Graeme Le Saux: 'When the players came back, they were like kids in a sweet shop'

6/12/2020 10:33:00 PM

Graeme Le Saux: 'When the players came back, they were like kids in a sweet shop'

European Club Football

Graeme Le Saux: 'When the players came back, they were like kids in a sweet shop'

The former England full-back on life as a director at Real Mallorca, who face Barcelona on Saturday night as La Liga returns

Back in September Real Mallorca left-back Baba Rahman, on loan from Chelsea, suffered a knee injury in his second game and didn’t play again.Why you can trust Sky News The British arm of the bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien has been sold in a deal which salvages jobs.have all deployed multiple teams to challenge for victory, which will be split across two of the four normal categories in LMP2 and GTE.We often hear stories about letters and notes being left on cars or popped through people's doors - both good and bad - but this is a new one.

In January, they signed the left-back Leonardo Koutris on loan from Olympiakos, and in his second game he suffered a knee injury and didn’t play again either. That left Lumor Agbenyenu, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, as the only natural left-back at the club with La Liga’s smallest budget, playing in primera for the first time in six years and dangerously close to going down again. The buyer is understood to be a subsidiary of BrunchCo21 SA, a newly formed company understood to be connected to Cobepa, a Belgian-based investment firm that is the chain's existing backer. And now he’s injured too. Here’s everything you need to know. There’s no one left. Sources said the deal was structured as a pre-pack administration overseen by Alvarez & Marsal, the professional services firm. Well, there is one man. One person said how sweet it was and another said they loved the idea.

The problem is, while the other left-back at Mallorca won the league and a Cup Winners’ Cup – more than anyone in the side – he’s not on the bench or in the B team; he’s in the boardroom. Image: Frankie & Benny's is among rival casual dining brands to have also been scaled back amid the COVID-19 crisis One source suggested that nearly 200 staff were expected to be made redundant following the pre-pack sale. The chequered flag will drop following the end of the first lap after 2pm BST (3pm CET) on Sunday. He’s also 51 and although that’s 51 going on 15, with the same youthful face as the days he flew up the wing, coach Vicente Moreno isn’t convinced. “I put my name forward, but they still haven’t replied,” Graeme Le Saux says. Then he starts laughing, which is something he does a lot. Coverage will resume at 11:30am on Sunday and continue through to the end of the race. The former England international is now a director at the Spanish club, so even if he’s not going to play, those injuries are his problem too. Taken aback by the heartwarming message, Tillz took to social media.

“You think: why do we deserve this? How can this happen?” he says. “That underlines the difficulties for the club, any club: creating consistency in chaos and unpredictability. How will driver changes work? With driver changes compulsory just like the real thing, each racer will have to hit a minimum driving time of four hours, with a maximum limit of seven hours for each driver.” And so, Mallorca must seek another imaginative solution – which is what Le Saux has spent a lot of time doing lately, from negotiating pay cuts to helping hire a new sporting director and CEO, while also trying to predict the impact of the pandemic from which Spanish football has now returned. For Mallorca, 18th and a point from safety, it does so with the visit of leaders Barcelona on Saturday. It doesn’t get any easier. A race director will ensure drivers stick to the rules and regulations, while there will also be full commentary and studio analysis from experts in Paris, who will welcome special guests throughout the broadcast via video chat.

Doubts that Lionel Messi would travel are forgotten now: good news for the Barcelona manager Quique Setién, more bad news for Mallorca. “Well, it is considering he got a hat-trick against us last time,” Le Saux says. Another problem among many, reality bites, and yet he says so with a smile. REBELLION WILLIAMS ESPORT (Oreca 07 LMP): Louis Deletraz, Raffaele Marciello, Nikodem Wisniewski, Kuba Brzezinski 2. And while conversation runs and runs, the enthusiasm never runs out. The way Le Saux tells it, “a bizarre set of circumstances” brought him here.

