Ivory Coast: Jean Louis Gasset, the veiled choice of the FIF as Elephants coach?

In the process of recruiting a new coach, Côte d’Ivoire now has the choice between three names selected from a short list. But the only name announced is that of Jean Louis Gasset.

The former Bordeaux even had the merit of receiving some praise from the Executive Director of the FIF, Armand Gohourou. What make believe that the French is the unofficial choice of the Ivorian Football Federation.

After a week of calls for applications, the Ivorian Football Federation has registered 22 applications for the position of Elephants coach. As for the post of assistant coach, they were 17 to apply for finally two names retained provisionally. The short list selected for the position of coach is made up of three names including Jean Louis Gasset.

Jean Louis Gasset, the number 1 choice?

They are three candidates submitted to the choice of the Ivorian Football Federation to be the coach. If the other names have not been revealed, that of Jean Louis Gasset is making headlines in Côte d’Ivoire. Far from announcing him as the perfect choice by the umbrella organization of Ivorian football, the Executive Director of the FIF subtly presented him as a man of experience. « I don’t need to comment further on his name, on his career. I think he is known in the community, the journalists certainly know him. I can simply say that he coached Laurent Blanc,” he commented.

Barely veiled praise and which has reason to believe that, on the side of the FIF, we are under the spell of the French technician. Does he already have the favors of the predictions?

Gasset and the dream of coaching in Africa

Driven out of Bordeaux in July 2021, Jean Louis Gasset has always had the dream of one day coaching an African team. An ambition he had revealed to L’Equipe in January 2020. “When I get up in the morning at 5 a.m., I go to my kitchen, where there are three piles of papers on as many African selections. I compiled everything I found on each of them. I would like that. I would like to become a coach. Discover nuggets, talk to the major players, build a group in record time, experience the rush of the match that matters, then the competition, the euphoria of a country and understand why when the French succeed, they are called white wizards. A CAN would be a terrible thing to experience. “, he confided.

A rather disappointing career record

For the Elephants, the Ivorian Football Federation wants a top coach, with good physical capacity. Two criteria which seem to be lacking in Jean Louis Gasset, due to his age and his coaching career. The man is now 68 years old (69 in December 2022). This is already the subject of criticism and concern within Ivorian public opinion for someone who has never trained on the continent. As a coach, the French technician has almost never managed to win. With Istres FC, he collected only 26% of victories in 19 games, that is 5 wins, 5 draws and 9 defeats.

On the Montpellier HSC bench, Jean Louis Gasset played 56 games (15 wins, 13 draws, 28 losses) or 27% wins. It was at AS Saint-Etienne that he did better in 58 games for 50% wins (29 wins, 14 draws, 15 losses). Jean Louis Gasset had his last experience in Bordeaux where he finally fired after 34% of victories achieved in 38 games (13 wins, 6 draws, 19 losses). In all, it’s 171 games directed as the main coach of a club (62 wins, 38 draws, 71 losses) for 36% of victories.

A name already vomited from Ivorians

The FIF already has a lot of pressure to manage in the choice of the future coach of the national team. Barely his name announced that Gasset is already vomited from the Ivorians. “Sincerely said, I have been worried since I saw the name of Mr. Jean Louis Gasset (68 years old) among the 3 finalists for the post of coach of the national team”, can we read on the social accounts of “Support to the Elephants”. “Jean Louis Gasset selected out of 22 Candidates, that raises questions about the criteria! Someone who has never trained in Africa yet we want someone who knows African football very well, “said an Ivorian internet user.

Very well known in Côte d’Ivoire, the Facebook page Observatoire Sportif de Côte d’Ivoire (OSCI) had fun by also commenting on the announcement of Gasset’s name. “If it’s the old man who will be the coach of the elephants, it’s because it’s no longer worth it. Someone who speaks we do not hear it, our players are stubborn oh”, can we also read. While waiting to know the choice of the Ivorian Football Federation, Jean Louis Gasset is far from being unanimous among the Ivorian sports public.

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