In Marseille, life without Florian Thauvin will continue until January, but Bouna Sarr slipped into his shoes at the post of his youth. He continues the interim in Monaco, Sunday (21:00) for the 5th day of Ligue 1.
"I serve this job, I help out," smiles the one that all supporters in Marseille call "Bouna".
André Villas-Boas gives him "confidence". "Bouna played well in Nice (2-1 win) and against Saint-Étienne (1-0 win), and even in Nantes (0-0) .I think we will continue to give him this role, there is good, "greets the coach.
It's a strange leap to the past for Sarr, trained right winger in Metz, arrived for this position at OM in 2015 before exploding as a right-back, where Rudi Garcia, former coach Olympian.
Defender is now his vocation. "I've been pretty clear, it's been two years since I say it now, support the ex-Messin, I'm a right side who can play right wing".
But he has done real services since the start of the season. His deal with Dario Benedetto brought home Argentina's first two goals in the white jersey, and Bouna even offered himself the luxury of refusing the decisive pass for the one scored in Nice (2-1 win).
"I do not think it's a decisive pass, it's pretty well deflected," he corrects, "but the intention was good, for Dario's first goal ..."
- Bouba incenses Bouna -
He also has a note for his competitor for the right-back position, Hiroki Sakai, become his partner on this side. "I get along really well with Hiroki, I can help him defensively, and offensively we find our marks and he is the ideal teammate."
These good waves dampen a bit of clubbing that fell on the OM week: Thauvin package for four months. "Flotov" is still not cured of his right ankle, stricken in Glasgow during the pre-season.
The operation, Thursday, "went very well," notes Villas-Boas, but the absence of Thauvin, "are bad news," sighs the Portuguese.
"He was our top scorer in the last two seasons (26 and 19 goals)," said Boubacar Kamara, "but we will have to deal with it, even if we are saddened that he is not here for three, four months. play at ten ... "
And "Bouba" incense Bouna, the substitute of the great absentee: Sarr holds the position "perfectly since the beginning of the season, we must continue like that", supports the defender.
OM too would like to continue like this. In Monaco, the men of Villas-Boas are aiming for a third consecutive success to turn their start of the season into a good start.
Without Thauvin until 2020, to get the third place becomes "more difficult, yes", recognizes + AVB +, but he keeps this goal in mind.
"It's not an ideal situation," said the coach, "when you were waiting for one of your main players to come back, but now we have to work on options."
- "My membership is right" -
In the 4-3-3 preferred by the new technician, Nemanja Radonjic can also play on the right, but for now Sarr is ahead of the Serb.
"After we have options with the small +, Isaac (Lihadji), Marley (Aké) and (Florent) Chabrolle," lists Villas-Boas. The first is forfeit for two weeks after a blow received with U18 Blueberries.
Otherwise, Villas-Boas could change system. He worked on the 4-2-3-1, Garcia era module, during the truce, but Sarr would remain the favorite for the middle right position.
No 3-5-2 for now, however, except late in the game, because "we must work well this system" before applying 90 minutes, says the technician.
The Thauvin tile also emphasizes that "my staff is right", but Villas-Boas knows "since June, this is the reality for this year".
"The ideal plan was with Lucas Ocampos and Luiz Gustavo (sold in Sevilla FC and Fenerbahce), but they are not there," he recalls.
"Fortunately for us, we have players who are going through a good phase like Bouna Sarr", concludes the coach, to remain optimistic.
© 2019 AFP