“I work at NBC with Kyle Martino, a former LA Galaxy player. BYKOLLES - BURST ESPORT (Oreca 07 LMP2): Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri, Jernej Simončič, Jesper Pedersen 6. He’s good friends with Stuart Holden, former Bolton player. And Steve Nash, basketball legend and unfortunate Tottenham fan. When they were looking at buying a club, Kyle remembered me talking about Mallorca and the club. TOYOTA GAZOO RACING (Oreca 07 LMP2): Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Kenta Yamashita, Yuri Kasdorp 9. Then I spoke to Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns.

And that was the genesis of it.” Sarver’s group bought Mallorca in January 2016. MPI-ZANSHO USA (Oreca 07 LMP2): Max Papis, Pietro Fittipaldi, Tony Kanaan, Sido Weijer 13. Le Saux prepared a report – “red flags” – but didn’t join until the following year. The president and now his sometime knock-up partner is former tennis player Andy Kohlberg – “the ball makes a different noise when a professional hits it” – while Le Saux became a non-executive director. ‘The owners have a sport background and Andy has a very good understanding of the psychology of elite sport,” Le Saux says, the logic underlining why having a player on the board makes sense. MULTIMATIC ZANSHO CAN (Oreca 07 LMP2): Andy Priaulx, Sebastian Priaulx, Mike Epps, Olivier Fortin 16.

And yet when he says “name someone in England” silence ensues. “I’ve always banged my head against the table: there’s so little representation of former players at clubs, governing bodies, the Premier League. I’m not advocating jobs for the boys but it disappoints me. TEAM REDLINE GBR (Oreca 07 LMP2): Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Atze Kerkhof, Greger Huttu 21. When I played, there was tension, a chasm, between the business and the playing side.” Snobbery? “That’s definitely how it was, absolutely,” Le Saux says.

“Ken Bates would always separate business and sport; players weren’t considered capable. TEAM ROCKET ZANSHO (Oreca 07 LMP2): Jenson Button, Alex Buncombe, Jan von der Heyde, Matt Richards 24. They didn’t want that link, yet the biggest benefit is that I talk to ownership from a football perspective and when I talk to players and coach [on behalf of ownership] they know I see their perspective. It’s finding people that can wear a jacket and tie and football boots. If you get that right, everyone benefits. PANIS RACING TRIPLE A (Oreca 07 LMP2): Tristan Vautier, Nicolas Jamin, Hany Alsabti, Thibault Cazaubon 33. Take our recent salary deferral discussions: as a player, I’d been one of those team leaders dealing with the board, having to go back to the other players and say: ‘Look guys …’ Understanding that builds a trust you need.

“I see my role as a conduit between the board, ownership, and the football side. I’m not fluent in Spanish, which is a big disadvantage. JOTA TEAM REDLINE (Oreca 07 LMP2): Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry, Aleksi Uusi-jaakkola, Dominik Farber 38. Much as I lean on my wife – she’s from Argentina – I’m not sure that would work around the negotiating table: ‘I’m just going to get my wife,’” Le Saux says. He pauses, laughs, and adds: “Actually, maybe it would. She’s a brilliant negotiator. TDS E RACING MOTUL (Oreca 07 LMP2): Larry ten Voorde, Giedo van der Garde, Alex Siebel, Dennis Jordan 50.

She wins all the time. So that’s not my role. But I speak to the CEO every day, the director of football. FERRARI - AF CORSE (Ferrari 488 GTE): Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi, Enzo Bonito, David Tonizza 54. When I’m on the island I talk to players and the coach. “I can’t believe it’s my third year,” Le Saux says, looking back on the creation of a new culture at a club that went through three divisions in as many seasons.

Back in the top flight, they even beat Real Madrid, symbolic of how far they’d come. TEAM PROJECT 1 (Porsche 911 RSR): Dylan Pereira, Dennis Olsen, Tim Neuendorf, Zbigniew Siara 63. Of Mallorca’s starting XI that night, seven had been with them in the third tier and only three had played in primera. “You know how someone’s trying to be calm but you can see the emotion underneath? That was the players. You need a balance between enjoying it – they felt they’d never play Madrid, let alone beat them – and not getting distracted. CORVETTE RACING (Corvette C7. You can’t think you’ve arrived.

