Since the pitiful elimination in the first round of the Euro of the French handball team on January 12, we have been watching his opinion. We felt that Claude Onesta had things to say. Many as general manager of high performance of the new National Sports Agency. Even more because of his glorious past at the head of Blues that he has escorted in all conquests, and more often than twice. "I will not speak until the Federation has spoken," he told us.
The Federation spoke on Tuesday, confirming the ouster of Didier Dinart, who succeeded Onesta in 2016, and the promotion of his assistant Guillaume Gille (43, 308 caps), for a commando mission, and a first emergency : qualify France at the Tokyo Games, during a qualification tournament in Paris from April 17 to 19. The way was therefore clear for Claude Onesta.
If the Toulousain, master es-management and com, started by saying "that he did not want to interfere in the decisions", he passes some clear messages. And first of all on the origins of a crisis that had been brewing "for a couple of years, and which has accelerated in recent weeks". He evokes “internal tensions and difficulties between the installed generation and a very efficient younger one”. He speaks of "a lack of management which has complicated the internal situation, causing fractures", and notes that Didier Dinart's response was not the right one.
"I had the feeling that the project was questioned"
"He had an exacerbated authority, vis-à-vis the staff, the players", notes Onesta who also points out that nobody, in particular with the national technical direction, "was not able to take the things in hand and to clean up. " A big stone in the garden of Philippe Bana, irremovable DTN and "friend of forty years with whom we do not always agree".
In "this collective failure", Didier Dinart, whom he assumed to have appointed to succeed him, bears, according to him, a very big responsibility. That of having cut oneself from its staff and its players, from having become authoritarian, from not having agreed to be accompanied more. To arrive at the scathing observation, "that the French team was no longer a team". "I had the feeling that the project was questioned," he admits. There I was afraid. I was worried. Breaking up was not easy, but it was necessary. "
Claude Onesta therefore participated in some discussions, shared his convictions. If he does not say it, one suspects that he supported the candidacy of Guillaume Gille, "the best solution" while, the qualification 'for the Games approaching, "it was not the time to bring a experienced trainer with new staff, a new project. Guillaume knows perfectly the hand, the type of competition which awaits the team of France, argues Claude Onesta. During this period (of difficulties), he always made the link with the rest of the staff, with the players. "
"If asked, I'm ready to do anything to help"
According to him, the former international Chambéry will have no trouble "to mobilize the actors, to use all the frustration to find a sense of belonging to a group, to build an adventure that will belong to them. Before adding, pointing hollow to Dinart's shortcomings: "I know what Guillaume (Gille) will bring. Calming. Consensus. Friendliness. And everything you need to become a team again. Today, he has the opportunity to implement a project in a peaceful environment. He will quickly contact the players and install a form of newfound confidence. "
Newsletter - The essentials of the newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to allow you to receive our news and commercial offers. Find out more
Obviously, nothing will be simple. But Claude Onesta has confidence in the future. In the ability, also, of this team to qualify for the Games, and, with their talents and "by finding pleasure, enthusiasm and game project", to be a scarecrow in Tokyo. Guillaume Gille knows he can count, if necessary, on the help of his former coach. "If asked, I'm ready to do anything to help," says Onesta.