Albert Riera, left to stay… under conditions

Albert Riera, left to stay… under conditions
Albert Riera, left to stay… under conditions
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many of his peers would have kicked in. They would have declared that they first wanted to mathematically ensure maintenance, that they are in any case under contract and that they must meet their president before talking about it. Not him. “You know me, I’m not someone who lies. I’m talking about it today because that’s how I feel.” As regularly in recent weeks, Girondins coach Albert Riera, hired until June 2025, did not need to be questioned to discuss his future during the press conference before the arrival of Ajaccio this Friday for the 36th day of Ligue 2. By positioning yourself clearly this time. Decryption.

1 Is there really anything new?

During his last interventions, Albert Riera had expressed doubt about his desire to stay on the Bordeaux bench next season, pointing out the environment which would not like him. “I don’t think I will be in Ligue 2 for long, in this club or in this country. Because you don’t believe in that,” he declared on April 18 before repeating it the following week after the defeat at Saint-Etienne (2-1).

From now on, the Spaniard brushes aside any personal questions. “I’m sure I’ll stay here.” I still have one year of contract, I know how to build this team. L2 is a very tight championship, but with my project, by adapting it to the specificities, I am convinced of it,” launched the Spanish coach, who arrived last October, on Thursday. However, by setting two conditions: “that the leaders listen to him” and that the workforce is capable, in his eyes, of aiming for accession to L1. “Why do you want Albert to stay if we can’t afford to go up?” I want to progress, and so does the club. » Internally, no one was aware of his choice to declare himself spontaneously, but his position was known. In the current uncertainty over the financing of the club next season, he publicly sends the ball to its president Gérard Lopez.

2 What does he actually hope for?

During his press conference, Albert Riera met at the end of the championship (May 17) to detail the reconstruction of the team as he hopes. The philosophy of the former midfielder is now well known: desire to control the ball in the opposing camp, rapid and high recovery. The technician, who had to deal this season with a squad modeled on his predecessor David Guion, has already given his priorities, while emphasizing his team’s deficit “in both surfaces”. “We will have to change things,” he said, pointing to a weakened squad last summer with starters not replaced according to him.

He is not opposed to leading the project with current sports director Admar Lopes. “It’s not up to me to decide. But he works with me and for me, he tries to find solutions. This year (during the winter transfer window, Editor’s note), we were stuck (financially). »

3 In the middle, a contract

Albert Riera failed to achieve the club’s goal. “Go back to Ligue 1 this season,” Gérard Lopez repeated during the presentation of the newcomer. The president/owner, however, said he was very satisfied with the work of the person concerned during his only media intervention in 2024. “We see a team that plays well, players who have progressed […] In terms of human management, he is one of the very best coaches I have known,” he declared on February 10 on Amazon Prime, “not bothered” by the communication of his coach who does not hesitate to criticize the choices of his opponents.

The club must settle this summer the months of salary not paid to David Guion after he was sidelined in October. After the takeover by Gérard Lopez in July 2021, he paid compensation to the staff then in place (Jean-Louis Gasset, Ghislain Printant and Fabrice Grange) to settle the separation. Next Tuesday the hearing will be held at the industrial tribunal concerning the dismissal in February 2022 of Vladimir Petkovic and his deputy, who are requesting compensation of 13.6 million euros. Ousted in April, women’s coach Patrice Lair also went to court. In a club in difficulty, there is no doubt that the shareholder president will also prefer to avoid a new conflict.

If he is not satisfied with the means made available, is Albert Riera, not one to compromise, ready to slam the door without compensation? The question was not asked and we are not there yet. The Bordeaux coach has not yet mentioned a date to obtain answers.

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