“ It’s a different emotional experience to playing, you have to learn to cope with the rollercoaster. It’s been fascinating working in a different culture. FERRARI - AF CORSE (Ferrari 488 GTE): Miguel Molina, Federico Leo, Amos Laurito, Jordy Zwiers 80. There are nuances within each league, how players think and operate. The first thing I did when I arrived was to tell the players and staff: ‘I want to learn from you’. “And I draw on my experiences too. GULF RACING (Porsche 911 RSR): Benjamin Barker, Andrew Watson, Adam Maguire, Eros Masciulli 88.

More than ever I appreciate the level I played at and the people I was with; there are so many lessons. With Blackburn people talk about money all the time but it wasn’t purely based on that. I came from Chelsea for £600,000. PORSCHE ESPORTS TEAM (Porsche 911 RSR): Jaxon Evans, Matt Campbell, Mack Bakkum, Jeremy Bouteloup 93 PORSCHE ESPORTS TEAM (Porsche 911 RSR): Nick Tandy, Ayhancan Güven, Joshua Rogers, Tommy Østgaard 94. What made us successful was Ray Harford and Kenny Dalglish’s ability to recruit – our biggest difficulty here, future-proofing yourself – and to create an environment, an identity. We didn’t let opponents breathe.

I remember battering Forest and genuinely feeling sorry for them. ASTON MARTIN RACING (Aston Martin Vantage GTE): Alexander Lynn, Charles Eastwood, Harry Tincknell, Tiziano Brioni 98. “Kenny wouldn’t allow anything sloppy – even a throw-in. If a throw-in was awkward to control, he would disproportionately lose the plot. That was the standard he set.R): Simon Pilate, Theo Pourchaire, Axel Petit, Alexandre Vromant More about:. I lived that culture at Blackburn, Chelsea, and England, and apply that daily now.

Seemingly silly little things matter hugely: mindsets, responsibility, accountability. I could go on for ever about lessons from people like Terry Venables, Ray and Kenny. The amount of times Kenny said things and I thought: ‘Why are you picking on me?’ You go home, process it and think: ‘He’s right.’ Don’t take it personally. Learn, adapt, come back, move on.

” “Vicente deserves huge credit for that here. Go to training on Monday and whatever the weekend’s result, it’s a new week. Here we go again. It’s always a positive place.” Now especially, post-lockdown.

Le Saux joined negotiations over salaries, speaking to and for players, encouraging the club not to apply cuts if the league restarted. “It could have gone in a thousand directions, but plotting our way through has brought us closer together. You see good and bad in people in these situations. And everybody has emerged with a better understanding of each other. “If you’d asked at the beginning of the pandemic what’s the best outcome, I’d say: this.

How the players coped in isolation, their commitment to training, how they interacted, sessions with Zoom. I’m so impressed. Imagine you’re at the peak of your fitness, starting to gather momentum, you beat Eibar – our first away win – and suddenly, bang! The lights went out. The way they coped is admirable. When they came back to training, they were like kids in a sweet shop.

‘We have to ensure all that energy, pent up frustration, togetherness and enthusiasm is channelled into the final 11 games. You use everything you can, any potential advantage. Opponents having to come to the island, for example: might there be more sensitivity around travelling now? We have to be clever, ask how that might impact us. “Playing in an empty stadium is disconcerting, almost physical, like the crowd has an energy you feed off. Take that out and it becomes hollow, it can do strange things to good players.

We can draw on our unique experience in Segunda B. At one game, a clearance ended up in the local swimming pool. Go back, forget the Camp Nou, rewind two years to places we played before.” Sure, but there was no Messi then. Imagine Moreno had turned to you, imagine he suddenly does, how would you stop Messi on Saturday night? Le Saux pauses, thinks and embarks upon a detailed analysis.

