With 31 points, FC Metz is currently the lucky occupant of the play-off spot. Happy ? And how ! The Garnets, who seemed doomed three more days ago, got back together in extremis to finally defend their skin in Ligue 1. Everything will be decided next Saturday against Paris Saint-Germain, already champions.
Don’t look for them on the red carpet. This Sunday, no Messin will need to take out his suit and head for the UNFP trophies near the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris. When we point to the 18e place in Ligue 1 in mid-May, in general, we have few individual distinctions to claim. On the other hand, precisely because they are this morning 18es and therefore virtually play-offs, the people of Lorraine will have the obligation to bring out the big game next Saturday, still in the capital. All this thanks to a series of two home victories, the last of which this Saturday against Angers (1-0) which allows them to pass Saint-Étienne on goal difference. They who had not achieved this “performance” since October 2020. They who had until then only won one victory this season at Saint-Symphorien, one afternoon in December against Lorient (4-1). But now, when they thought they had hit rock bottom three weeks ago against Brest (0-1), being condemned to go up in this damn elevator for the thirteenth time in twenty years, the Antonetti band is still alive . “It was unexpectedwhispered Nicolas de Préville at the microphone of Prime Video. We are going to play our survival in Paris, it’s incredible. The victory against Lyon last Sunday (3-2) gave us hope… Incredible things are happening in football. »
Sacred Fire and Generation Zé
Football. It is because Metz has finally decided to put football back in the middle of his project that he has given himself the right to believe in maintaining, he who only has 31 points, while urban legend wants him to need 10 more to save themselves. Yes, football and all that it entails. Namely, come up with a scheme that does more than just stack defenders; finally take advantage of the qualities of these good attackers, Didier Lamkel Zé and Nicolas de Préville; to trust again the executives of last year that are Farid Boulaya, Kiki Kouyaté, Thomas Delaine and Pape Matar Sarr; bet on the youth of William Mikelbrencis, Sikou Niakaté or Lenny Lacroix; lean on the calm of Marc-Aurèle Caillard rather than on the lead farts of Alexandre Oukidja; reactivate the support of stands hitherto deprived of positive emotions. So many things that had happened for too long Frédéric Antonetti – also back on the bench after seven games in the fridge – stubbornly in his doubts and his bloodshed. So many things that finally allowed his people to rekindle the sacred fire and make up for a seven-point delay on rivals who were treading water.
The Corsican, who has never known the descent of his entire career, had publicly knelt down before the reception of OL, as if he could no longer hope for anything from this “dark season” during which he held the red lantern spot for nine days. “I don’t want to look for excuses. Our chance, we had ithe regretted. It’s like that. We managed to hold on for two seasons, but we didn’t succeed this year. » Did he speak too quickly? It is still too early to tell. But in any case, his players fulfilled the objective he had set before facing the SCO, that of “to give a good image and show having [leur] place in Ligue 1 » . The road to stay there next year is still long. We will have to do at least as well as Saint-Étienne (on the move to Nantes), but on the lawn of the Parc des Princes, even if it means spoiling the ceremony of the coronation of the Parisians. “Everything is possible, we like to play against the big guys” , warns Nicolas de Préville, who will unfortunately be suspended for this meeting. It is therefore on the broad shoulders and the big temperament of his new attacking friend that all eyes will be suspended: Didier Lamkel Zé. The Cameroonian, landed in early April in Moselle from Antwerp, brought his freshness to a group with undermined morale, his strong character and also his sense of purpose. With three pawns on the clock, the gus has the mouth of the job to take over the role of Ronny Rodelin, who had saved Stade Malherbe from relegation, at the Parc, in 2017, with a goal in stoppage time. And since we can’t count on Antonetti to chill the champagne before the match, we can only hope that the Parisians have planned extra, just to mark the occasion if such a scenario is repeated.
By Mathieu Rollinger