The immense challenge of Lucien Favre

The immense challenge of Lucien Favre

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The best Swiss coach in history has been hired to lead Nice into the top 3 of Ligue 1

It is now up to Lucien Favre to play. © Keystone

It is now up to Lucien Favre to play. © Keystone

Published on 05.08.2022

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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Soccer ” At 64, his passion for football has never been so ardent. She pushed him to return to Nice to take up a huge challenge: to hoist Nice among the three best teams in Ligue 1, the three shots of which are given this Friday. Yes, Lucien Favre was not afraid to put himself in danger.

The challenge is, indeed, damn tough for the man who has established himself over the years as the best Swiss coach in history. The competition that OGC Nice has to face is fierce. There is of course Paris Saint-Germain, which is preparing to fly over the championship carried by three of the best players in the world. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé form a trio that has no equal.

There is also a Lyon eager for revenge after a disastrous season, a Monaco which hopes to ride the same wave as last spring, a Marseille and its formidable public, a Rennes which climbs a step higher each year and undoubtedly one or more two teams – Lille, Strasbourg? – likely to thwart all predictions.

A waiting attacker

Despite the unwavering support of Ineos, Lucien Favre and Nice are starting their campaign with a delay. The transfer window of the Azureans is taking place in a minor mode while Paris, Monaco and Lyon have already practically completed it. If the arrival of Kaspar Schmeichel compensates for the last minute refusal of Yann Sommer to join Nice and if that of Aaron Ramsey looks like a funny bet, Lucien Favre is still waiting for the attacker who must allow him to raise the cursor. The people of Nice are eyeing Alassane Pléa, a former member of the house, or Marcus Thuram, two players who probably rightly think that Borussia Mönchengladbach is no longer a very good address in the Bundesliga.

After two and a half years in Dortmund, Lucien Favre granted himself a long break despite offers from Marseille and Crystal Palace in particular. This spring, he postponed that of Borussia Mönchengladbach where his return was hoped for by all the fans to write a new page in Nice. The first, marked by this magnificent third place in the 2016/2017 season behind Monaco and Paris, left an unforgettable memory for Nice supporters. They quickly fell under the spell of this coach with a Vaudois accent, sometimes so pronounced, adept at playing polished, attacking and, above all, a master in the art of making his players progress.

Owner of the club since 2019 but a bit unhappy with the choice of its first two coaches – Patrick Vieira and Christophe Galtier -, Ineos gave the keys to the truck to Lucien Favre with the idea of ​​giving the team back the attractive face of the 2016/2017 season. We can never repeat it enough, but Nice, carried in particular by a found Mario Balotelli, had illuminated Ligue 1.

A new Super Mario?

Today, Lucien Favre dreams of “inventing” a new Super Mario so that Nice can once again reach the heights. With Andy Delort, the striker born in Sète but who plays for Algeria, and Amine Gouiri, the jewel of Lyon who came two years ago, the Vaudois coach has two players in his squad who can make the difference as he had did the Italian six years ago. While waiting for the recruit or recruits that Ineos’ strike force can enlist at the last minute.

Forgotten, caution

Expectations are therefore enormous on the shoulders of a coach too often ridiculed in the past for the extreme caution of his speeches. But today, the former Servette FC strategist wants to “let go”. During his induction, did he not surprise his leaders with his declared desire to see his team appear among the three best in France? His words were measured, dictated by the conviction that he could indeed achieve something big in Nice. Now it’s up to him to play! TTY

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