Saturday 6 August 2011 - 14:21 - Translated by Puchkin
As the League season is about to start, Stade Rennes has one of the youngest squads in Ligue 1. A source of concern for Frédéric Antonetti, who reminded his player about the necessity to have an exemplary life hygiene in order to achieve a good season.
Before travelling to Dijon this Sunday, Frédéric Antonetti doesn’t think his team is strong enough to play a leading role in Ligue 1. “People see us in the top five. I think we can be fifth at the best. There is a huge difference between these two points of view. I’m not protecting myself by saying that. I looked this morning at the best XI that is shaping up: six players are twenty years old. We are a very good French club, but an Academy club.
"My only concern is about the frame of mind"
As he prepares for his third Ligue 1 season with the Stade Rennais, the manager affirms he doesn’t “have any worries about the squad’s ability”. However, he talked to the players this Thursday: “I told them that my only concern is about their frame of mind, the youth of the squad and all the temptations that come along. When you’re twenty, the life hygiene is not always this of a high level sportsman. They have to understand it quickly”. The coaching staff has already set-up one meal a day for the players “since society has become what it is with the fast-food…”
This warning is based on an « in-deep » analysis of last season, by a manager who realises he can’t « intervene everywhere ». That season had been notably marked by an avalanche of injuries and an end of season in which Rennes seemed to have completely run out of any physical and mental strength.
Don’t consider yourselves « the best in the world »
According to Frédéric Antonetti, some of the players will also have to be wary of the sometimes too flattering words of their relatives. “I’ve also told them that every coach in the world wants to win games. In order to do so, we build the best team we can build.” It would be a fatal mistake for them to believe they’re the “best in the world” and not understand the manager’s sportive choices. “If the player says he has such a level, works hard and convinces me, then we get there, he can make it at the highest level! Some understand it very well, some not as well and sometimes, their entourage is not really helping them.” The next few months should tell us, whether the manager’s lecture has been clearly understood…