“We are not going to present ourselves as victims”, “this victory at the Euro freed me from a weight”: the confessions of Rémi Desbonnet before the Starligue MHB – PSG shock

“We are not going to present ourselves as victims”, “this victory at the Euro freed me from a weight”: the confessions of Rémi Desbonnet before the Starligue MHB – PSG shock

dddd Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Weakened, the MHB will be able to count on a Rémi Desbonnet in better shape than ever, when it comes time to welcome the Starligue leader, PSG, during the shock at the top of this 18th day, this Sunday ( 4 p.m.) at the Sud de France Arena. 

If you had to choose between making a direct raise for the win or a stop at six meters, which would you choose ? 

(He blows). As long as we win, that's fine with me. But I would say I would prefer a stop, at least after it's over. 

Why did you choose to be a guard ? 

I wasn't a basekeeper at all, I played on the field. And like all kids, I loved scoring goals. But there was a rotation, there had to be one in the cages. There was no specialist goalkeeper in our team in under-12 years. When I was in the cages I stopped a few more balls than the others, I managed to have fun when others didn't. really didn't like it at all. On the under-14s on the high level teams in Montpellier, my coaches came to see me telling me that given what I liked on the pitch and my style of play, with the need to touch the ball and be decisive, that was my position. With my not very big size, I was going to be confined to a winger role… It wasn't necessarily going to suit me, they had the impression, so they They came up with the idea of ​​going into the cages and having fun to have a role in the matches. I listened to them, it suited them well at the time but history proved them right.

Starligue: the ranking and results of the 18th day.

You were the one who was the least afraid of the ball ?

As for apprehension, I don't really know. But I was the one who had the most fun and played in the cages. I had trap systems, sticking myself to a post, moving forward so that someone would lob me… Childish things but I found of the game and this duel with the shooter, I had never been taught all that. There would have been a super strong guy on my team those years, I would never have gone into the cages for vocation. 

You had this revival ability from the start ? 

I played hockey when I was very little, as a center, that is to say the one who is supposed to have the most vision of the game and organize. So I had this thing of identifying spaces and distributing them when I was a kid. Concerning the gesture I didn't have it at the beginning, it came more when I returned to the Pôle Espoirs. I had this approach of being pro and since I was smaller than the others and not the norm, I had to stand out and do something. My first thought, when I was 15, was that a save is +1 but a save plus a pass to the other side for a goal is +2.& nbsp;We talk a lot about this gesture of direct restart but I also try to encourage, we are less aware of it, the rapid game. By rapid engagement or the first relays. My role is to get everyone moving forward. So I told myself that I was not going to be the one who was two meters tall and closed all the angles but the one with whom the game goes at 2000 miles per hour with the most influential role possible, whether through interception or goals too.

How does it work ?

When I started in the reserve team around the age of 16, I played with guys six years older than me, they came by car to training, it was funny to me. And there I felt the weight of the ball, when you send it forward it means that the whole defense has worked hard and therefore what you are doing cannot not be random. Once I had a huge broth by Frédéric Anquetil for a bad choice and it was from there that I told myself that I had to work on it. The vision was natural to me but the gesture had to be worked on: I had a basket of balloons to empty, from cage to cage, then without touching the ground, the corners of the field, a trash can where I had to send the ball in, studs. Take the ball as quickly as possible in the cages… Make all possible gestures so as not to be surprised. Every day I have to do between 20 and 40 passes a day whenever I have a moment.

You removed the second nets in the goals in Montpellier ? 

I fought to have them removed. Depending on the cages, I fought to attach them elsewhere even if I didn't always have the right (smiles). In Nîmes this wasn't happening before I arrived, for example. 

The pinafore rule helped you ? 

On the one hand, no (laughs). Because when it happened, they were starting to make me play in the game when we were inferior, so it took away a side that I liked in a match. But on the other hand, when I know that there is no guard in front of me, I am in a state of greater attention than that of a guard in front of me. habit. 

Your size ultimately made you stand out from the others ? 

This desire to do slightly new things and to want to differentiate myself comes from there, that's clear. Whether I would have done it if I was 1.95 m I don't know. It's certain that a two meter guy has more wingspan and takes up more space in the cage I could never take him off. On the other hand, it's up to me to make aspects of my game as indisputable in my opinion. Today, someone brings me someone who does it like me… For the moment this is not the case .

