About to go on holiday even before spring arrives, AS Monaco, at the cost of an incredible series of successes, are proposing a more exciting season finale than expected. Now third, the Rock club will try to chain a ninth win this Saturday against Brest. Let’s go back to the recipe of this rebirth that allows Monegasques to squat on a podium that until a few weeks ago still seemed inaccessible.
Like AS Monaco, Dmitri Rybolovlev wants to be quite discreet in the media. A few weeks after being at the center of many questions about his possible links with Vladimir Putin following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on March 19 the president of the ASM finds himself once again in the light. Late in the evening, The group announced that the Russian was preparing a major cleanup inside the club. The oligarch would have had very little taste for the disappointing elimination of his men against Braga in the round of 16 of the Europa League two days earlier. The situation of the red and white in the championship – eighth nine points from the podium – certainly did not encourage greater optimism for the rest of a season that could end well before May on the Rock, as suggested by several banners explained to Louis-II for the Reception in Paris the following Sunday.
“Everything is still possible. But we have to react. Not only against PSG, but in the 10 finals (10 days left) ” , then tried to defend himself Philippe Clement. However, the Belgian, as well as Oleg Petrov, the vice president, and Paul Mitchell, the sporting director, could bear the brunt of the president’s anger. At the time, only one unknown: the date of this great upheaval. Two months later, all these beautiful people are still in charge, and listening to the sweet music of the Champions League echoing next season’s Rock is no longer an inaccessible dream.
A more Clemente coach
Disembarking in the place of Niko Kovač, dismissed to everyone’s surprise in the last hours of 2021, Philippe Clement delivered, a few days after his arrival, a lucid observation on the Monegasque workforce. “Physically, we have to go through several stages. It is something I knew when I arrived. I was told, it’s one of the points we can improve ” , anticipated the defector of FC Bruges. Four months later, his team looks much more developed in this area. With coach Kovač we chained the terminals before touching the ball, now we integrate the ball, we have more fun because we are above all a footballerdetails Youssouf Fofana for RMC Sport, visibly not happy with having changed coach. It’s calmer, more patient, over time, and I think you can feel it. Even if we win by small margins, I have the impression that we are much more dangerous at the end of the game. ” This is demonstrated by Ben Yedder’s goal against Angers in the 35And day. On the Angevin corner of the 60sAndthe players of the Principality go up against and go up all the field to find themselves at an altitude of five against the only Souleyman Doumbia and finally double the advantage through the French international.
Even the former Brugge has been able to be patient with some elements. Youssouf Fofana and Kevin Volland, two of the hardest workers on the team, benefited from the time to recover. Just like Aleksandr Golovin, injured when the new coach arrived. “We have to create the foundations so that he can play more games and for this we rely on the data. He is a player with great qualities, but “engine and body” must be ready to repeat high-level performances ” Clement said of the Russian before going to challenge Metz in early April. During this time, Jean Lucas buys time to play, but fails to really assert himself. Quite the opposite of Axel Disasi who perfectly replaces Benoît Badiashile and Guillermo Maripán, both regularly injured.
A story of duets
By gradually emptying the infirmary, at times very full and which now only has Krépin Diatta and Cesc Fàbregas, who should put an end to his Monegasque stay there, Philippe Clement also managed to free an eleven boy and bring a stability that was sorely lacking in the first part of the season. The Belgian can thus count on several duos, some of which were already the strong point of the ASM last season. In attack, Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland join forces again as they once did in the return stage in 2021. More discreet and less publicized, the German still charges 14 tokens and 11 offers for the current season. Better, he has been decisive six times in the last eight meetings while the friend on the front of the attack investigates the goals (six, in the same period). Behind them, Golovin, who has just had eight starts, a first this season, and the revelation Vanderson, whose Clement has“I quickly saw the offensive qualities” , blew the wings of the Rock, leaving Sofiane Diop glued to the bench. Alongside them, Tchouaméni and Fofana dominate the midfield.
Brilliant since the beginning of the season, the former Bordeaux player, lined up alone in front of the defense when the Belgian coach took over, benefits above all from the return of the former Strasbourg to level up and weigh on both surfaces, the image of his brace against LOSC last Friday. Having passed very close to Angers, Fofana is still waiting to score his first goal with ASM in Ligue 1. The Frenchman could very well take advantage of the Brest reception this Saturday to break this roof, just to confirm that he is back to his best level. And, at the same time, install a little more Monaco on a podium that seemed so illusory in early spring and for which Rock players now have all the cards in hand to hold on to the end.
By Florian Porta