 1997 against Borussia itself after Lilian Laslandes’ goal was unfairly annulled. The same with the origins of the construction of the training center, but directly linked to the final of the Coupe de France in 1979, lost against FC Nantes and that is recounted there again. Not a word either about the exhaustion caused by their temporary removal from the earth at the beginning of the 21st century.me century for the benefit of reserve coach Daniel Rolland, who is nevertheless recognized – and rightly so – for the preponderant role in detecting young talents who also represent a pillar of the Auxerre house.
The 1994 Coupe de France is one of the forgotten moments in the club’s history.
In summary, the main criticism that we would make of this documentary is its somewhat captivating aspect, especially if we compare it with the portrait made by France 3 Bourgogne in 2018 on the occasion of the patriarch’s 80th birthday, which offers an intimate immersion both in history and geographical. Perhaps less conventional, but certainly more moving. Impossible not to mention Ingrainedpremiered in 2013 and during which Canal+ followed the man with the hat for nine months, a inside in the long run which also gave a document for history. At that time, she had benefited from a very guyrouxesco : the interested party had organized a preview in a cinema in Auxerre without any privileges, the 5 euros paid by each spectator being donated to the Icaunaise section of the League against cancer. Here, the media was sent a hat and a t-shirt. More realistic and less glamorous to celebrate the man.
However, taking, not entirely at random, this reaction under the tweet that accompanied the announcement of the film’s premiere on Amazon Prime: “I am too young to have known Guy Roux as a manager, but I know he is one of the great men of French football” , we understand that it can serve as a gateway to the young generation that wants to work on their classics. Just for that, this umpteenth narration ofa history of france it is totally justified, as long as it is not limited to it exclusively.
By Julian Duez