For two years now, whether at club or national level, there has been strong competition with less experienced goalkeepers, how did you manage that ? 

Coming to Montpellier, that's also what I was looking for, playing in a club with big ambitions and a very strong squad with three goalkeepers when I arrived. Compared to the way we worked in Nîmes, it changed a lot for me. Being in competition with less experienced people, it's age that wants that because I'm slowly moving towards the old team so the young people are arriving (laughs) . For me we are teammates above all, when Charles (Bolzinger) arrived, I tried to bring all my experience to him so that the team wins. Whether it's Charles, Samir or others, these are guys who have always had a lot of respect, who are good at communicating and we all want to help each other.&nbsp ;

This competition can be mentally complicated ?

Whether in club or selection there are ultra-talented people knocking on the door, I see it positively. I see that…rather than talking about others, I am in this competition and I hope that we can ask others if it is obvious to me. have by their side. In all humility, I consider myself lucky to be competing against people of this talent. Whether it’s Vincent (Gérard) or now the young people who are knocking on the door. But if we talk about competition that means that I am there too, which is a marker of the good work that I do above all. 

You have the impression that we talk about it a little less ?

No, but we are talking about competition. On the Euro I was the oldest, here in Montpellier the most experienced too. Having known him with Vincent, it's an enormous comfort to be in the position of someone who hunts, let's say, who has no pressure. Now, it's not something that affects me that much. I have great confidence in what I bring, whether on the pitch or in a locker room. Indeed, when you play with very talented guys, there are moments when each one is better than the other but that doesn't devalue at all what I do. I am confident in my ability to be very good and decisive in important moments. Afterwards, we are lucky to have a position where we never play at the same time so we cannot pull each other in the way. That has always been my vision of the position. Competition pushes you to be better and it's a good thing that everyone is good.

Especially since you knew Samir as a child during your first visit to Montpellier, no ?

We passed each other in the hallways but we were never on the same teams. We didn't know each other before he arrived for the selection. On the other hand, I trained Charles when he was a kid during summer camps. It's anecdotal, today we are teammates, we have a very good understanding and a vision on the density of the seasons, the expectations of our club. In a season like ours, there will be food for everyone.

In what physical and emotional state were you after the Euro ? 

I was as much in euphoria as in a state of emotional exhaustion. It’s true that I decided to ride this euphoria. We're not going to lie to each other, there was also a bit of frustration at having had less playing time at the end of the Euro so I was happy to go back home. #39;training even if it happened very quickly after the final. But I took it with a smile because it’s my job and my employer is the MHB so I had no choice. I immediately decided to ride this euphoria of recovery, to find my teammates.

You were very good upon your return, how do you explain it ? 

The month of January was busy, a lot happened in my head. This victory at the Euro freed me from a weight that I was putting on myself. That of having a track record that was not provided as I would have liked (He thinks). I put back in place certain things that made me perform well in past years. It allowed me to put my finger on what led me to be more or less efficient. On things off the field where I hadn't yet looked into it. I'm doing everything to make it last as long as possible and the team was immediately very supportive. The form of Karl Konan in defense which does us good, an Arthur Lenne found in very good shape, Kyllian Prat who has plenty of legs… All that makes you want when you come back to the club after the month of January. Show that you left and that it wasn't for nothing. There must be an improvement in the level when the internationals return. 

What ingredients do you want to find exactly ?

Find instinct, lightness and fun in matches. I was in something more serious, but the fact of finding pleasure again, experiencing the matches to the fullest did me good. Having three home matches for our return, for me, it worked out perfectly. It was coming home, seeing my family and friends, and everyone being there at the matches. This fervor gives me a real boost in the field. It galvanized and pushed me.

You've had a complicated few months in your head ? 

This is the case for any athlete, but that means everything and nothing. I wouldn't say complicated because I never lose belief in what I do and in my ability to achieve my goals. We are constantly adapting, I have questioned a lot of things, particularly technically, since my arrival in the French team. I have the impression that things are coming together a little and that everything is set up well for me to let the horses go again. 

What were these technical changes ? 

