OM – MHSC: “I couldn’t see myself leaving and leaving the club in “shit””, says Joris Chotard

OM - MHSC: “I couldn’t see myself leaving and leaving the club in “shit””, says Joris Chotard

Joris Chotard believes he has become a mini executive and has earned the right to express himself. Midi Libre – JEAN MICHEL MART

The young midfielder wants to be exemplary in saving Montpellier, still expected on Sunday February 25, in Marseille, for the 23rd day of Ligue 1.

Does a meeting in Marseille awaken childhood memories for a player who grew up near Avignon ?

Marseille was the flagship club in my region. When you live in Bouches-du-Rhône, you have to follow OM. It’s always a special match that we want to play and win in the atmosphere we know.
Marseille contacted me to make a detection. At that time, few young people were leaving its training center with its contested reputation. The Montpellier project was more serious and focused on education. At 14 or 15 years old, this was very important.

This meeting is usually a gala match. What will be your ambition in this high-stakes match??

We are going to Marseille to win and look for points. We come out of a complete match against Metz (3-0) and a good performance despite the defeat against Lyon (1-2). It's up to us to continue and put as much doubt into a team that has no certainties this season.

During the last two matches, have you had a realization ?

We were better in the duels, our start to the half and the game. When we come into the opponent, that determines the rest of the match. We showed a lot of things that we hadn't seen in the last ten matches.

Did the slap in front of Nice in the Cup wake you up ?

We've been saying things to each other for a while. We are only reacting now. It’s a little late, we would have preferred to react beforehand. We could have done better and had many more points. It’s complicated to live with. We see that the people around us don't understand how we got there and think that we aren't making the effort. It’s up to us to be mentally stronger to reverse the situation. Three-quarters of things depend on the mind. Any average player, who gives 200%, will succeed in winning duels and be better.

Are you worried about the race to maintain ?

If we had a team that was no match for Ligue 1, if we didn't have players of this level and if we didn't have solutions, I would be worried. We have to think about it and we have to keep an eye on the rankings, but we must not put pressure on ourselves. Despite our duty to save the club, we must play our game.

How do you experience the reaction of the supporters ?

I understand them. I don't want to suffer, I prefer to confront them, who had things to say and who we must listen to. After Nice, I spoke with a few who want us to give more. It is with them, and not against them, that we will succeed in getting through this. It is not by insulting us, by being against us that it can help us. They understood it. In the last matches, we brought them back with us.

Was last season a tipping point in your career ?

I reached a milestone last year. I played almost all the matches with Olivier Dall’Oglio, who gave me more confidence. With the arrival of the coach, who pushed me to play forward, I diversified my game. He told me that I had the ability to quickly advance the team by playing towards the three or four rockets.
Perhaps I realized that I was capable of doing much more. I'm trying to show that I can go even higher. Today, I feel good on the pitch.

Have you become more of an actor in your game ?

Considering the situation of the team, I wanted to set an example, to behave in a way that makes you want to surpass yourself on the pitch. I am not a leader by words, I am more of a leader on the ground. By showing the way, with this extra soul. I have a lot of matches here, I am a mini-executive and have a duty to express myself. I don’t like that term, I don’t like putting myself forward.

During the winter, your name came back on the shelves of foreign clubs. Have you had any contact ?

There was an approach from (German) clubs, but there was no question of me leaving this winter. The club (Montpellier) knew about it, the clubs that coveted me too. I couldn't see myself leaving and leaving the club in “shit”. My training club to which I owe my current career.

Until then, you were not necessarily in the process of leaving. Is it different now ?

It’s different. I've been at the club for four and a half years. This summer was the first time that my name was circulating in various European clubs. It’s good for me to generate this interest because it means that I’ve reached a milestone. Obviously, there will be certain choices to make this summer or the following summer.

Thierry Henry will announce in two or three weeks his first selection for the Olympics. Are you thinking about it ?

If I maintain my level of requirements, this will be a possibility. I want to put myself at the level of those who are selectable to be able to apply in this group.
That makes dream. We want to experience the Olympics, especially in France. It would be a great reward. Téji (Savanier) told me that it was an exceptional moment to wear the French team jersey and compete in a great competition.

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