Week 37 reactions - Ancelotti reluctant to discuss future
PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti was noncommittal on his own future whilst paying respect to the retiring David Beckham, while Nancy manager Patrick Gabriel hailed his relegated team after defeat to Bastia. All the Week 37 reactions.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Claude Puel (Nice coach): "We stood up to a team that were also playing a huge game. We stayed string before creating opportunities of our own. Our very good start to the second half allowed us to put Lyon on the back foot. Each team had its phases though and the game was played at a good level, with two teams that have quality. There wasn't much in it - the free-kick from Grenier and the penalty from Cvitanich. Once again, I am proud of my players. I am disappointed with the result, but happy that we played in such a way and had such a great party with our fans."
Rémi Garde (Lyon coach): "We ended up with ten against 11 so it was a very good performance from the ten players on the pitch. They also wanted to work as hard as Maxime Gonalons, had done in the first half. The group was very supportive, we tapped into significant mental resources. Nice had abused many teams here, and to come back after going a goal down was very difficult, but the team did it so congratulations to the guys. Mathematically, this is not that important, but in the spirit which I just mentioned, it is important. Having the ability to stay in the game, and come back, this is what we need again next week against Rennes, for the win, which remains essential. The draw is a fair result. Nice created some opportunities, and two set pieces settled the match. There was a lot of tension, neither team wanted to lose. As for Grenier’s free-kick, it was Juninho-esque. He has been working hard in training on set pieces and he was rewarded. He is very hard worker, important in attack and defence. I'm happy for him. He was trained at the club, as were ten of the boys today. They identify a lot with this club and that is important. When he wore the captain's armband at the end of the match it was an important moment for him. I know what I'm talking about because it happened to me too."
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "In the next few days I will be meeting President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi to talk about the future. If everything is clear we'll be in a position to announce the news without any problem. As for now, I'm not thinking about it, I'm concentrating on celebrating the league title. When the party is over we're going to think about the future. Everyone knows my situation: I've got a contract with PSG until 2014. If I want to leave the club I've got to talk to the club. I do things properly and always have done. It was the right thing to do to choose Beckham as captain for his last match. All the players backed the decision. Beckham will have a lovely memory of this night. Today he finished as an old player, tomorrow he will be perhaps a young manager. I'm proud of having coached a great player and professional who gave a beautiful image to the game of football."
Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain): "This is a time of celebration. It does not need to be affected by events off the pitch and we have finished well at home. We have done well. This is a reflection of our season, a good season for us. It has not always been easy, but we pulled together in difficult times. We are proud of what we have done and we have shown that PSG have a good team, even at the European level. A Champions League quarter-final and the Ligue 1 title - that is fine. It has not always been easy for everyone, there were a lot of new players. This is the beginning of a major project. This is my first big title, so it is really fun. PSG have not been the champions for a long time. Now, it's party time. David Beckham is a great man - a great person and a great man. There is nothing more you can say about his career. It was a great career. He has been a great footballer. We had the chance to rub shoulders every day. Thank you David. I can tell my kids that I was the last person to score from a Beckham assist."
Corentin Martins (Brest coach): "We feared the worst, especially given our situation over the last few weeks. We have had many injured players, especially in defence. That much was obvious straight away. I said at the beginning of the week that we must continue to show we are worthy of this division, that we had to be as respectful and professional as possible. The players had an image to uphold. "
Pascal Dupraz (Evian coach): "The result from this game should be enough to ensure our continued presence in Ligue 1, provided my players do not do anything stupid in Bordeaux in the last game of the season, and provided Valenciennes play anything like they did tonight when they take on Troyes. I believe we can avoid Troyes on goal difference, if not points. We found ourselves in a 2-0 lead, then we had the opportunity to kill the game but we failed to convert. In games like tonight, or the recent win over Nice, we have been able to punish our opponents early. That’s been a nice change compared the few weeks before that. We have been in trouble since the beginning of the season, often in the relegation zone. I would like to acknowledge former manager Pablo Correa, who is a lovely man and a very good coach. If we secure our survival next week, it will also be thanks to him."
Daniel Sanchez (Valenciennes coach): "We were missing early in the game and conceded our first goal in the second minute and the second ten minutes later. It bothers me that my players only started the game after fifteen minutes. I think there was a lack of concentration and determination in the players. We knew that Evian would start strong. We had some opportunities in the second half but failed to take them. We will play our last match against struggling Troyes and we must remain professional until the end."
René Girard (Montpellier coach): "The game we had this time last year we were talking about for other reasons. This year has been emotional. I have spent four great years here. I have enjoyed a brilliant relationship with the fans. They recognise the development of the team even though this season has been more difficult. We showed tonight that we could compete with the best in the league. These are moments that warm the heart, ones we take pleasure from. The boys played a complete match, both physically and mentally. They lacked a little bit of skill in finishing though. The Stade de la Mosson is our back garden where we have done great things. If the last game could reflect our four years together, that would be perfect. This was a nice game. This is a huge event that we will not forget. I like that people tell me they love me. It's beautiful. I always had the balance of power on the touchline. The people around the club give me great affection. This has been a great adventure. These have been four happy years."
Rudi Garcia (Lille coach): "This is a logical result but it is not a result that we wanted. To stay in control of our destiny, we had to win here. We have some chances that could have helped us win. Montpellier also had chances, which is why no one took the victory. We failed to find the final ball, to create more attacking possibilities. We lacked speed and understanding between our forwards. We suffered in our attacking third, nothing more. Whether this is a good or bad result will depend on the result between Nice and Lyon. The last day will certainly be decisive for fourth place anyway. We need to focus on victory at Saint-Etienne. Then we await the outcome of the other games."
