The former coach of the Swiss national team is playing his future this Sunday, against Strasbourg.
This may be the last chance match for Vladimir Petkovic: relegated (19th, ranking here) and without obvious leverage to restart Bordeaux, the Girondins coach could see his future sealed on Sunday (3:00 p.m.), during the 22nd day of Ligue 1, in the event of further disillusionment with Strasbourg in Ligue 1.
The rout in Rennes (0-6) last weekend haunts the spirits at the Château du Haillan, the Bordeaux training center, strangely silent this week. Nothing to do with the upheavals of the previous week, between announced dismissals of several players, like captain Laurent Koscielny, and reassuring words from President Gérard Lopez repeating that no ultimatum had been given to his coach.
This time, Petkovic seems without a net, even if his dismissal would have a significant cost for the Gironde finances not the most brilliant. In terms of image, it would also be a disavowal for the long-term project carried by Lopez, who had poached the former Swiss coach this summer for three seasons following the good course of the “Nati” at the Euro.
Despite the rumors and the names circulating in particular to replace him (the Portuguese João Sacramento and Thierry Henry), despite the discontent of the supporters who find it difficult to understand his maintenance in place, Petkovic will be on the bench against Strasbourg. “We haven’t felt it elsewhere this week“Said midfielder Yacine Adli, promoted to captain on Sunday.
“Me, I’m quietcommented Petkovic, not one to be moved in public. “I know that I do my best and that I can only influence the things I can influence: the work, the mentality of the team. It’s a difficult situation but it’s part of football.” Seeing him still there seems almost incongruous given his record (3 wins in 21 matches), his inability to stop the defensive bleeding (50 goals conceded) or to remobilize troops at the bottom of the bucket and minimal varnished lately. “It always rains where it’s wet“, he also imaged.
While a semblance of thinning had chased away the clouds in mid-December thanks to a draw against Lyon (2-2), a cohesion stage at Clairefontaine leading to a victory at Troyes (2- 1) bringing smiles, the Covid-19 has ruined this fleeting and rare happiness this season.
Reduced against a Lille in reconquest before Christmas, his men had not sunk so far (2-3). Obliged to call on the reserves in the Coupe de France in Brest (0-3), the Bosnian-Swiss technician suffered as much as his club the lost battle against the authorities, inflexible on the question of match reports while the positive cases are multiplied in the Bordeaux workforce.
His eleven of odds and ends lined up in stride against Marseille could not compete (0-1) nor maintain invincibility at home against this historic rival, with an unprecedented defeat since 1977 in a Matmut Atlantique behind closed and very sad. The Koscielny episode and the banishment of the undesirables (Paul Baysse, Mehdi Zerkane, Otavio, Samuel Kalu) did not have the effect created by the management if we are to believe the sinister overall copy returned to Rennes. Not to mention the new tile of the week, Benoît Costil’s calf injury just two days after the arrival of Grégory Coupet, the new goalkeeping coach had to bring his positive energy and his joie de vivre.
What can we hope for now against Racing, the second best attack in L1 to a unit from Paris SG, which had owed the Girondins a severe 5-2 at La Meinau in early December and which has just won three times in 10 days, replacing it in foot of the podium? “We must be ready to give everythingsays Adli. For the club, for the team, and for the future of its coach…