Jonathan Clauss, the good conscience of a Racing Club de Lens returned to Ligue 1 through the back door

I didn’t want him to play with the handbrake. He answered wellBingo! The compliment of Didier Deschamps addressed to Jonathan Clauss after France-South Africa validated last Tuesday (5-0) indicating the debut in blue on the part of Lensois. Holder during almost all his second selection, he came out in the 88th to the ovations of the Lille audience who had nevertheless booed him, de Lensois, at the start of the meeting.

Very active and mentally strong: all it takes to seduce Deschamps who appreciates men with character first… This France-South Africa was the culmination of a wonderful “Claus series” that started on March 17th during the announcement by DD van selected for the games against Ivory Coast and South Africa and finished this Sunday when Jonathan Strasbourg played. The Alsatian club had not kept him at the end of training, at the age of 18.

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Clauss, “with class”

Despite the 1-0 defeat and a very mediocre game, he was still awarded two tricolor capes that he returned to Meinau 12 years later. During his touching arrival in Clairefontaine, his entourage whispered that he would sing Corneille’s traditional hazing song “Because we come from far away”. Jonathan sang Corneille well, but it was the title “With class” that he sang to his new teammates. Anyway, the impression remains: Jonathan Clauss in the French team is the personal but also collective redemption of a man and a club, RC Lens, who have come a long way…

Jonathan is rewarded football “from below” by Didier Deschamps, wrongly considered conservative, withdrawn to the idea of ​​​​a closed group. DD knows how to open doors regardless of age (Jonathan is 29) and golden statuses, even ignoring past grudges. Coming out of the amateur, professional world at the age of 24, the adopted Lensois embodies a sporting meritocracy where the social ladder still works. And that’s partly why France, that of football and beyond, very republican, was gripped with emotion for this real little man, as it was 16 years earlier for “ch ‘ti Franck” (Ribéry), aka in the called blue.

Jonathan Clauss is the antidote to the bling-bling PSG still dented from C1’s 8th this year! It’s the anti-Neymar. Jonathan and Ney are almost the same age, 29 and 30. Hence the huge emotional shock wave, from the announcement of his selection to the ovation of the audience at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium. But in a more local and more collective way, Jonathan’s selection for the French team also talks about the symbolic and late formalization of RC Lens in Ligue 1… The artesian club had risen to L1 in 2020 thanks to the discontinuation of L1 and L2 Championships (frozen on the 28th day) due to the Covid crisis.

Second in L2 in March 2020, Lens had only a small lead over Ajaccio and two over Troyes, and by 14 May 2020 AC Ajaccio had even seized the CNOSF by claiming to be a member of a Ligue 1 at 22 clubs. It was therefore with a certain bad conscience of an “appropriated” rise that the Sang et Or were reintegrated into the elite.

A nice revenge for Lens

This is undoubtedly why, unconsciously, the entire Lensois group had celebrated with indescribable joy Jonathan’s selection in Blue as the real entry into L1: Lens was finally rehabilitated, legitimized in the elite! Of course, the great 2020 season, which finished in an honorable 7th place, 2021 would have given credibility to the club’s presence in L1. But maybe it took more to be finally accepted, “forgiven”…

And this “plus”, it was therefore the selection of Clauss celebrated, tricolor in hand, at the end of Lens-Clermont (3-1) in communion with the public in fusion of Bollaert there also as title, or rather as joining Ligue 1 that it actually was. In the spring of 2020, the people of Bollaert were unable to celebrate the “administrative” recovery of Lens due to incarceration. It happened symbolically on March 19, after the big win over Clermont, two years after Lens-Orléans (1-0) which had driven the Artésiens to second place in L2, before the end of the championship…

It may also be partly this “bad conscience” of a truncated entry that has prompted Franck Haise to practice this generous, attacking, daring football his boys provide before our very eyes. Prove at all costs through a spectacular match that the promotion in L1 was not usurped. In addition, Franck was appointed coach in February 2020 to replace Philippe Montanier, two games before the end of the championship. He too probably suffered from the syndrome of illegality, which leaves those who experience it to prove twice as much…

The interview he gave to SoFoot in the summer of 2021 it sometimes sounded good, like a plea, a justification for his presence and that of Lens in Ligue 1! He was convinced of his “right” only a few minutes before the first game of the 2020-2021 season in Nice:For ten seconds I touch: it happens, I am indeed Ligue 1 coach, in Lens”† And, as if to justify itself again, using the collective “we”.

Our work has been recognized by Niko Kovac, Christophe Galtier, Mauricio Pochettino and André Villas-Boas (…) It has always been my intention to enter this Ligue 1 by playing, without suffering, with my head up (sic) “ He will even partially regret not leading Lens in the European Cup! Constant proof, time and again… Better than the European Cup, Clauss’ selection has also indirectly legitimized his role as coach. We better understand why Franck held Jonathan very tightly in his arms for a long time after the explosion of joy that followed Deschamps’ announcement.

Haise, Fofana, Clauss and the others…

This fierce desire to transcend this complex of illegitimacy is also partly found in the beautiful Seko Fofana (or even in Florian Sotoca, the Narbonnais). His huge playing volume, as well as his great humility and his love for the club, also led to RC Lens’s re-legitimization in L1. Fofana literally strips to make the club shine and leads the pack behind him! Very committed to his profession, right down to the priesthood, to the point of choosing to devote himself solely to his club this season, the Ivorian international skipped the last CAN!

Clauss and Sotoca (of the late harvest) as well as Fofana and Haise have indeed sweated “blood and water” to symbolically and definitively reintegrate RC Lens into the elite! First Lensois called in blue since Alou Diarra in 2006 (also 10 years after Raphaël Varane, trained at the club) Lens has also symbolically become one of the “strong places” of French football that it has been in the recent past when he of his boys in the French team.

The Clauss rocket had taken off in the Coupe de France: his exceptional goal with Avranches in 2017

Finally, Jonathan Clauss is also one of these “Cup Heroes”. The Coupe de France, a football game adored by France, especially the one from below, remains this school of “second chance” for some who have failed in training centers. Like Ribéry in 2004 with Brest (National), or especially like Abidal, Pallois or Capelle who went from the amateur world to the pros, Jonathan also managed to imitate them brilliantly in the Coupe de France. In 2016 with Raon L’Etape (CFA2), author of a beautiful goal against Saint-Étienne, then in 2017 with the American Avranches (National) and a wonderful performance against Laval! Because he comes from afar, we will never forget DD’s three magic words that drowned him in happiness among his fiery friends: “Defenders… Jonathan Clauss

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