He shifts his body sideways and points. “I’d do everything in my power to stop him using his left foot. I’d over-exaggerate so much to turn him right and force him towards the touchline,” he says, smiling, “while simultaneously screaming for help.” Topics .

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Back in September Real Mallorca left-back Baba Rahman, on loan from Chelsea, suffered a knee injury in his second game and didn’t play again.Why you can trust Sky News The British arm of the bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien has been sold in a deal which salvages jobs.have all deployed multiple teams to challenge for victory, which will be split across two of the four normal categories in LMP2 and GTE.We often hear stories about letters and notes being left on cars or popped through people's doors - both good and bad - but this is a new one.

In January, they signed the left-back Leonardo Koutris on loan from Olympiakos, and in his second game he suffered a knee injury and didn’t play again either. That left Lumor Agbenyenu, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, as the only natural left-back at the club with La Liga’s smallest budget, playing in primera for the first time in six years and dangerously close to going down again. The buyer is understood to be a subsidiary of BrunchCo21 SA, a newly formed company understood to be connected to Cobepa, a Belgian-based investment firm that is the chain's existing backer. And now he’s injured too. Here’s everything you need to know. There’s no one left. Sources said the deal was structured as a pre-pack administration overseen by Alvarez & Marsal, the professional services firm. Well, there is one man. One person said how sweet it was and another said they loved the idea.

The problem is, while the other left-back at Mallorca won the league and a Cup Winners’ Cup – more than anyone in the side – he’s not on the bench or in the B team; he’s in the boardroom. Image: Frankie & Benny's is among rival casual dining brands to have also been scaled back amid the COVID-19 crisis One source suggested that nearly 200 staff were expected to be made redundant following the pre-pack sale. The chequered flag will drop following the end of the first lap after 2pm BST (3pm CET) on Sunday. He’s also 51 and although that’s 51 going on 15, with the same youthful face as the days he flew up the wing, coach Vicente Moreno isn’t convinced. “I put my name forward, but they still haven’t replied,” Graeme Le Saux says. Then he starts laughing, which is something he does a lot. Coverage will resume at 11:30am on Sunday and continue through to the end of the race. The former England international is now a director at the Spanish club, so even if he’s not going to play, those injuries are his problem too. Taken aback by the heartwarming message, Tillz took to social media.

“You think: why do we deserve this? How can this happen?” he says. “That underlines the difficulties for the club, any club: creating consistency in chaos and unpredictability. How will driver changes work? With driver changes compulsory just like the real thing, each racer will have to hit a minimum driving time of four hours, with a maximum limit of seven hours for each driver.” And so, Mallorca must seek another imaginative solution – which is what Le Saux has spent a lot of time doing lately, from negotiating pay cuts to helping hire a new sporting director and CEO, while also trying to predict the impact of the pandemic from which Spanish football has now returned. For Mallorca, 18th and a point from safety, it does so with the visit of leaders Barcelona on Saturday. It doesn’t get any easier. A race director will ensure drivers stick to the rules and regulations, while there will also be full commentary and studio analysis from experts in Paris, who will welcome special guests throughout the broadcast via video chat.

Doubts that Lionel Messi would travel are forgotten now: good news for the Barcelona manager Quique Setién, more bad news for Mallorca. “Well, it is considering he got a hat-trick against us last time,” Le Saux says. Another problem among many, reality bites, and yet he says so with a smile. REBELLION WILLIAMS ESPORT (Oreca 07 LMP): Louis Deletraz, Raffaele Marciello, Nikodem Wisniewski, Kuba Brzezinski 2. And while conversation runs and runs, the enthusiasm never runs out. The way Le Saux tells it, “a bizarre set of circumstances” brought him here.

“I work at NBC with Kyle Martino, a former LA Galaxy player. BYKOLLES - BURST ESPORT (Oreca 07 LMP2): Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri, Jernej Simončič, Jesper Pedersen 6. He’s good friends with Stuart Holden, former Bolton player. And Steve Nash, basketball legend and unfortunate Tottenham fan. When they were looking at buying a club, Kyle remembered me talking about Mallorca and the club. TOYOTA GAZOO RACING (Oreca 07 LMP2): Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Kenta Yamashita, Yuri Kasdorp 9. Then I spoke to Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns.

