For the TFC’s trip to Caen this Saturday (7 p.m., Prime Video), writing the site LesViolets.Com Maxime asked from the Malherbe Inside site.
SM Caen’s season never got off the ground. Why do you think?
†This is the big story of SM Caen’s season. We manage to put in some good performances, but never tie two wins together. We did it on the first and second day, but we haven’t done it since. Here’s what we’re missing today to seem a little higher. You have to admit that we have been very unlucky in terms of injuries. Just last week in Dijon we have 4 of our best players who are not there. Without these players it is not the same team anymore and it has been that way all season. Absences such as I personally had never seen since supporting Malherbe. It doesn’t help to let go of a typical team and work in the long run.†
Oddly enough, sometimes the team comes up with really good matches, like going to the stadium…
†That is it. Especially against the championship leaders. By the way, when the squad is full, we have a pretty nice squad. There’s also the little extra soul that’s added when you play first in the leaderboard. We also beat Ajaccio. In itself, the team has quality and it has the Moulin brand, that is to say that it is a team built first on its defensive base, to counter well. So we have more facilities against teams like Toulouse, who are quite playful.†
Are you concerned about maintenance?
†No, I think we have the quality to take the points that we are missing. However, I am not reassured, it will not be a cakewalk. Especially since we lost Zady Sery, who was our blaster. He was one of the few players who could make a difference when matches were blocked. We lost him until the end of the season, as did Chahiri, the other player who can make a difference on his own. As a result, we no longer have a dribble or striker profile, which is a bit worrying. Last year we had 34 points, today we have 32. Last year we had a catastrophic end to the season. So be on your guard, but don’t worry. With last year’s experience, we should shake less than last year.†
Have these two tough seasons damaged shareholder credit (Oaktree, US investment fund, and a local investor, Pierre-Antoine Capton)?
†Difficult seasons, we’ve been living with them for five years. Indeed, it has only been two years since the shareholders arrived, but we realize that the poor results are not only their fault, on the contrary. Does evil run deeper? Of course, with Pickeu (the president, editor’s note) and Moulin, we could expect to do better. Unfortunately, we realize that the club needs more time. What is reassuring is that we have the impression that the club now knows where it is going. A real project is being set up with a duration of three years, which corresponds to the contract of Stéphane Moulin. Before then, it felt like the club was sailing on sight. The team has also regained market value, with young people and rookies such as CIssé, Traoré, Lepenant, Deminguet. There is enough to build something sturdier in the future. The base is there, now it has to get off the ground.†
Which team can TFC expect on Saturday?
†I think he can expect a good team from Caen. We like to play against these kinds of teams and recover Mendy, Lepenant and Deminguet. Above all, Malherbe has a good dynamic at home. We are aware of playing a big team, but Malherbe likes to outdo himself in these kinds of matches. We should see a pretty close match, it will be interesting.†
What do you think of the TFC season?
†Toulouse was the natural and announced favorite of Ligue 2. They are true to their status, which isn’t always easy. A few games ago, I was a little scared of you when things weren’t going so well. We had the impression that the machine was starting to seize up, which is often the case with Philippe Montanier. But it starts well for Toulouse, with a monstrous Van den Boomen starting to make a lot of noise. It inevitably helps to unlock situations in complicated matches. It is a playful team, with above-average idiosyncrasies, that is finally in place.†
Any predictions for Saturday’s game? And for the final standings of the two clubs?
†I am leaving with a draw, 1-1, as the TFC series has to end.
Toulouse will be in the lead in my opinion. I would like to see Malherbe finish in the top 10. Unfortunately it gets complicated, so I would say between 12th and 15th place, because I have the impression that we will never be able to find the necessary regularity.†