Patrick Gabriel (Nancy coach): "Survival was perhaps too big an ask. It's a shame. It's hard, but I asked the players not to let their heads go down, despite the disappointment. At the midway point of the season, when we had eleven points, everybody thought we were buried. Now we have 35. The adventure was beautiful anyway. The championship was too long. It should have stopped at the 35th day. In the first half we had opportunities but it was Bastia who scored. Football is like that."
Frédéric Hantz (Bastia coach): "After the victory against Montpellier we felt good, and this week we managed to keep the same spirit. There was a lot of assuredness about the way the players played. It is a credit to the players that they played like this. I just kept repeating before the match that we can maintain this kind of level. We have done well collectively - the staff, the players, and the supporters. I did not think that Nancy would go down come the end of the season, but it has been complicated for them."
Hubert Fournier (Reims coach): "The game tonight could have ended much worse, but we achieved what we wanted. We tried to produce good football from start to finish. I remind you that Antoine Devaux was the only player in our squad who came from Ligue 1. The boys have been able to rise to this level for 37 days. I congratulate them. We had a difficult season, inevitably, but we have secured survived a match earlier than I anticipated. It's important for the club to have a second season in Ligue 1, with players who have an extra year of experience. It is a great satisfaction, especially the way we earned it, not having to wait for other results. The evening was marred by an injury for Diego. He might have ruptured his tendon. Half-time was difficult - the boys saw their teammate in tears."
Christian Gourcuff (Lorient coach): "In the first half we could have done more but our play was not too good. Our young players did not take responsibility and hold onto the ball. We did not set the pace. I made changes in the second half. We had control of the match, but it was too often confused with haste. We then lost our flow. I had an under-strength team with 13 missing, including Wesley Lautoa, who complained of a hamstring injury. He could return against PSG. That will be difficult for Grégory Bourillon. Finally, Max Barthelme was out because of a knee problem. Against PSG we will be more efficient because we will be up against a technical team. Seventh place is our goal."
Frédéric Antonetti (Rennes coach): "I would have preferred my last home game to be a win, of course. Tonight I saw plenty of good will from the fans and a good mentality from the players. We managed to find a good defensive balance, but we failed to support enough going forward. Tonight I also saw young players beginning to touch the top level, like Steven Moreira. I also thought Mevlut Erding was good. I'm leaving the club on good terms and that's the main thing."
Albert Emon (Ajaccio coach): "Of course we have to do the maths tonight, as Troyes won. If we had won we would not have to calculate. There were highs and lows. They were well organised. It would have been a good draw earlier in the season, but then we can still do damage to Nice next week. The joy of my players underlines their determination and will to stay up."
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "It was important for the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard to finish the season with a huge atmosphere. I'm happy to give this victory to all our supporters who have been present throughout the season. We'll have to go and win in the final game against Lille on Sunday. I hope that this season will be special. We will follow the Nice and Lyon game on Sunday. Fourth place is still achievable and that is an important goal for me.
Élie Baup (Marseille coach): "I'm not happy with this result. We were absent in the first half. We gave too much space to Saint-Etienne, a team that break forward quickly, and we were exposed to counterattacks. We failed to keep possession and we were beaten too easily in the air, where Brandao hurt us. I changed things at half-time and we picked up in the second half. If you saw our second half you would realise that we are not on holiday yet. It was important for me that we take points and keep up our undefeated streak. Against Reims we will have a very good game and share this moment with our fans."
Éric Hély (Sochaux coach): "We were missing early in the game and our players struggled to break free. We lacked aggression and determination and were trailing 2-0 after a quarter of an hour. After that we recovered well. In the second half, we saw that the team had the heart but not enough technical ability. We are not yet safe, but a month ago we would have dreamed of being in this position. Tonight there are two teams eliminated in the battle against relegation. We will do everything to make sure the third team to go down is not us."
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "Given our first half, I think we deserved the win. We played the first 30 minutes at a very high level. We were stronger in winning the ball back and using it well. Unfortunately they capitalised on one of our few mistakes just before half-time. In the second half, it was more complicated. We expended too much energy. Sochaux did not have a lot of opportunities either though. Throughout the season there has been a bit of frustration. I think we're a team that could battle between the 6th and 10th. We had injuries to our defensive line that we were penalised for, with small errors punished. However, this will also allow us to challenge ourselves to continue to prepare properly for the start of next season."
Jean-Marc Furlan (Troyes coach): "This is a great achievement from my players. In these situations, it takes a lot of solidarity to pull off such a feat. At the winter break, we had 13 points and statistically we were relegated. I take my hat off to the players. The club grows thanks to the power of teamwork. I wanted to delay the decisive day for as long as possible. Whatever happens next Saturday, the boys have been extremely professional. If my team was assured of its place in Ligue 1 we would perhaps have seen something else. Just like in the recent Ajaccio game, we wanted to protect our goal. Late in the game we left stress and anxiety to the opponent and continued to attack. Every time, the boys rise to the challenge. I am very happy for the club and the fans. The players have staved off relegation for another week. Whatever happens, with our journey in the Coupe de France, the Coupe de la Ligue, and even the league, this is a season to remember."
Francis Gillot (Bordeaux coach): "We played as well as we could within our means. There were some players missing with suspensions. We took half an hour before we started playing. Troyes deserved the win. Troyes do not deserve to go down and I sincerely hope they manage to get by."