Saint-Etienne: Puel without concession on the level of French football

Quentin Lecointe: published on Tuesday January 28, 2020 at 5:48 p.m.

In an interview with France Football, Claude Puel gives a frank look at the current limits of French football.

Returning to Ligue 1 last October after a little less than three years spent in England, Claude Puel draws up an uncompromising observation, during an interview with France Football, on the level of the championship, on training for the French but also the quality of the lawns. The coach of AS Saint-Etienne has no illusions in particular about the place occupied by the French championship on the European chessboard: "Ligue 1 has become a laboratory, a training center for the four Championships which are located above ours, England, Spain, Germany and Italy. "The coach who passed through Leicester and Southampton regrets the evolution of the championship compared to the 80s:" There was much more technical quality […] We also put the collective forward. What strikes me now is this lack of accuracy and intelligence in the game, fluidity and talent, creativity but also efficiency. "

"In most training centers, we continue to favor the physical aspect"

"At one point, without being able to say where the tipping point is exactly, we started looking for more physical profiles, with speed, power and, little by little, we got there [. ..] What bothers me is that in most training centers, we continue to favor the physical aspect ”, adds Puel to explain this evolution in the profile of the players. The 58-year-old technician praises the state of mind that he can reign on English lawns compared to France: “If the matches are so intense in the Premier League, it is first of all because the training is very short, very rhythmic, with a total investment and a concentration of every moment on the part of the players. Everyone is "focus", hyper professional and there is never any carelessness, no problem of motivation. "

"We would like to sell the L1 and increase the fees, but we don't even require perfect lawns"

Another point that makes the beauty of English football according to Puel: the quality of the lawns, an aspect too often overlooked in France: "There is a magnificent quality of ground there, even in the Third Division, and yet it is raining it's cold in winter every day and we play every three days. We would like to sell the L1 and increase the fees, but we don't even require perfect lawns, which could encourage the spectacle! ”