And that was the genesis of it.” Sarver’s group bought Mallorca in January 2016. MPI-ZANSHO USA (Oreca 07 LMP2): Max Papis, Pietro Fittipaldi, Tony Kanaan, Sido Weijer 13. Le Saux prepared a report – “red flags” – but didn’t join until the following year. The president and now his sometime knock-up partner is former tennis player Andy Kohlberg – “the ball makes a different noise when a professional hits it” – while Le Saux became a non-executive director. ‘The owners have a sport background and Andy has a very good understanding of the psychology of elite sport,” Le Saux says, the logic underlining why having a player on the board makes sense. MULTIMATIC ZANSHO CAN (Oreca 07 LMP2): Andy Priaulx, Sebastian Priaulx, Mike Epps, Olivier Fortin 16.

And yet when he says “name someone in England” silence ensues. “I’ve always banged my head against the table: there’s so little representation of former players at clubs, governing bodies, the Premier League. I’m not advocating jobs for the boys but it disappoints me. TEAM REDLINE GBR (Oreca 07 LMP2): Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Atze Kerkhof, Greger Huttu 21. When I played, there was tension, a chasm, between the business and the playing side.” Snobbery? “That’s definitely how it was, absolutely,” Le Saux says.

“Ken Bates would always separate business and sport; players weren’t considered capable. TEAM ROCKET ZANSHO (Oreca 07 LMP2): Jenson Button, Alex Buncombe, Jan von der Heyde, Matt Richards 24. They didn’t want that link, yet the biggest benefit is that I talk to ownership from a football perspective and when I talk to players and coach [on behalf of ownership] they know I see their perspective. It’s finding people that can wear a jacket and tie and football boots. If you get that right, everyone benefits. PANIS RACING TRIPLE A (Oreca 07 LMP2): Tristan Vautier, Nicolas Jamin, Hany Alsabti, Thibault Cazaubon 33. Take our recent salary deferral discussions: as a player, I’d been one of those team leaders dealing with the board, having to go back to the other players and say: ‘Look guys …’ Understanding that builds a trust you need.

“I see my role as a conduit between the board, ownership, and the football side. I’m not fluent in Spanish, which is a big disadvantage. JOTA TEAM REDLINE (Oreca 07 LMP2): Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry, Aleksi Uusi-jaakkola, Dominik Farber 38. Much as I lean on my wife – she’s from Argentina – I’m not sure that would work around the negotiating table: ‘I’m just going to get my wife,’” Le Saux says. He pauses, laughs, and adds: “Actually, maybe it would. She’s a brilliant negotiator. TDS E RACING MOTUL (Oreca 07 LMP2): Larry ten Voorde, Giedo van der Garde, Alex Siebel, Dennis Jordan 50.

She wins all the time. So that’s not my role. But I speak to the CEO every day, the director of football. FERRARI - AF CORSE (Ferrari 488 GTE): Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi, Enzo Bonito, David Tonizza 54. When I’m on the island I talk to players and the coach. “I can’t believe it’s my third year,” Le Saux says, looking back on the creation of a new culture at a club that went through three divisions in as many seasons.

Back in the top flight, they even beat Real Madrid, symbolic of how far they’d come. TEAM PROJECT 1 (Porsche 911 RSR): Dylan Pereira, Dennis Olsen, Tim Neuendorf, Zbigniew Siara 63. Of Mallorca’s starting XI that night, seven had been with them in the third tier and only three had played in primera. “You know how someone’s trying to be calm but you can see the emotion underneath? That was the players. You need a balance between enjoying it – they felt they’d never play Madrid, let alone beat them – and not getting distracted. CORVETTE RACING (Corvette C7. You can’t think you’ve arrived.

