Nine years ago, PSG won its first title in the Qatar era. Also nine years ago, Jean-Marc Furlan won his last match in Ligue 1. Since then, failing to perform in the top flight, the Girondins have confirmed their role as promotion specialists. The proof: he could, from this Saturday, score a fifth in Ligue 1 in his coaching career.
Upside down cap screwed on her whitening hair, sunglasses and verlan checked like nobody – Birama Touré, her “Stre-mon” will testify -: Jean-Marc Furlan lives with the times. “It’s funny to see this discrepancy. I remember that when he came to Troyes he had just arrived from Libourne-Saint-Seurin, he had a bucket hat, in another style ” , Benjamin Nivet recalls amused. In short, it is difficult to give his 64 springs to Jean-Marc Furlan, coach of AJ Auxerre for three seasons now. But just this time, JMF knows how to tame it. Because in three years he has managed to transform this AJA, a club that was in danger of falling into the anonymity of Ligue 2, into a serious candidate for the rise. As he had promised.
Nivet: “I had a great time” with Furlan
This recurring attraction between Furlan and the race for the podium is not limited to the Ligue 2 championship, although it is obviously in the anteroom of the League of Talents that the whimsical coach has spent most of his career as a coach. At the dawn of the new millennium, during his debut in the profession at Libourne, after coaching the club’s youth categories, Jean-Marc Furlan turned this modest Aquitan club into an amazing third division team. Under his orders, the club moved up to the CFA (the former National 2), then to the national team. At the same time, the Penguins got some sensational performances in the Coupe de France. The Girondin club becomes a member at 32I am of the final of the Old Lady and even manages to obtain great successes, with the headliner, that of 2003: the elimination of Olympique Lyonnais of Grégory Coupet, Patrick Müller, Sidney Govou and others, champions of France In title.
Jean-Marc Furlan’s reputation for supporting offensive play and encouraging risk-taking doesn’t even go back to the last rain. As soon as Troyes gave him the chance to connect with the pro world in 2004, the former center-back won the title of best Ligue 2 manager of the year, placed ESTAC on the podium, and this, with the best attack. the championship. “When he arrived, he had placed a 4-4-2 diamond which worked really well. But he hadn’t done that for a while, because you have to have the right players, and it’s hard to put them on the pitch.remembers Benjamin Nivet, a Trojan during Furlan’s two terms. I had a lot of fun, because I was playing as a true number 10 behind two forwards, with three midfielders behind me. ” Furlan and ESTAC therefore kept the first season, not the second. The opportunity for the coach to recover in Strasbourg, but also to suffer the second consecutive relegation. Later, the recovery operation failed by a hair’s breadth: Racing ended up at the foot of the podium, one point behind Montpellier (2And) and Boulogne-sur-Mer (3And), due to a defeat at Hérault on the last day of the championship. Furlan’s decade ends with a short freelance at FC Nantes (9 games to be exact), which allows him to be among the seventeen coaches used in fifteen years by the Canaries in the Kita era. Maybe the last time we stop him from configuring his project.
Never two without Troyes
“To anchor your game principles, you have to build a team. Normally, it takes time to convey your game principles to your playerssaid the Sainte-Foy-la-Grande native in an interview with World Eleven. There are many people who adapt depending on where they are and when. The no. As I often say, if you take Furlan, you already know that you will be taking a risk. If you don’t want to, don’t take it. ” Benjamin Nivet reinforces this feeling of guarantees necessary for those who know how to talk about themselves in the third person: He likes to have players he knows well, who must also have a certain intelligence, because it is important for him that the players understand what he wants to put on the pitch. ”
His second passage in the Aube is the archetype. He returns there in 2010, promotes ESTAC a second time in 2012 after a third place in Ligue 2. On May 18, 2013, on the occasion of the 37thAnd day, Furlan then won what was his last Ligue 1 success to date. The promoted player, who is fighting for his maintenance, overtakes Bordeaux (1-0). Immediately relegated at the end of the season, Troyes pressed the elevator button again two years later. In 2015, the Aube club was crowned French Ligue 2 champion. The following year, spent in the elite, it turned into a fiasco again. The DNCG initially invalidated ESTAC’s rise to Ligue 1, before reversing their decision, but blocking the transfers. In early December, without having won a single championship game, Jean-Marc Furlan resigned. The debacle against Toulouse on 2 December 2015 (0-3) remains what is currently his last match in Ligue 1.
Play as a vector of emotions
Yet his thaumaturge and game-loving labels remain intact. In 2016, Jean-Marc Furlan rebounds to Brest, which aims to find the elite. The Finistère club is very close to the upside in the first season of Furlan’s mandate, but only a small point missing him, due to one of the rare final sprints missed by JMF. Fifth the following season, Stade Brestois finally secured promotion in 2019. Furlan’s fourth promotion to Ligue 1 as manager. Where the shoe pinches is that the Pirates have no intention of continuing with him in Ligue 1, preferring to fall back on Olivier Dall’Oglio, who claims the same offensive virtues. “Leaving Brest, after three magnificent years, with these players, this merging audience, this rise, was a terrible pain, especially when I only received, on February 15th, an offer for an extension of one year. For me. I felt it as a message from my management that it was the end of the cycle ” explained on RMC in August 2019.
However, Jean-Marc Furlan took the opportunity to take advantage of AJ Auxerre’s proposal, who had been trying for several months. And after a first year in the soft underbelly, another at the gates of the dams, the third – the last of his contract which has not yet been extended – invites Auxerre fans to dream. The proof, the Abbé-Deschamps will be sold out this Saturday for the Amiens reception, which could, at best, record the AJA’s return to Ligue 1 and, at worst, the sending of roadblocks to the membership. Closed the ticket offices in Auxerre, had not happened for more than seven years and a semi-final of the Coupe de France against Guingamp (1-0). It is obviously linked to the stakes, but it is also a victory for Furlan and his vision of football. “My real passion is to bring people to the stadium” he said in the same interview to World Eleven. And Benjamin Nivet to support this supreme desire of Jean-Marc Furlan: He wants to give emotions, he is a purist, an esthete of the good game, he often wants to make it at home. I see him in Auxerre: I played there for seven years, I have many friends and acquaintances there … And I see that what he brought back to AJA is enormous. People come to the stadium to feel emotions. They don’t come because AJA is third, but because AJA plays well, that the fans identify with this team, and that’s the important thing. ”
The five possibilities
On Saturday, Auxerre’s fate will be closely linked to that of Ajaccio who, at the same time, receive the already promoted and champion Toulouse. Furlan’s fate could also depend on this. Will the Gironde coach finally have the opportunity to savor Ligue 1 again? Three years after Brest, he is at the gates of a fifth ascent in Ligue 1 with AJ Auxerre who could find the elite after ten years of absence. However, if so, do we have to trust a manager who, however ambitious he may be, has amassed only 0.92 points per game in his first 159 outings in the top flight? It’s a big yes, according to Benjamin Nivet: “He has already kept us with Troyes for a season. But you often find yourself with the smallest budget in Ligue 1. And when you look at the rankings, budgets often make a difference. But if we give him the means, with the players, because he always wants to play, to create something … I am convinced that he has the skills. ”
This year AJ Auxerre has granted himself the right to dream at the cost of an impeccable end of the season next, as evidenced by his ten victories in the last thirteen outings. However, Jean-Marc Furlan is used to the fact. “He often does well at the end of the season, because all season he has trained so much in the training of placed attacks, quick attacks, game codes from which you must not deviate, that at the end of the season, everyone knows how he should play” , explains Nivet. She meets in front of the Unicorns to enter this wonderful world.