Zapping Goal! Football club ASSE: Laurent Hess’s edit on Anthony Modeste’s difficult adaptation
Goal ! : Gilbert, the season has been special with the Covid, the closed doors. Did you still follow ASSE?
Gilbert CECCARELLI: Of course. But we have to admit that without the supporters, it was still difficult. We became better aware of the importance of the public in the stadiums. Without them, it’s really sad. I hope they can come back soon. Everyone misses them. And I take my hat off to the players. In this particular context, in addition, they were not varnished: there were many positive cases, injuries. It was hard but they didn’t give up. We must congratulate them and hope that they start next season as they finished this one.
Claude Puel believes it was a satisfying season. Do you agree with him?
It was especially satisfying at the end, in the second part of the season. We started very well but it quickly got complicated. Fofana’s departure hurt, Debuchy was injured, Mason too, and a bad spiral started. There was a delicate period, with the defeats which followed one another, a plummet in the standings. But the team was able to raise its head. What is super positive for the future is that, his state of mind, his fighting spirit. When a season goes into spins, it is not always easy to correct the situation. We finish 11th. For a transition season we will say, or learning for young people, that’s pretty good.
Weren’t you afraid for the maintenance?
No. Honestly, no. We have never been relegated. We were not far from the red zone but we negotiated this match well in Nîmes which was really very important. If we had lost it, yes I would have been worried. The victory there got the team back on track. It was the turning point. Behind, we beat Bordeaux, we made good matches in Paris, in Lille. And we ensure the maintenance at home against Marseille after the victory in Montpellier. Plus, the content was better at the end. There was a good quality of play in some matches, except for the last defeat against Dijon. I found the team more liberated.
What did you think of Jessy Moulin’s season?
He had a decent season. There are always detractors but he made his matches. He was decisive in some matches and he was not responsible for the goals conceded. It was not easy because there were a lot of injuries in defense at one point. And we must not forget that Jessy had never done so much. For a first season as No. 1, it was not bad. To assume this cap when you are not used to playing every weekend, it is not given to all goalies. He did well. He didn’t give up. He has shown that he can be counted on. He is really a boy who has the values of the club. He gives everything for the jersey.
What did you think of Etienne Green’s debut?
On what he showed, I found him promising. With Jessy and him, the club is quiet.
“Green was able to seize his chance. The hardest part in football is to confirm. But I think he’s on the right track ”
Did you know him?
No. I had run into him when he was a kid, but I was leaving. So I never trained him.
Do you see him as the guardian of the future for ASSE?
I don’t know who is going to play. But I trust our two goalkeepers. In addition, it is a chance to have two goalkeepers trained at the club to wear our colors. We can see that they love the jersey, that they are ready to give themselves body and soul. Considering their state of mind, I don’t worry: whoever # 1 is, I think they will work in harmony. They are well supported with André Biancarelli.
There is also Stefan Bajic …
Yes. I’ve heard a lot of good things for a long time, he won the Gambardella. But I rarely saw him play. And it’s difficult to judge him on the few matches he made in the first team.
What qualities did you like about Etienne Green?
It’s a whole. I liked what he released. He has a good kicking game, a good presence. He is reckless. He had been described as a shy person but it didn’t show. Afterwards, he will have to assert his personality but that will come naturally, over time. If he stays the course, he will gain more and more self-confidence and make his place, unite with the players, become a leader from his cages. In any case, Green was able to seize his chance. The hardest part in football is to confirm. But I think he’s on the right track.
“Ruffier, I think what I think of it, about his qualities, his personality. But this setting aside, I did not like “
What do you think of Claude Puel’s work?
Puel, we’ve known him for a long time. We know that he is a hardworking coach, who gives young people a chance. Those who want them, he does not hesitate to launch them, to make them play. He’s not afraid of it. In Saint-Etienne, it’s interesting to have this philosophy especially since we have good young people. Afterwards, you have to be careful: young people are good, but they have to be well supervised. This was the case in Lille this season with Fonte, Yilmaz, André, and they created a surprise by being champion. This is the example to follow, I think.
Puel marked his territory by dismissing Stéphane Ruffier, who ended up being sacked. What did you think of this “Ruffier affair”?
I am not a Ruffier pro, I have already expressed myself on this. However, the way it happened upset me. Ruffier, I think what I think of it, about his qualities, his personality. But this setting aside, I did not like. Afterwards, I do not defend it 100% and I do not condemn the leaders, because I do not know all the ins and outs.
What do you blame Ruffier for not being a “pro Ruffier”?
He is a good goalkeeper, or he was a good goalkeeper since he hung up, a priori. There, no problem. But it’s more his personality. I think he was too much in his bubble, in his corner. He was not investing enough. A goalkeeper is alone in his goals, it’s a bit special, but he must be unifying, he must have a positive influence on the team. And that, seen from the outside, I did not feel it in Ruffier. He did not have the leadership that we were entitled to expect, especially in relation to his level, his status.
The leaders announced their intention to sell the club, to hand over. Do you think this is the right time?
Houla … Me, I’m like Saint-Thomas. I believe what I see. This speech, this desire to sell, we have heard it more than once. And yet, they are still there. It doesn’t move. It tires a bit.
Do you understand the annoyance of the supporters, their dissatisfaction?
We can understand it. We can see that the club does not evolve. We take one step forward, three back. It does not advance. I think that to make ASSE evolve, we need other leaders. It would be nice if someone came up with other means, other ideas. In a lot of clubs, that’s what happened. We are stagnant and we risk being passed by a lot of people if we do not evolve. I hope that we will see a serious buyer arrive, with a good, ambitious project. The club deserves it.
The former Green Gilbert Ceccarelli confided
Former ASSE goalkeeper, Gilbert Ceccarelli (58) gives his opinion on the news of the Greens, his goalkeepers and the possible sale of the club. Interview.