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Guy Roux beendet Trainertätigkeit

5 Beiträge in diesem Thema

Guy Roux hört nach 44 Jahren auf

"Mit 66 Jahren, da fängt das Leben an..."

Auch für Guy Roux? Frankreichs Trainer-Urgestein verkündet nach 44-jähriger Tätigkeit für AJ Auxerre das Ende seiner Karriere.

"Die Entscheidung ist endgültig. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass er noch ein Jahr weitermacht, aber die Ärzte haben ihm geraten, sich den Stress nicht mehr anzutun. Das müssen wir respektieren", so Auxerre-Präsident Jean Claude Hamel.

Roux trainierte den Klub seit 1961, sicherte sich zum Abschied den Cupsieg gegen Sedan.

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Einer der unglaublichsten Trainer überhaupt. Ist er mit diesen 44 Jahren bei einem Verein eigentlich Rekordhalter?

Was macht Auxerre jetzt? Wissen die überhaupt noch wie man einen Trainer verpflichtet?

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This Guy deserves a statue

The amazing Guy Roux, who took Auxerre from regional league to Champions League in a 44-year reign, has finally quit. Darren Tulett reports

Sunday June 12, 2005

The Observer

In 1961, the farthing ceased to be legal tender in the UK. Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister, Charles de Gaulle ran France and John F Kennedy was inaugurated President of the United States. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, West Side Story won the Oscar for best film, Ernest Hemingway killed himself and the Berlin Wall was erected. The world had yet to hear of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. And there was something afoot in the sleepy Burgundy town of Auxerre.

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Something that would, eventually, put the town and its football team on the map. A 22-year-old named Guy Roux sent off an application for the vacant head coach's job at l'Association de la Jeunesse Auxerroise. Roux, born in Alsace but brought up six miles from Auxerre, where he played (not particularly impressively, by all accounts) as a teenager, was the youngest candidate, fresh back from learning the ropes as an observer for a month at Crystal Palace.

In his letter, he said he was prepared to 'do whatever is needed for the club, even chop the wood'. The Auxerre president, Jean-Claude Hamel, then one of the directors, remembers Roux telling them he would 'always balance the books and never waste a penny'. Roux also asked for the smallest salary of the handful of applicants - 600 francs a month, according to Hamel - and his sense of good housekeeping rather than any proven coaching skills swung the balance. Roux got the job.

Auxerre was then a town of fewer than 40,000 inhabitants (it's not much bigger now) and its amateur club was bumbling along in the Burgundy regional league. If there is an equivalent in the English game now, it might be Worksop Town - about the same level, about the same size. And if Worksop win the Premiership-FA Cup double by 2050 and play in the Champions League, you'll have an idea of what Guy Roux has achieved.

When Roux finally quit last Sunday, hours after winning the French Cup final for a record-equalling fourth time as manager and 44 years after first taking the job, it was after 25 consecutive seasons in the country's top division.

He started as player-coach, but was soon proving himself to be much more. Roux persuaded local farmers to donate their goats' dung for Auxerre's playing fields, had players' wives make bibs for training and in the evenings would run the club's switchboard himself, as he was the only one still around.

Eric Cantona, Basile Boli and Djibril Cissé are among those to have emerged from Auxerre's famous (to outsiders) or infamous (to players) youth academy. Stars such as Enzo Scifo and Laurent Blanc had their careers put back on track through stints at the club and fans of l'AJ Auxerre, as the locals call their team, have feasted on a regular diet of European football, including runs to the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Roux, famous for his dreadful bobble hats and ill-fitting tracksuits, has overseen it all. He picked the team for every one of those 44 years, apart from a spell of national service in the early 1960s and a stint as general manager in 2000, an ill-advised move from which he eagerly returned to the bench less than 12 months later. In all, Roux led Auxerre through about 2,000 games, including a European record of 890 top-flight league matches. Jacques Santini, the former France manager who spent a few months at Tottenham last season, has been handed the task of replacing Roux. He will have his hands full. As one former player said, Auxerre without Guy Roux is like Paris without the Eiffel Tower. It just won't be the same.

'Guy Roux made Auxerre what it is today almost single-handed. He lived and breathed for the club,' Boli says. 'He's a character, a monument of French football. They should put up a statue in his honour. In fact, I'm sure they will.'

Boli, who would go on to score the winning goal for Marseille against AC Milan in the 1993 Champions League final - still France's only success in the competition and one they were later stripped of - knows what he's talking about.

Roux is renowned for keeping a beady eye on what his players are up to off the field through a sophisticated network of informers. When word got back to the manager that the teenage Boli had a penchant for climbing over the academy walls at night, after lights-out, and whizzing around town on his moped, Roux took action. The next time Boli jumped the wall it was to find his moped chained to some railings. Monsieur Roux held the key. The manager added insult to injury by deducting the cost of the lock from Boli's then miserly wages. News of the incident got out. 'I received more than 600 letters from Africa,' Roux recalls. 'They began a "Free Basile's Moped" campaign.'

