Still unsuccessful in the league since the start of the season following their new draw against Clermont, Strasbourg disappoints compared to what they showed during the 2021-2022 financial year. But after this prosperous period, difficulties were rightly and logically expected.
The statistic, unprecedented since the arrival of Julien Stéphan in 2021, will not surprise anyone in view of the start of the season that is observed: at home, Strasbourg have not won any of their last four games (one loss). Against Clermont at La Meinau this Sunday, on the occasion of matchday seven of Ligue 1, the Alsatians once again conceded a draw despite an obvious dominance and chances that should have ended in the bottom (two hit crossbars, in particular ). Result: RCSA have yet to win a single league game, and remain in the relegation zone in 17th position with five small points on the clock. But how to explain this difficult period in which the club embodied one of the hype During the 2021-2022 financial year, the Frenchman finished in sixth place and three units off the podium thanks to an exciting match, all while the squad has not changed much?
“Last year, maybe we exaggerated…”
Actually, the reasons for this top hat are diverse and varied. But the performances at half-staff, compared to the previous season, are not so unexpected either. Because taking a step back, it was rather the successes of last year that represented the anomaly. “If I take Lyon, Paris, Monaco, Lille, Marseille, Rennes, Nice, I add Lens… there are already eight teams of a different caliber than Racing Club de Strasbourg. We don’t play on the same court. Last year we may have overreacted at times, it all worked out for us.cleverly pointed out Dimitri Liénard at the end of July, during a friendly against Liverpool. What we did last year was magical, extraordinary. But this is a completely different season. I wish we would remake something beautiful, but I think we will fight with ten teams to stay as fast as possible. With the four relegations and the cut linked to the World Cup, you have to keep your feet on the ground, not think you’re too pretty or bourgeois. We are confident in our strengths, but from season to season, nothing is the same. »
A speech shared by his coach, Stéphan, who wanted to warn everyone before the start of the festivities: “Last season is last season, and a new season is about to start. We must not forget that we are the fifteenth budget in Ligue 1, that there will be four relegations and that it is a dangerous season for many clubs, including ours. It is a dangerous championship and we are part, like ten-twelve clubs, of the teams that will be affected by this fight. We must never forget it, at least in the first instance. If we ever manage to get rid of him, we’ll try to do the best we can. It is a difficult season, the games will be hard and committed. »
A multifactorial context
About the two men, we must add some factors that justify this false start in performance. First, the lack of success (particularly offensive) of the Strasbourg players since August is quite evident (especially compared to last season, once again): unlucky and imprecise up front, the Alsatians have the penultimate attack of the Hexagon (five goals scored) versus Ajaccio (three) while getting plenty of chances nonetheless (only one game with fewer than nine goal attempts, in seven days). This drop in efficiency can also be explained by the simultaneous transfers of Anthony Caci (Mainz) and Frédéric Guilbert (Aston Villa), the quality of the center of the two pistons that previously represented a sacred asset. In addition, the wishes of certain executives -such as Ludovic Ajorque or Alexander Djiku- who ultimately did not sign for another club could play psychologically in people’s minds.
Finally, the RCSA is also not doing very well from the point of view of absences: against the Auvergnats, the injured list was, for example, as long as the reign of an English monarch (retirements of Thomas Delaine, Gerzino Nyamsi, Karol Fila, Eiji Kawashima and Liénard) without forgetting that Sanjin Prcić was suspended. If it was very tasty and appreciated, the 2021-2022 vintage was also hard to swallow. So hard to digest. “We have automatisms, but there was a lot of mental wear last year until the last dayrecognized Liénard, a few weeks ago. The most difficult thing will be to really immerse yourself in reality, and if you start badly everything can go very fast. Of course, we want to avoid staying the last day, but it will not be that easy. » The long-term objective is in any case known, and it is not about doing better than before. The short term is to seek success, as quickly as possible.
By Florian Cadu, with Quentin Ballue
Interview by QB
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