Le Havre AC

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Round 14

Le Havre AC 1 - 1 AS Nancy Lorraine
2019-11-04 19:45 More Reports
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Round 14

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Season Guide
2019/2020

Le Havre AC

In


Mathieu Gorgelin (gk) from Olympique Lyonnais; Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe (mid) on loan from Paris Saint-Germain

Out


Arnaud Balijon (sp) (gk) - released; Yohann Thuram (r) (gk) to Le Mans; Ozer Ozdemir (sp) (def) to Yeni Malatyaspor (TUR); Zinedine Ferhat (k) (mid) to Nimes Olympique; Oumar Sissoko (sp) (gk) - released; Denys Bain (r) (def) to Stade Brestois 29; Bevic Moussiti-Oko (sp) (att) to Le Mans; Harold Moukoudi (def) to AS Saint-Etienne; Steeve Yago (sp) (def) to Toulouse FC - loan ended; Kelly Irep (def) on loan to Bourg-en-Bresse

It is all change at French football's oldest club, with Le Havre opting to bring in a new face in the dugout after their latest failed attempt to win promotion. They are preparing for their 11th successive season in Ligue 2 in the Normandy port city, and Paul Le Guen has been appointed to replace Oswald Tanchot in the dugout. The former Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain coach has been well travelled in the decade since he last coached in his homeland and was most recently in charge at Bursaspor in Turkey. Now 55, he takes on a role as "sporting manager", which in French parlance means he will be a manager in the traditional British style rather than simply serving as coach. Le Guen is therefore in charge of transfers as well as coaching the team, but he has a rebuilding job on his hands with a side who finished just outside the play-off places last season. Imposing centre-back Denys Bain and creator supreme Zinedine Ferhat have both left, stepping up to Ligue 1 with Brest and Nimes respectively. Promising defender Harold Moukoudi has also finally moved on to Saint-Etienne after being frozen out in the second half of last season over his refusal to sign a new contract. Mathieu Gorgelin has arrived from Lyon after years as second choice goalkeeper there, while stalwart duo Jean-Pascal Fontaine and Alexandre Bonnet remain. But they will surely require more than that to compete for promotion at the Stade Oceane. An ambitious bid to lure Samir Nasri to the club failed, and Le Guen will be busy scouting for signings for some time yet. "I still need four or five players to reinforce the squad but I am satisfied at how things are shaping up," said Le Guen last week.

Target


Promotion, or a play-off place at the very least

Season Review
2018/2019

№7: Le Havre AC

After reaching the play-offs last season, Le Havre had been hoping to make a sustained push for promotion this time around. However, the Normandy side fell short and are condemned to an 11th consecutive campaign in the second tier next season. That is too long for a proud club who are France's oldest. Oswald Tanchot's side started well enough, losing only one of their first nine games. However, they did not have the consistency required to compete for promotion, and sat ninth in the table at the halfway stage of the season. They did go on a run of just two defeats in 19 games from late November to April. That meant snatching a play-off place remained possible heading into the final few games, but they eventually fell short after collecting only one point from the last 12 available, and they finished seventh, nine points adrift of the top five. Le Havre were strong in their own Stade Oceane as usual, and notably won away at eventual champions Metz. Nevertheless, they were undone by too many draws, with 15 in total the joint-highest number in the division. On eight occasions they threw away leads to draw games, and that cost them dear. It now remains to be seen if Tanchot will remain as coach. He was not helped this season by the Harold Moukoudi saga, with the talented young defender being frozen out after refusing to sign a new contract. He will move to Saint-Etienne in the summer. Jean-Pascal Fontaine and Zinedine Ferhat were influential, while Zimbabwe forward Tino Kadewere showed signs of promise but did not do enough following a big-money switch from Sweden. Victor Lekhal enjoyed a fine season in midfield and broke into the Algeria squad before a serious knee injury ended his campaign prematurely.


Player of the Season: Victor Lekhal

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