Before the start of a promising 2022/2023 championship starting this weekend, Stéphane Grichting (43 years old) gives us his analysis of the forces present and his prognosis. The former international defender, now an RTS consultant, is also delighted to see his former teammates on certain elite benches.
RTSsport.ch: Two months after his title, FC Zurich will have to defend him, but it already seems complicated …
STEPHANE GRCHTING: I was already the first to be surprised that the Zurichers kept up their pace until the title last season, but it is clear that it will be very difficult for them to keep up. Yes, last year they deserved the coronation, because even if they had the baraka of the champion, they knew how to provoke it, but there, with the departures of several important players. (Editor’s note: Ceesay, Doumbia …) and his coach (Editor’s note: Andre Breitenreiter, march to Hoffenheim, and replaced by Franco Foda), patiran. Going from “hunter” to “hunted”, with the influx they risk losing in European competitions, fundamentally changes the landscape. We must not forget that the planets had been well aligned for the FCZ in 2021/2022.
For Zurich, the fact of going from “hunter” to “hunted”, with the influx that you risk losing in the European games, fundamentally changes the landscape.
RTSsport.ch: So, Young Boys or Basel champion?
STEPHANE GRCHTING: YB will be revenge after last season’s failure. He recruited accordingly, strengthened well so as not to repeat the same mistakes. But there are still many uncertainties. Still, in my eyes it is the best equipped club in the country at the time of writing. Yes, Basel is also capable of doing great things and has also recruited a lot. But sometimes, at St-Jacques, we recruit “business” and that doesn’t necessarily end in success on the ground. Sure there is quality, but I’m curious to see if the amalgam will be made between the new and the old FCB.
RTSsport.ch: In these 2 clubs, there are new coaches, your former partners Raphaël Wicky (YB) and Alexander Frei (Basel) …
STEPHANE GRCHTING: Yes, and I am very happy to see them there. They are part of this new generation of coaches who must have their chance at the highest level. Wicky had already had him, in Basel at the time, but he quickly dropped out. Then he had to leave for the United States and I think he will come back very strongly to Switzerland. He arrives at a stable club, with very good people like Steve von Bergen, Christoph Spycher or Stéphane Chapuisat. It is the ideal place. It can be a real pleasure to work in a structure like this. The foundations there are solid. “Raph” will be able to rebuild itself with confidence and perhaps mimic the results of Adi Hütter and Gerardo Seoane.
At the head of YB, Raphaël Wicky returns strongly to Switzerland. He arrives at a stable club, with very good people in his place.
RTSsport.ch: And Frei who finds “his” Parc St-Jacques?
STEPHANE GRCHTING: Alex, I always thought I would end up training. He is a boy I have known for more than 25 years, he has always “drunk football”, “eaten football”, “lived football”. There were hours left after training to improve even more. I think he needs the adrenaline of his football career and will only find it indirectly being on the bench. Yes, in the past he had difficult times with the former FCB management, but he recovered in Winterthur mostly. He knows the whole microcosm of Basel, he knows where he steps. Alex is a smart person and will be given the means to succeed. Then we’ll see if it works …
RTSsport.ch: There are only 2 francophone clubs left in the Superliga this season. First a word about Servette?
STEPHANE GRCHTING: Certainly Servette has expanded some executives, but it lacks “cartridges.” This workforce needs new blood, a qualitative contribution. It remains to be seen if the club’s finances will allow him to be hired … The luck of the Genoese is that they have a little margin and this season they will not be really pressured, as whoever finishes last in SL will still be able to save themselves in a round against the 3rd of the Challenge League that will surely not be at the level of Bayern … Will the club take advantage to integrate the young people? I don’t think it’s really Alain Geiger’s style, but you never know.
Will Servette take advantage to integrate young people? I don’t think it’s really Alain Geiger’s style, but you never know.
RTSsport.ch: What about Zion?
STEPHANE GRCHTING: The club cleaned up and released more than a dozen players. This can only be positive, as Paolo Tramezzani will be able to work like this a little more freely. Even more positive is that Sion has hired a goalkeeper of the caliber of Heinz Lindner and defender Numa Lavanchy, who in my eyes is the best “counterattack” in the League. However, the Valais have to build a real backbone, which they have been missing so much for years. It makes no sense to stack 5 sides if you don’t have a scorer. Still, everyone knows that with a guy who gives you 12 to 15 goals a season, you can already play the lead roles.
Arnaud Cerutti – @arnaud_cerutti
“Lugano is very interesting”
Stéphane Grichting is not insensitive to what is shown by FC Lugano, winner of the Swiss Cup and increasingly solid for 3 years. “It is a solid project, all the more appreciable as its leaders make no noiseapplauded the Vallès. In fact, we are fed up with other multimillionaire leaders who are proud but know nothing about it and form “hillies” who can’t make 3 passes! Lugano is good, stable, has made some good shots. It is a historic club, with DNA, fighting to keep its place on the map of Swiss football. It is very interesting. “
“We needed a change!”
The championship formula is set to change, Stéphane Grichting is quite pleased! “Yes, because a change was absolutely necessary! Is this correct? Only time will tell, but it can give visibility to Swiss football as well as tension and suspense. Maybe at the end of the season we will have drawn daggers, sold out posters, and that could only be positive.“
“I play in Lausanne; just happiness!”
If there’s one piece of news that makes Stéphane Grichting especially happy, it’s the arrival of Ludovic Magnin on the bench in Lausanne, in the Challenge League! “I’m really excited to see Ludo on LS, ignites his former partner in the selection. It was the best solution for this club! Ludo is a hard worker, a guy who takes responsibility. I honestly love it! He is a very nice, passionate person who masters his subject. We need people like him … in the Super League! But one thing at a time. I am sure he will do a very good job and bring this club together. However, there is a question in my opinion: Is Lausanne still traumatized by its last season?