Continuation of the supporters’ tour of France. Meeting today with Quentin, supporter of AS Saint-Etienne. We will discuss with him the current form of his team, his passion for ASSE, and the latest results of the MHSC.
Hello Quentin, can you introduce yourself for our internet users?
Hello, my name is Quentin, I’m 19 years old. I am a journalism student in Montpellier.
When and how did you become an AS Saint-Etienne supporter?
I have supported Saint-Etienne since a very young age. My father supports ASSE, he passed on this passion to me. It was he who brought me to the matches and gave the Saint-Etienne fervor. That’s how I became a fan. I was 7 years old when I went to see my first match at Geoffroy Guichard. It was against Marseille, I was not in the kops because I was a bit short. The atmosphere was really cool. From a very young age, I found it fantastic. Now, on weekends when I go back to Roanne and there is a match, I go see them. Otherwise, when I’m in Montpellier, I watch them through my computer.
You spoke of a Saint-Etienne – Marseille for your first match in the stands, do you have any other memories at the stadium that come to mind?
My best memory is Saint-Etienne’s 1-0 victory over Lyon two years ago, with Beric’s goal in the 90th minute. He scores with a header at the very last minute and the whole stadium explodes. I was there and it was crazy.
We ended up with a squad that lacked experience. That’s why we got bad results.
It’s a year, it’s a little less crazy. For the moment, Sainté ranks last in the ranking. What do you think of the first half of the Stéphanois season? Did you expect such a bad season?
It’s been shit for 3 years already. In 2020, we were saved by the Covid, when we were 17th. Already there, it was not great. Last year, there was better since we finished 11th. This year, we are sinking both sportingly and financially. Even me, as a supporter, I was lost. One shot we were redeemed, the other shot not. In the end, we still aren’t. This financial concern that in Saint-Etienne, we see it in the matches. There are often “resign direction” banners displayed in the stadium. This problem is not new, it persists, and it is time for that to change. If we had bad results, it’s because, in my opinion, the squad was too young. Claude Puel wanted to fire all the executives as soon as he arrived. We ended up with a squad that lacked experience. That’s why we got bad results. We will see on this second part of the season, more experienced players have been recruited, I hope that will do it. For the moment, the Pascal Dupraz effect has not yet taken hold.
So, precisely, what did you think of the change of coach before the break?
I expected us to change coaches. Claude Puel no longer got along with anyone, even the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium demanded his resignation. It is very difficult to undergo as pressure, as well as that of being a coach from Saint-Etienne. We have no right to be in that position. We have a history so the players must wet the jersey. Pascal Dupraz has already achieved the feat of maintaining a club in difficulty with Toulouse. Now, will he do it again with Saint-Etienne? For the moment, the mayonnaise does not take, and it will have to take quickly.
Are you, despite everything, confident for the rest of the season? Do you think that ASSE will continue?
I hope so, anyway. We will already see this weekend with the reception of Montpellier. We lost the derby two weeks ago. We lose in cup against Bergerac. As for this game, I don’t think the players let it go on purpose. Pascal Dupraz said he liked playing her and would have liked to see Saint-Etienne in the final. I think the match was taken too lightly, and Bergerac took advantage of it. From the start, I did not feel Saint-Etienne in it. The result is logical, I was not even surprised in the end. So for now, the signs are not good. I hope despite everything that we will hold our own and that we will finish around 16-17th.
Given the season that the MHSC is doing, I’m afraid that the result will not live up to expectations, even if there will be public support.
There was this victory against Angers (1-0) last week in a late game. Did this match give you confidence for the championship?
Yes, because we played well. We managed to thwart Angers. Now, the results will have to follow very quickly. If we are too late, it will be complicated. This victory did us good, we took 3 more points, so we are more than 2 points behind Lorient. This weekend, there is the reception of Montpellier, and given the season that the MHSC is having, I am afraid that the result will not live up to expectations, even if there will be the support of the public.
The winter transfer window ended at the start of the week, things changed a lot on the Saint-Etienne side. What do you think of the recruits who landed in your club?
First of all, there is Paul Bernardoni who was a great hope before. Unfortunately, he had his lung infection, so he lost his level a bit. There he is coming back. He makes parries and is present in the game. For Bakary Sako, it’s nice to see him again. Personally, I had this jersey when he was there, I love this player. He comes back and tries to save the club, it shows that he has this “green passion”. Mangala, for the moment, we have not seen it yet. Finally, regarding the debut of Sada Thioub, I think he is not well used. He is in a right piston role while he is more of a winger. I am not sure that it is used in the best conditions.
Did you follow the first half of the MHSC season, what did you think?
Montpellier is scary, especially when you are Saint-Etienne, last in the standings. We know that we are not going to be favorites on paper. Even if Téji Savanier is not there, there are still good players. It was seen against Monaco, I had been able to see the match. It goes very quickly on the sides with Mavididi and Wahi. It’s very solid in midfield with Ferri. The MHSC is in the top 10, and it is deserved. They are having a very good first half of the season.
I think the match will be played a lot in midfield.
QWho is the player you fear the most in this Montpellier squad?
I would say Elye Wahi, because it’s going very, very fast. He is in shape. If Savanier had been there, I would have answered Savanier, but there, I’m going to say Wahi. Then there is Jordan Ferri, former Lyonnais, who will probably be booed. He had injured Robert Beric, which had earned him a fairly long spell. He will be in the crosshairs of the cauldron.
Where do you think the MHSC will finish at the end of the season?
I can clearly see them at the gates of European markets. I can’t see them being ahead of teams like Rennes and Lens. For me, it will finish around 7-8th place.
Do you have a special memory of a match between Saint-Etienne and Montpellier?
I had watched a match on TV, in 2013, under the snow. Saint-Etienne had won 4-1 with the snowy pitch. Aubameyang scores and Galtier was on the bench… This season, we finished European.
What are the keys to the upcoming game for you?
I think it will be played a lot in midfield. This is where Saint-Etienne has a big weak point this season since Mahdi Camara is often repositioned in central or even lateral defense. When we have a Jordan Ferri in front, it remains superior to us. I saw him against Monaco, and he was important. The midfield battle was also played out against Monaco. For me, the match will be played here.
I’m going to say 1-0 for Saint-Etienne, but I don’t believe it 100%.
Thank you Quentin for answering our questions. Good game to you!