what is becoming of you Pascal Cygan?

what is becoming of you Pascal Cygan?
what is becoming of you Pascal Cygan?

Living legend of Losc (1995-2002), “the invincible” Pascal Cygan, nickname given to Arsenal during the 2003-2004 season, was also part of the great era of the Gunners under the era of Arsène Wenger (2002 -2006). The former rough central defender, who then moved to Villarreal (2006-2009), dreamed of a great coaching career, but the doors to the professional world have still not opened to him.

For West France , Pascal Cygan does not hide his bitterness at not having had the opportunity to experience the same success on the bench and recounts his 17-year career in memories and anecdotes. The Northerner also gives his nostalgic look at today’s football, polluted by money and bad mentalities. Interview.

What are you becoming?

I was coach of CS Avion in Regional 1 until January. I left on my own because things weren’t going well.

In The voice of the North , the president of CS Avion said that the intensity of your training was extremely high for amateur players. Is this the real reason for your departure?

You have to ask the players, but I always kept it as simple as possible. I knew very well that I did not have professionals in front of me and I saw no point in making them learn complicated things. My goal was to make them understand that you have to pass the ball, but if that’s complicated then yes I must have had a method that was too difficult for players at that level. The knowledge I have is for professional players.

You also coached the Losc U15s (2014-2015) and the Mouscron U21s (2018-2020), is it difficult to train today’s young people?

Yes, because conveying to a kid when he should take the ball and the speed is much more complicated. At 15, you really want to play and show your mom and dad on the sidelines that you know how to dribble, do roulettes and rakes. This is a bit like what I experienced at CS Avion. The players may dribble three or four players, but if they lose the ball behind, they have done nothing, failed to convert their dribbles into a goal, an assist or a gain in ground. In the end, there is just a waste of the ball. I’m not sure a 15 year old would understand that or want that.

“I thought all doors were going to be open”

Have you always wanted to become a coach?

This developed strongly in Cartagena during my last two years (2009-2011) with my Spanish coach Juan Ignacio Martínez. He gave me even more of a taste for becoming a coach, through his behavior and his playing philosophy. I wanted to reproduce the same style.

The opportunity to coach in the pros hasn’t presented itself yet?

No, and I am surprised that with the career I had and the coaches I worked with, two monuments of Europe (Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini), that clubs don’t knock on my door. I think I am capable of bringing a different eye, rigor and the knowledge transmitted by these coaches.

We sense frustration at not being able to apply your skills to the pros.

Yes it’s true… I’m surprised that professional or National clubs are not interested in me. I made a brief attempt at clubs like Tourcoing (National 2), but if I had an answer, it was already enormous… I was made to wait almost two months for a National 2 club, we’re not talking about Ligue 2 or Ligue 1… If the leaders of the teams in difficulty want to see their club stagnate and not release money so, in the end, to have no results, let them continue like that. If they don’t realize they’re making bad choices, too bad for them.

Did you think it was going to be this complicated after your career to find a position?

No, I thought all the doors were going to be open because I still have quite a few trophies (English champion in 2004, two Community Shields in 2002 and 2004, Spanish vice-champion in 2008 with Villarreal…). I’m shocked that with my track record, things aren’t changing, it’s quite the opposite.

Have you given up on your dream of coaching your favorite club Losc one day?

It’s too late (he repeats twice)… It’s been thirteen years since I stopped professional football, it’s hard to come back to the industry. But I’m not even aiming for the amateur world anymore, I’m tired. It will be a great regret for me not to have been able to coach at a high level, but it will also be for all the managers of clubs who do not have results and who will not benefit from that.

How do you imagine the rest of your life today?

Life as a young retiree! It was since 2011 after my football career, but it is now psychologically and officially at present. What will come will be bonuses, unexpected surprises…

Do you have a coach who currently inspires you?

Paulo Fonseca. His style of play is very similar to what I discovered in Spain at Villarreal…



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