As on the banks of the Krimmeri, a page turned at the end of last season in the area of La Paillade dear to the Nicollin family. After leading Montpellier Hérault SC for four seasons, Michel Der Zakarian has not been extended on the bench.
The sporting record was not bad, the club ranking 8e rank after having familiarized with European places until the last third of the season. But time has undoubtedly done its work – as skilfully underlined by the documentary series “Montpellier hero” broadcast on a famous encrypted channel – and the emblematic captain of the MHSC in the 90s gave way, at the end of his contract , to Olivier Dall’Oglio in a crossover between Finistère and Hérault.
The now ex-coach of the Stade Brestois probably thought to recover one of the best duos in Ligue 1 last season. But Andy Delort (15 goals) went to Nice just before Gaëtan Laborde (16 goals) took the direction of Rennes.
To these departures at the end of the transfer window, was added the retirement of Vitorino Hilton, the emblematic Brazilian, who will have pushed his career until the dawn of his 44 years, spending the last ten years in the shadow of the Mosson.
The MHSC has certainly not remained inactive on the transfer market by welcoming ex-French international Mamadou Sakho to bring back experience in defense and by offering a chance to revive Valère Germain after a last season with three goals. with OM. But Olivier Dall’Oglio seemed to grope for a dozen days.
As Julien Stéphan did with Racing, the technician found the formula to move up a gear. The two teams – who were already neck and neck when they faced each other in the first leg in Ligue 1 at La Mosson
-, are thus stepped up in the second quarter of the season.
The Montpellier residents even ended the year 2021 with a bang, winning their last four league matches. Fifth with 31 points (five more than Racing, which has one game less), they also did the job in the Coupe de France in Andrézieux (N2) thanks to a goal from a Téji Savanier who shines in the middle of the 4-2-3-1 advocated by Olivier Dall’Oglio.At 30 years old (since December 22), the child of the Cité Gély seems to have never played so much in the game of his team. And his statistics are affected, he who has signed as many goals (5) and assists (6) in 16 Ligue 1 matches as in 27 last season. « He is a player who takes his team », summed up his coach in the columns of L’Équipe after the victory in Metz (1-3), on 1 er
« There is offensive potential in this team »
“He has strengths to promote. What he does is very, very good… but like others. I think of (Jordan) Ferri, of (Stephy) Mavididi or of (Valère) Germain. There is offensive potential in this team. This is also why they are in this place, ”underlines Mathieu Le Scornet, Julien Stéphan’s assistant.
With 33 goals scored in the first leg, the Montpellier attack does not have much to envy that of Racing, second in the field with 34 goals.
We will see on Sunday whether, in a Cup match, the two teams will try the offensive card. In the league last season, the MHSC and Racing had separated on a 4-3 at the Mosson after a rather crazy first period (3-3). Respectively 12e and 14e with one point difference before the match, Racing and MHSC neutralized each other (1-1) in the 9