Skip to content

“Eintracht was not programmed to win a Cup… / Germany / Frankfurt / May 23, 2022 / SOFOOT.com

It was from Africa, the continent where he was leading a mission of scouting for Eintracht Frankfurt, that Jean-Philippe Durand attended the Europa League final in which the Germans emerged victorious. This does not prevent the club’s recruiter since 2020 from revealing some secrets of the success of the Adler. Success that arouses curiosity in France.

You know how to win a European Cup (with OM in 1993). Were you asked for advice before the match?
Not at all, everyone has their own job. (Laughs.)

How do you analyze this Europa League final?
As often in the final, it was a very tense, very close match. I think Frankfurt took more initiatives and had more chances to score. But as often in a final, it is played on details. Even if I think the victory is deserved, without the stoppage of Kevin Trapp in overtime, the Rangers would have won, it is not easy.

The general public expected to see Naples, Dortmund or Barcelona in the C3 final. For you, was it a surprise to see Frankfurt there?
Somehow, Eintracht is not a team that was programmed to win a European Cup. Afterwards, it’s a club that has been progressing every year for four, five years. The team manages to raise their level of play when they play European competition against the big clubs. Even in the league against the big boys, things went well this year. The championship was lost at home against supposedly weaker teams. There is a collective strength in this team, despite recent changes with the departure of André Silva and his 29 goals, and Rafael Santos Borré who arrives from River Plate and who has had time to adapt. The team was built little by little.

How was your arrival in Frankfurt?
They sought to develop and organize their network of scouting and they were looking for a referent for France. They offered me to be their country manager. This is mainly my role. Recently, I also do Africa, but 90% remains France.

“The Germans have work structures and organizations that are all geared towards performance. Each person can evolve in the best conditions, and we will require a lot of work, it shows. »

Do you feel a difference between the work of recruiter for a German club and a French club?
The difference, we feel it in the work requirement. The Germans have work structures and organizations that are all geared towards performance. Each person can evolve in the best conditions and we will require a lot of work, it shows. When young French people enter the work/requirement mode, they necessarily progress. In France, we are less focused on it or not enough.

How is this requirement you are talking about defined on a daily basis?
The requirement is in behavior, such as respect for the club and schedules. But also in everyday work, during training, there is a lot of intensity. We ask a lot of players every day! The difference is not huge, but it’s a little more every day which makes a lot on arrival…

Deep calls.

Young French people have been fashionable for several years. Eintracht is no exception to the rule with Almamy Touré and Evan Ndicka arriving young, and soon Randal Kolo Muani. Do you feel a demand around the young stars of France?
Let’s say that clubs like Frankfurt, which are not star clubs like Bayern, represent a stage for young people with potential. It is in this sense that one can easily find a common project between a talented young player who wants to develop his career and a club that will give him all the environment, skills and playing time to allow him to develop.

“Unlike England where the player is just a number and where there is not really a sporting project around him, in Germany, when they sign a player, it’s because they believe in him, that they are going to give him a chance and that they are going to complete the project. »

What is the player profile Frankfurt is looking for: a player with barely a few pro matches in his legs like Evan Ndicka at the time in 2018 or more confirmed like Randal Kolo Muani?
For me, they are the same profiles! When I proposed Randal, he was a youngster who had played little in Nantes. He only signed this year, because Nantes did not want to agree to a transfer before. We’ve been trying for two years, but they never wanted to. We therefore waited until he was free to have him signed. Two years ago, he had no reference and very few pro matches, so for me it’s the same profile as Ndicka in 2018: a little older (23 years)but a youngster with plenty of room for improvement.

You have often had to go to La Beaujoire. What are the qualities that will make Randal Kolo Muani the next nugget of Frankfurt?
He is a player who has interesting athletic qualities and speed. We know that the game in Germany is very fast and goes from one goal to another with little respite in the game and teams inclined towards the offensive. I think Randal has all the qualities to win in this league and score a lot of goals, because it’s a very prolific league. If we are efficient, we have these possibilities. I think he has a good margin of improvement in a lot of phases of the game, but as he has a lot of qualities, I think he made a good choice by coming to Frankfurt and that he will take a step forward.

Compared to ten years ago, there are many more young players who cross the Rhine. Do you feel in the discussions that you have in France a desire of the players and the entourages to go to Germany to finish their progression?
I am enormously solicited by the agents who constantly offer me French players. Unlike England where the player is just a number and where there is not really a sporting project around him, in Germany, when they sign a player, it’s because they believe in him, that they are going to give him a chance and that they are going to complete the project. In return, there has to be work, demand and the player gives himself. But if he enters into this framework, he will progress. We know that in France, we have quality players, who are well trained, but they are taking a step forward in Germany where they have playing time in a very tough championship.

Interview by Loïc Bessière

.

SHARE THIS POST

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.