Montpellier welcomes the reigning French champions Lille, this Saturday, February 12 on behalf of the 24th day of Ligue 1.
Close the ban. This Saturday, after three suspension matches since his eviction mid-January, Téji Savanier resumes the thread of his season, finds the light of a shock after being condemned to the shade one evening of crampons which trail against Troyes (0-1). Right when the MHSC returns to La Mosson, marked by bruises from a defeat at the Greens (3-1) where his absence was obvious.
« Saint-Étienne was reassured not to have Téji facing him. When there is a strategist in the team, with a technical dimension, that leads to something else for the opponent »analyzed Thursday Olivier Dall’Oglio.
The Pailladin coach has often repeated this season. When his executives are missing, his training is not the same. « We are looking for explanations on the right, on the left, but this team needs to have all its players. Even if we had good matches without Téji, we need him. »
Three defeats in five L1 matches without him
Observation of radiant talent, admission of a form of dependence on the kid from the Gély city: without Téji, life is less beautiful (three defeats in five L1 matches without him). Montpellier had proven themselves in Nice (0-1), against Monaco (3-2) or Marseille in the Cup (1-1, tab 5-4), to be able to overcome their withdrawals. « Sign that the group is strong », notes Valere Germain.
But with the N.11, five goals and six assists in L1 this season, the Hérault game takes on another dimension, less restrictive and more free on a tactical level. « Many important balloons pass through Téji, can be distributed by him, describes ODO. He reassures because he is the technical lead. We know that we can give him the ball, he will do something with it. That’s where there’s a lack without him. »
#MHSCLOSC The Montpellier group ✔️
? 20 players called up
? A game to win
— MHSC (@MontpellierHSC) February 11, 2022
« Emancipated » the presence of Delort and Laborde, according to President Laurent Nicollin, Savanier has imposed his magic and his sleight of hand this season. Until spreading its strength, testifies Arnaud Souquet. « It is one of the best players of our championship, so when he comes back, it’s a plus for confidence. We can give him the ball, he is not a player who is afraid to set foot, to take the game on his own. It feels good, it also guides you. »
ODO: « We are no longer about the player, but about the man »
« He brings a grinta, talks a lot. When a captain shows so much desire on the pitch, we can only follow him », adds Germain, whom Dall’Oglio expects to benefit more from the presence of the conjurer. The one feared by opponents. « When you’re in front, you fear him a little more, as we feared our duo before »continues Souquet.
The downside of talent, Savanier generates fear but in return receives the favors of his vis-à-vis, not always legally. To the point of sometimes turning into a black mage, like when he steps on the Trojan El Hajjam. Yielding then to this « shadow zone » pointed out by Nicollin, that of most expelled L1 player (4) after Nantes Girotto (5) since 2018. Both « a little in the sights of the referees » for Souquet, and « impulsive » for Dall’Oglio. « We are no longer about the player, but about the man, replace the trainer. Knowing how to contain yourself is not always easy. »
Tame your dark side. At 30, Savanier knows where he can still be improved. Banned for three weeks, Captain Pailladin had time to think things over. “He is keen to come back, says Germain, to have a great game and a good end to the season. » At the right time for Montpellier.
Classic, with Wahi on the left
With Savanier, Montpellier should return to a more classic eleven, around its 4-2-3-1. Without Mavididi, the left side of the middle could be occupied by Wahi. Lille, for its part, should be articulated in 4-4-2. With Ben Arfa or Yilmaz, back? « It makes you dream of making a pass to Mbappé, Benzema, Griezmann. I do it at the Playstation » : Téji Savanier confided in Johan Micoud during an interview in Grammont, to see on Amazon in Sunday Soir Football (7 p.m.).