Thursday, April 2, 2020

to forget Jardim, Monaco is banking on the unexpected Robert Moreno

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Robert Moreno has been appointed coach of AS Monaco. MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP

In Monaco, the era embodied by ex-vice-president Vadim Vasilyev finally ended with the second dismissal in fourteen months of Leonardo Jardim, the last episode of the soap opera that has been shaking the Principality's club for months.

By getting rid of the Portuguese coach, hated by some of his players and decried within the club, the new strong man of the ASM, Oleg Petrov, successor of Vasilyev, thanked in February 2019, definitively turns the page of l old power.

His first strong choice is rather daring, as he announced this weekend the appointment of Robert Moreno as coach. At 42, this pure Catalan, born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, comes out of a first and only successful experience as a main coach.

From June 19 to November 19, 2019, Moreno ensured a remarkable interim at the head of the Spanish selection: in six games, his Roja won four times for two draws and easily qualified for Euro 2020 .

Accused of "disloyalty" by his mentor

Held for eight seasons in the role of assistant, mainly alongside Luis Enrique in Rome, then in Vigo, in Barcelona and finally in the Spanish selection, he was offered his chance when his mentor had resigned from his position to stay at bedside of his sick daughter.

The experience was cut short on the evening of a Spanish demonstration against Romania. A few seconds after the large 5-0 victory, he learned of his dismissal decided by the President of the Federation, Luis Rubiales. Crying in the middle of the locker room, the now ex-coach refused to attend the traditional and mandatory post-match press conference.

Accused of disloyalty by his former friend, Robert Moreno could not go to the end of his adventure and was even banned from a possible return to the staff who will lead La Roja at the next Euro. "He told me that he wanted to make the euro at the head of the team before becoming my assistant again next summer. Being so ambitious, given the situation, is unfair, in my opinion. And so I decided to do without him, had launched Luis Enrique, while praising the quality of his work. On the professional side, I have nothing to say about Robert Moreno. "

Football theorist

A graduate in international business, Moreno is like Jardim to these "university coaches", who have had no professional career as a player. The new Monegasque coach can boast an early vocation, since he began his career at the age of 14. In 2003, at 25, he became the youngest coach in Spain, head of the modest club Penya Blaugrana Collblanc.

Precursor in video analysis, expert in particular in the observation of the opponent, this football intellectual has even written a theoretical work in which he deciphers his tactical preferences, My 4-4-2 recipe (Mi receta del 4-4-2, Futbol De Libro, not translated) published in 2013 and prefaced by… Luis Enrique.

On the Rock, Robert Moreno will be responsible for qualifying the club again for the Champions League. Seventh to seven points from third place, Monaco is aiming to return to the lucrative European competition, capital to green the finances of a club for which the Russian owner Dmitri Rybolovlev is reluctant to spend much more money.

Unlike another short-lived novice, the Brazilian Sylvinho, dismissed after a few months in October on the bench of Olympique Lyonnais, the Spaniard can count on his own staff. Four of his compatriots accompany him on this adventure: Dani Guindos as assistant, Juanjo del Ojo as physical trainer, Jose Sambade as goalkeeper trainer and Marc Selleres for psychological preparation.

Moreno will start on Saturday January 4 with the reception of Reims in the Coupe de France before being offered two trying but revealing tests. January 12 and 15, Monaco will rub in Ligue 1 at PSG.

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