Football: David Douline: "Servette knows how to be united"

Football: David Douline: “Servette knows how to be united”

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SoccerDavid Douline: “Servette knows how to show solidarity”

The 29-year-old defensive midfielder brings his solidity to the group at the start of the season. He talks about it before the derby against Sion, this Saturday evening (8:30 p.m.).

In Basel, last Sunday (1-1), when Zeki Amdouni picked up, he almost always found David Douline on his way.

BASTIEN GALLAY/LPS

With his calves as big as thighs, David Douline is a pillar. In the middle, in No 6, he is the one who takes the first opposing attacks and with a Servette who suffered a lot in the first two games of the season, he knows something about it. Solidity, combativeness, physical presence: “It’s my business,” breathes the Frenchman with a smile.

Saturday evening, he will be in the battle of Tourbillon, to face Sion. Douline is now the holder. A year ago, he arrived in Geneva from Rodez after returning from injury. Not easy. “No, not easy, he slips. But as soon as I could, I tried to answer present, with my qualities. And there it is going well. I try to defend well, to be available, to play simple, to find fluidity, to compensate where necessary.

Servette often relied on his physical presence during these first two matches, to consolidate the curtain at midfield. And sometimes lower, the block having retreated.

Improve content

“We still have to improve in the content,” he says. This goes for me and for the team. I am thinking in particular of the circulation of the ball. We worked on that this week. It is true that the positioning of the block is important. We must be able to play with a medium block, even high. But also with a low block, adapting to the circumstances and that’s what we did against Saint-Gall and Basel. On arrival, we only conceded one goal, Servette knows how to be united and therefore knows how to get results by having less of the ball. I am not surprised: there is a good state of mind in the group.

There is all the paradox of a Servette who loves nothing less than possession and play, but who has just scored four points in two games by suffering. It was by receiving Saint-Gall and going to Basel, two complicated teams to dominate. But these four points, which the Servette at the end of last season would not have collected, say a collective effort. Of course, there was success both times, a “monstrous” Jérémy Frick at Parc Saint-Jacques, but there is a basis for work there.

Mastered low block: an asset

And Alain Geiger, the former international defender, sees it well. “The main thing is to be solid defensively, he recalls. Because either you are like Manchester City, so very very strong, you take the ball and you play your game; either you adapt and you work. And then we are only at the start of the season: of course we would like to hinder the opponent with a higher block, ideally. But we don’t have to be ashamed of our two performances and the points which are already taken. Frankly, if we had played higher, better, with possession, and we had lost twice, what would have been the use? When we lost five matches in a row in the league last season, in autumn, we were probably too fired up. I believe that knowing how to play with a low block, which hinders the opponent, and effective transitions, is an asset. In certain circumstances.”

Will this still be the case in Sion this Saturday evening? Have. Alain Geiger maintains the mystery around his choices. Only one thing he dropped: “It will not be the same team as against Basel,” he smiled. So a change at least in the starting lineup. “Unless I’m bluffing by saying that,” laughed the coach.


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