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Death of Artur Jorge: “He imprinted a competitive mentality” on PSG, remembers Alain Roche


Highlights: Former PSG defender Alain Roche played under Artur Jorge from 1992 to 1994. The Portuguese coach died on Thursday at the age of 78. Roche remembers a man who transformed himself for the European Cup. “He imprinted a competitive mentality” on PSG, remembers Roche. ‘We weren't very nice to watch, but we were extremely solid, this is what he taught us for my part in that part of the club's history’ ‘He was the basis of all this. He was the reason we won the championship’

Recruited in 1992, the former PSG defender played under the Portuguese coach for two seasons. Memories.

I have good memories of those years... even if we hated him at times!


From 1992 to 1994, Alain Roche spent two seasons under the orders of Artur Jorge, who died this Thursday at the age of 78.

Two tough years, but which put Paris Saint-Germain on the path to success for the future and laid the foundations.



, the former PSG central defender remembers for

Le Figaro

, evoking in particular a transfigured Artur Jorge in the run-up to European matches and the click made during a success in Naples in 1992.

To discover

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- What are the first memories, the first images that come to mind?

Alain Roche.


Not bad... The first contact with him... He's someone who didn't smile much, under his mustache (smile).

He was quite austere.

Not very communicative at times and even less with the substitutes than the starters (smile).

With him, I already remember our titles, and in particular winning the championship (1994).

It wasn't nothing (the second coronation in the club's history in D1, Editor's note).

We knew what the high level was, but for the very high level of the European Cup, he helped us a lot, in terms of rigor, seriousness and above all concentration.

He had already won the Champions League with Porto (1987).

It allowed us to gain consistency and make ourselves known on the international scene.

We had some good matches, whether in Naples (see the last question, Editor's note) or elsewhere... Afterwards, PSG perhaps lacked the experience that certain clubs had, a European aura that we didn't have. not, which undoubtedly caused certain contrary refereeing decisions at times, notably against Juventus (in the 1993 UEFA Cup semi-finals, Editor's note) or other teams.

But in terms of involvement and concentration, he taught us a lot.

And that's why we had a very good European run afterwards (at least in the semi-finals from 1993 to 97, including the victory in the Cup Winners' Cup in 96, Editor's note).

He was the basis of all this.

How was he on a daily basis, in training?

The training sessions were neither pleasant nor fun, I have to be honest.

Almost always the same and focused on self-sacrifice, a lot of races without a ball.

He wanted to create a spirit of solidarity between the players, a little against him too because we were always quite annoyed by the content of the sessions (laughs).

When he wasn't satisfied, it was even worse, he was capable of making us run 100m back and forth across the field for an hour!

The ball came into the air from time to time but we didn't touch it!

It was a way of doing things and a different time too, I don't think it would work now.

But there was real solidarity among the players and it's not for nothing that we got results straight away.

In any case, he was not someone who spoke much, almost none, who congratulated little.

Perhaps it came from a fear that we would lack humility, that we would become big-headed.

I saw him again years later, he was no longer the same Artur Jorge at all, much more smiling, a bit of a joker, delighted to see us again, reminding us of extremely good memories of victories and others.

But as a coach, he gave nothing!

I also remember a man who transformed himself for the European Cup.

In which way ?

It was in his DNA I think, the pre-match discussions were longer, it was much more precise, an even greater sense of detail, especially on the players we were facing.

He sent people like Joël Bats to report in detail on each opposing player before European Cup matches.

We knew how they played.

This was where he wanted to succeed.

And thanks to that, we won the European Cup (in 1996 under Luis Fernandez, Editor's note).

We won the championship too (in 1994).

Read alsoFootball: death of Portuguese Artur Jorge, former PSG coach

We weren't very nice to watch play but we were extremely rigorous, very solid.

Alain Roche

What were his main qualities as a coach?

He knew how to play on the qualities of each person, he knew how to touch people.

We did a lot of tactical work, and particularly on set pieces, we were extremely brilliant in this area.

We weren't very nice to watch play but we were extremely rigorous, very solid.

This is what he taught us.

And for my part, in terms of concentration, that's what I lacked a little.

Working alongside him, I learned a lot.

I have good memories of those years... even if we hated him at times!

When training sessions are always the same, when you don't touch the ball for an hour and a half, you sometimes get annoyed.

He kept everything to himself and, as Denis (Troch, Jorge's assistant) told me, it was his way of working, of managing.

You had to accept it.

It was another time.

But it bore fruit and it was the basis of the great journey we made for years.

We had some great moments.

The notion of pleasure was in the results but not in training!

But maybe that's why in matches, we took more and let the horses go (laughs).

If we only have to remember one match from his time on the Parisian bench, it would probably be the victory against Real in 1993?

I hadn't played it, I was suspended.

But I would say that the victory in Naples served as a trigger (2-0 victory at the San Paolo during the second round of the UEFA Cup in 92, Editor's note).

We realized that we were capable of manhandling and beating teams that count in European football, like Naples, and that made us aware of our qualities.

It was a trigger.

In short, these are good memories.

When you win with people, those are always good memories.

He imprinted a competitive mentality.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2024-02-22

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