One day, one transfer: Eidur Guðjohnsen in Monaco

This summer during the transfer window, SoFoot returns every day of the week to a transfer that marked his time in his own way. In 2009, AS Monaco signed two Champions League winners: Djimi Traoré and Eidur Guðjohnsen. If the Malian manages to find a place for himself, the Icelandic man digs his hole, without ever succeeding in adapting to the Rock.

On August 28, 2009, Eidur Guðjohnsen lifted the UEFA Super Cup at the Stade Louis-II alongside Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thierry Henry. Two weeks later, the Icelander is back in the Principality again, but this time to start in the Monegasque jersey. On paper, a reinforcement of choice for ASM, eleventh in Ligue 1 during the previous season with an attack worthy of its classification: very average. “He raises the level of the championshipwarns Claude Makélélé, former teammate at Chelsea and then at PSG, at a press conference. He will bring a lot, because he is a very great player. Whether in the finish or in the last passes, he is a very intelligent and very mature player, with a lot of experience. You will have to be careful. »

“The day I leave Monaco, people will remember me”

Confined to a role of joker under the orders of Pep Guardiola, Guðjohnsen arrives with a prestigious CV, with his experiences at PSV, Chelsea and Barça, his 60 European matches, and obviously the Champions League won three months more early at the Stadio Olimpico against Manchester United (2-0). “We were interested in Eidur very early on, but it seemed unplayable to us in Maythen commented the director general of the ASM, Marc Keller, to the Parisian. A week before the end of the transfer period, we got in touch, we felt that he was really interested in the Monegasque challenge. »

“I’ve been lucky in my career to play with fantastic players at big clubs. Today, I am signing for another big club, and I hope to be able to help Monaco regain its rightful place, that is to say at the top of the table. It’s an exciting challenge.” loose the Viking, before pushing the enthusiasm a bit too far: “I am certain that the day I leave Monaco, I will be remembered. »

“Technically, he was a very talented player. But you have to register in the club in which you sign, or else not come. » Guy Lacombe

His Monegasque experience comes down to a sprained shoulder, eleven appearances and seven starts in all competitions. His only goal in the red and white jersey comes… in a friendly, against Fréjus. To be precise, the Icelandic managed to shake the net once in an official match: by transforming his shot on goal against Tours into 32are of the Coupe de France final. By being generous, we can also add to his list of hunts a penultimate pass on an action concluded by Alejandro Alonso against Nice.

“On this goal, technically, he is in the gamereplays the coach of the time, Guy Lacombe. That’s what I wanted to see. We would have liked an attacking leader on the technical level, I think he could be, and also a psychological leader, who leads all the others to perform better. In this regard, it was not the right horse. Technically, he was a very talented player. But you have to register in the club in which you sign, or else not come. »

“If you want to live the life of a young man, in Monaco, there is plenty to do. I think he benefited a lot from the context. Let’s say he loved life. » Guy Lacombe

Monaco would have preferred Savidan or Dindane

Despite his service record, if Guðjohnsen doesn’t arrive until August 31, there’s a good reason: the Icelandic is not a first choice. The names of Luca Toni and Andriy Shevchenko are circulating. Very quickly, the ASM sets its sights on Steve Savidan, who comes out of an exercise with 14 goals on the side of Caen. But the medical examination stops the attacker brutally by revealing a cardiac anomaly. “With Nenê, Alonso and Park, we would have really hit hardregrets Lacombe. There was the World Cup in 2010, he was in on it. In terms of motivation, Steve was undeniably the right man for the group. »

The Principality club switch to Aruna Dindane, but the Ivorian lands in Portsmouth. “We found ourselves a little helpless, we looked, and we were offered Guðjohnsencontinues the former coach of PSG and Stade Rennes. It was not at all the same profile. I’m not saying that we took it by default, but we took it because we were a little late on the market. He’s a high quality player, you don’t play in Barcelona by chance, but compared to the balance of the team, it was not quite what we were looking for. »

In the wrong place at the wrong time

Immediately established and associated with Chu-young Park on the front of the attack, the Icelandic saw his credit run out as his lackluster performances followed one another. On November 7, while ASM was back to back with the Grenoble red lantern at Louis-II, Guðjohnsen came out from the hour mark. Bis repeated on December 13 during the rout against Lille. “I’m not saying it suited him, but hey, it wasn’t a problem for him… It was still the biggest salary at the club. When you take such a player out, you want him back as soon as possible. But he didn’t do much about it.” believes Lacombe.

“I found myself playing some games in front of 3,000 people. It disturbed me. It was a shock. » Eidur Guðjohnsen

“I did not insist, I saw that he did not want to question himself. If Guðjohnsen had given the maximum of his abilities, there would have been no photo. Afterwards, there are contexts that are not suitable. If you want to live the life of a young man, in Monaco, there is plenty to do. When someone goes to Guingamp or Auxerre, he knows why he is going there. In Monaco, you really need players who want to succeed. I think he benefited a lot from the context. Let’s say he loved life” laughs the most beautiful mustache in French football.

Arrived for two years, Guðjohnsen packed his bags in January, loaned to Tottenham. The following summer, the ASM manages to send him back to Stoke City. “It was not a happy marriagehe will summarize for SoFoot. I found myself playing some matches in front of 3,000 people. It disturbed me. It was a shock. It wasn’t a bad experience, just bad timing. The French championship is at a high level, but I was discovering a much more physical and defensive game. It didn’t help me. I tried to adapt, but it was tricky. » Placed on the Rock, Iceman melted like icicles in the sun.

By Quentin Ballue
Comments by Guy Lacombe collected by QB.

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