“ It’s a different emotional experience to playing, you have to learn to cope with the rollercoaster. It’s been fascinating working in a different culture. FERRARI - AF CORSE (Ferrari 488 GTE): Miguel Molina, Federico Leo, Amos Laurito, Jordy Zwiers 80. There are nuances within each league, how players think and operate. The first thing I did when I arrived was to tell the players and staff: ‘I want to learn from you’. “And I draw on my experiences too. GULF RACING (Porsche 911 RSR): Benjamin Barker, Andrew Watson, Adam Maguire, Eros Masciulli 88.

More than ever I appreciate the level I played at and the people I was with; there are so many lessons. With Blackburn people talk about money all the time but it wasn’t purely based on that. I came from Chelsea for £600,000. PORSCHE ESPORTS TEAM (Porsche 911 RSR): Jaxon Evans, Matt Campbell, Mack Bakkum, Jeremy Bouteloup 93 PORSCHE ESPORTS TEAM (Porsche 911 RSR): Nick Tandy, Ayhancan Güven, Joshua Rogers, Tommy Østgaard 94. What made us successful was Ray Harford and Kenny Dalglish’s ability to recruit – our biggest difficulty here, future-proofing yourself – and to create an environment, an identity. We didn’t let opponents breathe.

I remember battering Forest and genuinely feeling sorry for them. ASTON MARTIN RACING (Aston Martin Vantage GTE): Alexander Lynn, Charles Eastwood, Harry Tincknell, Tiziano Brioni 98. “Kenny wouldn’t allow anything sloppy – even a throw-in. If a throw-in was awkward to control, he would disproportionately lose the plot. That was the standard he set.R): Simon Pilate, Theo Pourchaire, Axel Petit, Alexandre Vromant More about:. I lived that culture at Blackburn, Chelsea, and England, and apply that daily now.

Seemingly silly little things matter hugely: mindsets, responsibility, accountability. I could go on for ever about lessons from people like Terry Venables, Ray and Kenny. The amount of times Kenny said things and I thought: ‘Why are you picking on me?’ You go home, process it and think: ‘He’s right.’ Don’t take it personally. Learn, adapt, come back, move on.

” “Vicente deserves huge credit for that here. Go to training on Monday and whatever the weekend’s result, it’s a new week. Here we go again. It’s always a positive place.” Now especially, post-lockdown.

Le Saux joined negotiations over salaries, speaking to and for players, encouraging the club not to apply cuts if the league restarted. “It could have gone in a thousand directions, but plotting our way through has brought us closer together. You see good and bad in people in these situations. And everybody has emerged with a better understanding of each other. “If you’d asked at the beginning of the pandemic what’s the best outcome, I’d say: this.

How the players coped in isolation, their commitment to training, how they interacted, sessions with Zoom. I’m so impressed. Imagine you’re at the peak of your fitness, starting to gather momentum, you beat Eibar – our first away win – and suddenly, bang! The lights went out. The way they coped is admirable. When they came back to training, they were like kids in a sweet shop.

‘We have to ensure all that energy, pent up frustration, togetherness and enthusiasm is channelled into the final 11 games. You use everything you can, any potential advantage. Opponents having to come to the island, for example: might there be more sensitivity around travelling now? We have to be clever, ask how that might impact us. “Playing in an empty stadium is disconcerting, almost physical, like the crowd has an energy you feed off. Take that out and it becomes hollow, it can do strange things to good players.

We can draw on our unique experience in Segunda B. At one game, a clearance ended up in the local swimming pool. Go back, forget the Camp Nou, rewind two years to places we played before.” Sure, but there was no Messi then. Imagine Moreno had turned to you, imagine he suddenly does, how would you stop Messi on Saturday night? Le Saux pauses, thinks and embarks upon a detailed analysis.

He shifts his body sideways and points. “I’d do everything in my power to stop him using his left foot. I’d over-exaggerate so much to turn him right and force him towards the touchline,” he says, smiling, “while simultaneously screaming for help.” Topics .