Angers, the Escape of the Old Talents / France / Angers /

Thomas Mangani, Ismaël Traoré, Romain Thomas. The transfer window has not yet been officially launched as the SCO of Angers has already lost three of its historic captains. One year after the end of the Stéphane Moulin era and a few weeks before a likely takeover of a US investment fund, SCO will launch its eighth consecutive season in Ligue 1 in a complete artistic blur.

The information has come out in shock over the last few days, as if to emphasize a runaway and a change of pace in the Angevin track, which until then had been so calm and stable: first Thomas Manganis and Ismaël Traoré’s departures, then an interview with another historical leader, Romain Thomas, to clarify that he set off on his own. And finally, the first revelations of a sale of the club to a US investment fund pending formalization, which will concretely register the change of honor. One year after the departure of the emblematic coach Stéphane Moulin – and his staff – the SCO in Angers is therefore preparing to live its eighth season in a row in the elite of French football without the majority of the strong men who installed there: the coach , sporting director Olivier Pickeu, president Saïd Chabane and, above all, three managers in the locker room, who could still potentially be followed by two other former employees, Pierrick Capelle and Vincent Manceau, whose negotiations on a contract extension have not yet been concluded. . Too tight timing put forward as the main reason by Romain Thomas in the columns of Western France to justify his wish elsewhere: “What you need to understand is that we have a life, a family, people who ask us questions every day. February, March, April, May … ”

Laurent Viaud: “There is a real risk of loss of identity and dynamism”

Laurent Viaud is another “former” SCO, in charge of the U17s at the gym for a decade before leaving the Stade Rennes U19s last summer. For him, trained and launched as a professional player in Angers, the announced departure of the Mangani-Traoré-Thomas trio is already a revolution: “These are the representatives of the SCO’s prosperous period, the symbol of success, sporting and human.” In principle, he can understand that well “players are not eternal, that the physical dimension at some point overtakes them or that the need to ensure renewal is crucial” . Still, he believes the transition would have benefited from being more smooth. “Between Stéphane Moulin and his staff resigning last summer, and at least three historic leaders at the same time, there is a lot that is a real risk of loss of identity and dynamism. » For according to Laurent Viaud, these players were not only athletes but also guarantors of a state of mind. “Simple, humble men who were impeccable, especially in their attitude towards the youngest players and the kids at the academy.”

The hardest part has not yet come for Gérald Baticle

Today, the former Rennes and Monaco midfielder assures that he has “evil” when he reads Romain Thomas’ words about the reasons for his departure. “It’s important to maintain the spirit of a club, and sportingly, when we look at the seasons for these players or what Hilton and Dante have done in other clubs, we can imagine that there were other solutions. » It’s left to see if that’s great turnover in the last generation of the Coupe de France 2017 has a connection with the expected sale of the club. “Maybe potential future buyers will create a structure and a team in their image, it often happens in business, but it is risky. » Above all, when we look at what exists elsewhere in the world of football, “In Lyon or in big foreign clubs, we try to give the old people a good exit, even to find them a role in the club after their career, it is a way of preserving an identity and a continuity of values.” Last summer, the deployment of Gérald Baticle instead of the historic Stéphane Moulin seemed to be a major risk to break the club’s good dynamics since 2014-2015. It now looks like a pure formality compared to the upcoming season.

By Nicolas Jucha
Comments by Laurent Viaud collected by NJ, those by Romain Thomas taken from an interview for Ouest France

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