We did a lot of work with Jean-Luc Kieffer on my close positioning, where I have the greatest deficit compared to my size, so we put things in place on outside shots. Compared to my fiery side on the pitch, we also had to find a happy medium. The change of status in Montpellier and in the French team was a lot to manage. And yet last year, I almost had my best percentage over a season. So sometimes we have expectations, but when we turn around it's not bad at all.

Do you think you are in your best shape since the start of your career ?

Since the return of the Euro, with the influence that I have on the game in a team like Montpellier, with the situation of a team with injuries and which has need a leader, this is one of the big moments of my career. Since my return to Montpellier, I have asserted myself as a leader in the field.

How are you coping with this season with so many injuries ? 

Obviously it's very frustrating for everyone. We felt really strong at the start of the season, we really had the impression that we had added ingredients and X factors to last year's team, which which had turned out beautifully. There is also the context of the end of Patrice Canayer in Montpellier, giving us an extra boost of soul with the desire to finish the adventure well with him and for him.< /p>

When we play in Montpellier we are all very ambitious, we want titles and to play for first places. So we must not lose sight of the objectives and our humility to want to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League and go as far as possible. It's done. Living the greatest possible adventure in the Coupe de France, we are still in the race. And in the championship we have set our sights on playing the Champions League, we are still largely on target. Yes, we started dreaming of the title, just like fourth place in Plock this week… But the objectives are always achievable. So we have to be positive. We are in difficulty with our injuries but we have internationals in all positions and guys will come back to play. We must congratulate ourselves where we already are. 

Facing Paris with so many injured, we say to ourselves that it's going to be very complicated ? 

Obviously it weakens a little, it would be a lie to say that we feel strong approaching PSG with this team configuration. I told the guys before Plock that Austria beat everyone at the Euros with seven players and a 20-year-old goalkeeper, no one expected them at this level . Dijon beat Aix-en-Provence at home, Toulouse gave us a beating and they lost at Ivry… There are plenty of teams that achieve success. Paris is far in the rankings, we have injuries, what else can happen other than achieving a major feat and remembering it in a few years as being the team that beat PSG with eight or nine professional players on the scoresheet ? If we lose it someone will hit us with a flogger ? I don't think so. I know the team and our coach, we still have things to oppose to PSG, we are not going to present ourselves as victims. 

What have the two victories of last season changed in your relationship with PSG ? 

It has changed but I rather think that last season as a whole showed us that we were on time, that our team is functioning, that we play good handball to beat any team in Europe. In previous years, this confidence of achieving major feats had eroded. Our start to the Champions League was a little timid this year but it gave us the certainty that we were not very far from the best. We faced our limits last year, let's see those of this year… if there are any.

What did you say to yourself when Patrice Canayer was announced at the start of the season ?

I remember being really in shock since we hadn't even heard rumors about it. Immediately the question arose of who will take their place again and then the why and how. But in his announcement, Patrice explained a lot of things to us and spoke as he rarely did to the players. There was no other solution to accept and understand this choice. But we are employees of the MHB, our role is to be a handball player and we will have a coach next year. For guys like me who wanted to play here, the goal of our youth was to be selected by Patrice so it's sure that it caused a big boom when he announced it. I hope we give him something that a lot of people will remember. 

Has this changed your career plan here in Montpellier ? 

No because I was the driving force behind having a long-term contract when coming back here to establish myself long-term. I have two years left at the end of this year, so we will have plenty of time to see how the team works with the future staff and discuss with management afterwards. I'm not into those considerations and that's why I wanted a long contract so I wouldn't have to think about it. 

And the arrival of Erick Mathé was taken how ? 

I see it more as a good thing to have someone who knows the house and the stakes of what Patrice's role was and what will be his . This is a huge time saver. I only know Eric in the French team and as an assistant, the others have known him as an assistant here and I can't wait to see how he manages a team as No.1, meet the new staff… But I'm in no hurry for this year to end

If we tell you August 11, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, what do you think ? 

It's the final of the Olympics. It's inevitably in the back of your mind when you know that you are selectable but there is still half the season to play and we are well placed in Montpellier to know that he can be selected. go through a lot in a season. So we're going to touch wood and above all it's only by showing things every three days that beautiful things can happen. 

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