It would be no surprise to Roux watchers if he 'leaked' the story of Boli's moped himself. It's just the sort of tale he liked to use to bolster his image of the hands-on, over-fatherly coach. Roux has been seen dragging players out of local night spots by their collars and been spotted at 7am with his hands on car bonnets outside players' homes to see if engines were still warm. With the bright lights of Paris just over an hour away by motorway, Roux recruited the toll-booth operators to his cause. Whenever one of his players had a night out in the capital, Roux knew about it. He even took to clocking the mileage on players' cars, just in case. A 400-kilometre addition one day to the next invariably meant the player had been to Paris and back.

Over the years, Roux became one of the best-known figures in French sport, his management style and way with words placing him, in British terms, somewhere between Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson. His blend of anecdotes, expertise and image of a man who is careful with money helped him become a star analyst for television and radio.

Roux's puppet, resembling a country bumpkin, is a regular on the satirical television show Les Guignols, (France's Spitting Image ) and he's been happy to cultivate the image of the paysan who's smarter than he lets on. It has been profitable. Roux is one of the favourite figures for French advertisers, who play on his penny-pinching image. If Guy Roux thinks this product is worth buying then it must be value for money, n'est-ce pas ?

Critics accuse Roux, who promotes the local Chablis wines whenever he gets a chance, of overacting. They say he is tight, and he is known to invite reporters to restaurants only to say 'Your paper is selling very well these days' when the bill arrives.

Roux wields much power in Burgundy and beyond, and it is best to have him on your side if you want to be mayor of Auxerre. Not only does he display Christmas cards from Jacques Chirac on his office wall, he also makes it clear he's pals with former Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, with whom he did his military service. And one of former President François Mitterrand's aides last week said that while many cabinet ministers had trouble getting through to their leader, Mitterrand would always take Roux's calls tout de suite .

While in recent days much praise has been heaped upon Roux and his achievements, there have also been a few sighs of relief that he has finally called it a day. For years, France's Canal Plus, broadcaster of live Ligue 1 games, has been allowed to interview players at half-time and even on the subs' bench during games at every other club but Auxerre.

Roux ran Auxerre tyrannically at times. I covered the Auxerre-Lens match last season at the Stade Abbé-Deschamps for Canal Plus and was amazed at how scared of Roux many of the backroom staff and volunteers were. During the second half, one such volunteer told me to move from the touchline because 'otherwise Guy will have my guts for garters'. The man was in his fifties and almost quivering with fear. I stayed put and ended up rowing with Roux, who was then wilfully unhelpful during the post-match interviews. As Michel Platini famously said: 'Roux looks out for number one.'

He also looks after his players, though, even if he is a disciplinarian. 'To be a manager you need two things: to be an example; and to love,' he once said. 'If one of your players shows up at nine in the morning, you need to be there at 8.30 and preferably not drunk. And you have to love your players. If you don't love them, they'll feel it and, believe me, you will too.'

Roux upset some players and staff with the timing of his decision to quit the Auxerre bench. By announcing his move live on TV the morning after the cup final win over Sedan, Roux got to hog all the limelight at the afternoon victory parade back in Auxerre.

'We were supposed to be celebrating our cup success, but we ended up playing bit parts in the manager's farewell parade,' said captain Yann Lachuer.

It's hard to begrudge him his grand farewell, though.

Roux, awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1999, will not disappear from the scene. Unable to break the umbilical chord, he will remain at Auxerre in a backroom management role still to be defined. He has promised to have his office away from the stadium to avoid stealing Santini's thunder. And after his traditional early-June break in Corsica, watch out for that unfashionable bobble hat in and around Liverpool. Djibril Cissé has asked him to be best man at his forthcoming wedding.

Roux speaks...

On Bosman

'Poor old Bosman is a martyr. Today's players should pay to have his statue put up in every stadium. While they're raking in the money, he is broke and out of work.'

On Zinedine Zidane's international retirement

'I honestly think Zidane should be suspended from playing football. Since when did players pick and choose when they represented their country? As far as I'm concerned, any player with a registration is eligible for the national team.'

On the fans

'Sometimes I add up how much it costs someone to come and watch us five times a month behind the goal - there are guys who probably go without meat to come to the games. Knowing you've made him unhappy by losing is a huge weight to bear.'

On himself

'I make sure a light stays on in my office all day and all night, like a candle in the church showing Christ is there.'

'Football has given me some great joys, highs equivalent to those experienced by Don Juan after a good run.'

'When I was seven I said I wanted to play football every day of my life. And I just about pulled it off.'

· You can mail the Observer direct at

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