One year after the failure of Thierry Henry, the Principality club is counting on Robert Moreno, another long-toothed beginner, to return to the podium. The Catalan discovers the L1 during two shocks against PSG, Sunday and Wednesday.
Fallen on the day of the Holy Innocents, pendant of our 1st April in Spain, the appointment of Robert Moreno as head of AS Monaco did not come as a surprise to pass for one of the famous “bromas” (jokes) which the Iberian press is fond of every December 28. But it still caused a sensation with our neighbors. “We expected it to rebound but certainly not as quickly and probably not in a prestigious club in Monaco,” confirms Enrique Rubio, journalist at the agency EFE. Submitted to PSG developer twice in three days (this Sunday 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday late match) for his debut in Ligue 1, Robert Moreno, 42, gets used to not being where we expect. Last June, the faithful assistant of Luis Enrique (the duo had been knotted since 2010) found himself in full light, propelled to the head of the Spanish selection to temporarily replace his mentor, at the bedside of his seriously ill daughter.
“Professionally, I have nothing to say about Robert Moreno. I thought I had nothing to say about him either, but … “
The interim of the Catalan is a success (7 wins and 2 draws in 9 games) with, in fireworks, a recital against Romania (5-0) to end the qualifying campaign for a Euro 2020 where he sees himself already. But the Spanish Federation showered its ambitions by announcing the return of Luis Enrique on the bench of La Roja. The former Barça coach, who has had the pain of losing his daughter Xana (9) in the meantime, finds his place … and separates from his assistant. “Professionally, I have nothing to say about Robert Moreno. I thought I had nothing to say either about the person he is, but … Life allows you to see who is your friend or not, in whom you can trust or not “, will pour out publicly Luis Enrique disappointed by the “disloyal” attitude of an ex-right-hand man with the ambition deemed “excessive”.
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Sounded by his eviction and the words of his former guide, “I was attacked personally, I was labeled unfairly,” he will say – Robert Moreno quickly turned the page. Thanks to Monaco and Oleg Petrov. Anxious to finally settle the opulent heritage of his predecessor Vadim Vasilyev (champion of France, semi-finalist of the Champions League and hundreds of millions of euros reaped in transfers), the vice-president of the ASM indicated the door to Leonardo Jardim, fired for the 2e times in 14 months despite a card against Lille before the break (5-1). The 26 points collected in 13 games had blurred a start to the disastrous season (2 points after 5 days).
“Voracious” and “dissatisfied by nature”
Insufficient to save the Portuguese coach who will console himself with a new big check (€ 8 million in compensation received during his first dismissal at the end of 2018). A year after the fiasco Thierry Henry (six points in 12 games) which had prompted owner Dmitry Rybolovlev to recall Jardim, the ASM therefore once again trusted a novice to reconnect with a podium still attainable (at 5 pts). Inevitably, Robert Moreno announces a Barcelona-inspired football, made of careful raises, control of the ball but also of verticality. “I want a team where all the players go together to attack and defend,” said the video-addicted coach, “who has incredible analytical skills,” said Luis Enrique. Cited in the tactical book My 4-4-2 recipe published by Moreno in 2013, his ex-model also presented him as “voracious” and “dissatisfied by nature” … “He brought his dynamism, his ideas. He entered the group very well. He explained well what he wanted to do, his basics. We are trying to put them in place, ”says Keita Baldé, obviously“ Moreno compatible ”. Thanks to the double from his striker trained at Barça, Moreno made a successful start on the wire against Reims in the Coupe de France (2-1). His baptism of fire in Ligue 1 against the Parisian armada will be scrutinized on both sides of the Pyrenees.
He wants to see Monaco playing eye to eye with Paris
“In Spain, we still don’t know what its true level is. It’s a mystery to everyone, ”says Enrique Rubio. A little less all the same for Parisians Bernat and Sarabia, who rubbed shoulders with him in the Spanish selection, sources of information for Thomas Tuchel. Other PSG players will remember seeing him jump into Luis Enrique’s arms more than once on a “Remontada” night at Camp Nou (6-1). A memory swept away with the back of the hand by the interested party before the shock of Sunday. He expects Monegasques capable of playing eye to eye with Parisian stars. “If we think we can’t win, we stay here (in Monaco). We take 3-0 (package, editor’s note) and the club does not spend money on the trip, ”he quips. “Paris is very strong but we are also very strong. Each match is different. Otherwise, we play Ligue 1 at 19, and we give the trophy to Paris. Everything can happen. We are aiming for victory. ” An ambitious comm for a newcomer who is no less.