Relegated to Ligue 2 and monitored by the DNCG, the Girondins de Bordeaux have been able to raise the bar and can hope for a rise in Ligue 1. David Guion’s men face Le Havre, leader of the championship, this Tuesday.
Relegated to Ligue 2 in the spring and close to an administrative demotion to National during the summer, the Girondins de Bordeaux have raised the bar, financially and sportingly, to the point of dreaming of a comeback in the wake of Le Havre, the undisputed leader that they receive on Tuesday (8:45 p.m.).
Of the three clubs relegated from L1 last summer, Bordeaux surely had the least enviable situation. Metz is a regular in the lift and Saint-Étienne had much more elbow room compared to the Girondins, sanctioned by the National Directorate of Control and Management (DNCG) in June before being drafted by the Federation three days before start of the season.
For this season of purgatory with only two climbs, the club with the scapular started without real certainties, with some survivors traumatized by the previous exercise (20th, 91 goals conceded) and without reinforcements authorized for a month. The contracts of defenders Yoann Barbet, Vital Nsimba and Clément Michelin were only approved at the beginning of September.
The youth in power
But these twists of fate did not prevent Bordeaux from stringing together their first performances thanks to their youth, which was surprising and full of recklessness. The versatile defensive players Junior Mwanga and Malcom Bokele, the dribbler winger Dilane Bakwa, the Anglo-Nigerian striker Josh Maja, finally considered in Gironde (11 goals), carried him into the top three at the end of the summer, not to leave it since.
However, apart from a series of three consecutive victories in September-October, the Girondins have lacked consistency to keep pace with Le Havre and remain within reach of their most credible pursuers, Sochaux and Metz.
«We dropped points that were within our reach“Recognizes coach David Guion, retained last June despite relegation, who wants his team to be more consistent. “That’s what’s gonna get us up there and stay therehe says.
The draw conceded in additional time in mid-January against Amiens (1-1), after that in Caen (2-2) when his players were leading 2-0, knocked out owner Gerard Lopez. “This is my role as president. I love football and the club too much to accept losing two points like that“, explained to South West the Hispano-Luxembourgish businessman, who estimates the number of points lost on the way at seven, the current gap with the Norman leader.
His men responded with a goalless victory in Dijon on Saturday (3-0), a first for more than three months, which consolidated their place as runners-up. “And when we are second halfway through, we have a clear objective“recalled Guion.
The best on the field and behind the scenes
Especially since financially, the situation has also improved. There are no more restrictions from the DNCG and the repeated passages last summer before the financial policeman of French football have made it possible to clean up the debt owed to the investment funds King Street and Fortress (from 53 to 10 million euros). euros, to be repaid by 2025) and to divide the payroll by three.
Proof of this is that the Girondins refused to let Bakwa go to Lorient for a sum of around 12 million euros and were even able to buy the Romanian U20 international striker Alexi Pitu (Farul Constanta) without selling during this transfer window.
And they are preparing to replace Honduran striker Alberth Elis numerically by Tuesday evening, on his way to Brest for a loan with an option to buy.