« The foundations have not been laid » on the mental level according to a specialist


Do you think the Girondins’ problem is mental?

We cannot say so. Physical, technical, tactical and mental are the four pillars of performance, and the boundaries are not watertight. One will influence the other. If you are not well physically, you can begin to doubt; if you ask yourself questions, you will make mistakes. For Bordeaux, there is a bit of everything, but it is obvious that there are difficulties on the mental level.

How do you see it?

The attitudes, the faces. We read a form of concern. On Wednesday’s match, everyone underlines the character of Saint-Etienne. But at 2-0, Saint-Etienne coach Pascal Dupraz and his assistant Julien Sablé were a little nervous, which is understandable when things go wrong. The first goal reassured them. On the contrary, in all the Girondins matches, even when they are leading, we feel this self-fulfilling prophecy: we take bags, we defend badly so we will inevitably concede goals. By dint of hearing it, they are perhaps very monopolized by this idea.

What is the weight of the ranking?

I don’t have the impression that they collapsed mentally the day they found themselves in a relegation position. I remember the match against Nice at the end of August (4-0) where they seemed already lost. I see a deficit that has built up over time, which has grown stronger. And now, moving under negative pressure accentuates it. That may be the problem. Awareness should have come sooner.

“My feeling is that the foundations were never laid collectively on a mental level”

Managers, coaches and players always have a “positive attitude” in front of the media. Is it necessary or is there a risk of denial?

I think it’s a way of expressing yourself to the public. They protect themselves. If we put ourselves in their shoes, it makes sense. On the other hand, I think that internally, there is a lot of work to be done so that everyone is honest with themselves. I’m not talking about the famous « we tell each other things », where everyone will free their speech without filter and where we will stop there. We have to talk to each other, with kindness, and above all put things in place to help. If the theme is: « I’m not focused enough », the answer is: « ok, but what do we do to be more focused? » « . It’s complicated to achieve for the coach because he himself is impacted. This is where it is interesting to have someone from the outside in place.

In an attempt to reverse the dynamic, the leaders chose in January to change the leaders to supervise the rest of the group. Is this a solution?

During a season, I often hear the word “leverage”. But levers are for machines. We are talking about being human. You have to work for the long term. We must not wait for a providential man, whether on the field or the coach. My feeling is that the foundations and the refuges were never laid collectively on the mental plane. Afterwards, when the season has started, there is no more time and the points lost cannot be made up for. Asking someone in February to rebuild the house is complicated and puts a lot of pressure on him.

Could the January dismissals, the Costil-Koscielny “affair” have an impact on the other players?

It’s hard to say because I don’t know how the players get along with each other, the impact of each other. It’s very personal and different from one to another.

Do we have to say to ourselves today “we have nothing more to lose” to let go of the horses?

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