Football: a little wobbly, GC sticks to its principles


Eighth in the Super League, Giorgio Contini’s formation is not saved before he challenges Servette on Saturday (8:30 p.m.). But his coach remains calm.

Goalkeeper André Moreira above all embodies the ideas of his coach Giorgio Contini. Enough to last?

fresh focus

Seven matches, and as many reasons to bite your nails. Grasshopper is far from the track in the Super League. Not so much in terms of direct relegation, as the Grasshoppers are 12 points ahead of Lausanne-Sport. However, 9th place, synonymous with a play-off against 2nd in the Challenge League, remains a real risk. GC has only five units more than Lucerne. All the more irritating was that last weekend, in the game between the two teams, the Zurich players led 2-0 at half-time before conceding the equalizing goal in the 90th minute. Nothing will come easy for Giorgio Contini, who will accompany his training in La Praille against Servette on Saturday (8:30 p.m.).

“I’m not going to do anything else because it’s not me”

Giorgio Contini, Grasshopper trainer

The former coach of Lausanne-Sport got used to it. In La Pontaise and then La Tuilière, the life he led was not the easiest. At Grasshopper it’s another matter. The recruits come from almost all over the world: about ten different nationalities are represented in the contingent. “It’s part of the job,” he agrees. I already had experience with this in Lausanne. Obviously, integration is always difficult, especially among Asians. We have Korean translators, Japanese and Chinese speak English. Players must be given time to adjust to their new life. But tactically we always know how to adapt.

“Don’t change”

This winter alone, seven new players have joined the ranks of the record master† They were already “delivered” to the new team last summer, to serve as a permanent club in Wolverhampton (owned by the same owner). In short, for Contini, the search for balance is riddled with pitfalls. And this is what forces him to consider the worst, to protect himself as best he can. “From the start of the season I have said that as a new promoter you should never think about being saved until this is the case. So today I am not shocked to see where we are. In 2022 GC won just one game in eleven encounters: against Lausanne, on February 12. For the rest there were three draws, including those against Zurich and Lucerne in the last two days. Better light than. change. This is the key,” says the 48-year-old coach.

You have to hold on to your beliefs. Since the start of the season, Contini hasn’t changed his mind that much. The principles remain essentially the same. With special attention to ball exits. Indeed, GC is one of the few Super League formations that can start with the goalkeeper and take to the field to score. He’s already done it several times.

Sign of accurate work. “It’s the philosophy I’ve been trying to implement from day one,” he affirms. I’m not going to do anything else because it’s not me. So we are working on positioning, on analytical exercises. The goal is to give ideas about where we want to send the ball and where we want to arrive. I have to give the players the solutions, but in the end it’s up to them to take the initiative. Not everything can be automated. But the exit from stocks is more likely.

Moreira, one of the key figures

So there are key players to reproduce these phases of the game, including goalkeeper André Moreira. Although he is partly responsible for last Saturday’s lost advantage against Lucerne, as it was one of his poor raises that led Kvasina to register the 2-1. “It is true, he had made the wrong choice, but he is still young, accepts his coach. He has improved throughout the season and his footwork qualities, both left and right, are important. The 26-year-old Portuguese, who came over from Belenenses at the start of the season, has guarantees in goal, but is above all the first raiser for the final classification. Like Mory Diaw was for LS last year. The goal then is to find the spaces higher up in the field to let the speed of Kaly Sène (10 goals this season) and Francis Momoh (3 achievements) shine.

‘Servette is a team that leaves room to play’

Giorgio Contini, Grasshopper trainer

So Napkin has been warned. Even if the Garnet has never lost to GC in the first three confrontations (two wins, one draw). Not without pain. Contini aspires to it again: “I saw against Zurich that Servette tactically played a high-level match. But I also know that it is a team that leaves room to play. If we manage to pass the first line, we can find solutions.” And maybe a little rest.

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