There is the reputation and the services. Praised in his native country, Alexander NÃ¼bel landed on the Rock at the end of June to compete with a Benjamin Lecomte injured during preparation and regularly in difficulty last season. During his presentation conference, then surrounded by Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell and vice-president Oleg Petrov, coach Niko Kovac laurels laurels to his new recruit winding his calm ball in his foot, its ability to revive both right and left and its importance in one-on-one. The 24-year-old goalkeeper (he will be 25 on September 30) is more measured: “It will be hard at the start, but the fact of staying two years will allow me to be more peaceful to regain my level. ” TO
His arrival in Monaco then arouses the enthusiasm of Monaco observers and supporters because an image sticks to the skin of the giant (1.93m): that of Manuel Neuer’s successor. “A lot of people see him as the new Manuel Neuer because they are the same height, turned out in the same club in Schalke and have the same start of the course” explains David Verhoff, journalist for Bild. A few days in the championship and four European qualifiers later, the euphoria gave way to doubt.
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A bad revival against Sparta Prague during the third preliminary round of the Champions League bringing the only goal of the Czechs (3-1), a hand fault against RC Lens to Louis-II (0-2), a passivity on many opposing attempts then lobbed twice by his own defender Ruben Aguilar, there is a better start. The German goalkeeper’s stats are hard to cash, with 50% saved shots he is one of the worst goalkeepers in Ligue 1 in this area.
“The bad start to the season was not easy for Alex, admits one of his relatives. a team needs a positive attitude and energy. ” Because like the goalkeeper, the entire club is in pain.
In front, the pair Ben Yedder-Volland, 36 goals last season, still have not found the net in the league but in difficult times, the goalkeeper always makes an ideal scapegoat. © al regrets Niko Kovac, protector: “When you lose three out of five matches in Ligue 1, you have to find reasons and we often look at the goalkeeper but on all the goals he conceded in Ligue 1 (7 in 5 games) he was not responsible, there was a lot of face-to-face with the attackers. He needs decisive stops, clean-sheet and support from his teammates. ” A support given to him by Youssouf Fofana a few days after his mistake costing the goal against Sparta: “In Prague he saved the day and I did not see him written or heard . I don’t see why we should run into him now. “
Jean-Luc Ettori, three times winner of the French championship and the Coupe de France with AS Monaco is more critical: “What surprises me is that we are in made a number one asset because he was Neuer’s backing at Bayern but now it’s more of a downside. hardly played, it is not because we arrive in France that it is easier. We were told that he was a great foot player. ?? ¦ I’m sure I haven’t seen him use his hands yet. ??? he will show that he really has potential because at the moment I donâ € ™ t know, I am disappointed and worried. “
To this can be added a lack of communication. By not mastering French, Alexander NÃ¼bel is struggling to place his defense and make himself heard. Calm on a daily basis, some observers criticize the German goalkeeper for being too much on the ground. TO
Lionel Charbonnier prefers to qualify: “We must not question everything because he is not really helped by his defense. We are not used to seeing in France this German style of goalkeeper. A few years ago, Köpke arrived at OM in the shoes of a very great goalkeeper but He had also experienced difficulties. There, we compare him to Neuer but Neuer on another scale, he is more imposing in his outings. When you see NÃ¼bel against Dieng against OM, he comes out as Neuer but covers less area, mouth less angle because it does not have the same build, analyzes the 1998 world champion and consultant for RMC Sport. It does not cost you points but for the moment he doesnâ € ™ t actually win. When I was playing at Auxerre, Guy Roux said to me: ‘You have to win at least between 12 and 15 points per season.’ For that, he must win face-to-face which will restore confidence to his defense. He is certainly a very good goalkeeper but he still has to work on his speed of legs and his vivacity of support, Â I see him too much on the heels, the flat feet and often on the buttocks. I still see him above the goalkeepers who passed recently in Monaco, he just needs to regain confidence. “Confidence lost since his last Bavarian experience, the result of a good progression.”
After a closing in the jersey of Paderborn, his training club, Alexander NÃ¼bel joined Schalke in 2015. The young goalkeeper learns, in the shadow of Ralph FÃ¤hrmann, in a team club aiming for the Champions League. NÃ¼bel begins to make his way, gradually becomes number 1 but the climate is not calm, Schalke is experiencing difficulties internally. “He has never been in a confident team, confirms Polo Breitner, German football specialist and consultant for RMC Sport. We threw him into the deep end. when the club was crumbling, President Tonnies left because of racism, the coaches followed suit, there were a lot of layoffs in the organization chart. ? ¦Â In the middle of it all, the management of the goalkeepers was complicated, NÃ¼bel was placed on the bench then holder then again on the bench, there was no hierarchy, that’s one of the reasons Schalke came down. “
In this tumult, NÃ¼bel is all the same appointed captain of the club and gains confidence. Christian Heidl, ex-director of sports in Gelsenkirchen (until February 2019 when he joined Mainz), was slow to have it extended, due to lack of guarantees on its ability to evolve very high level. When his replacement Jochen Schneider tries to convince the keeper to stay in the Ruhr area, some top names have already positioned themselves on the future prodigy.
Among them, Bayern Munich “Alex and his agent decided to join Bayern at the end of their contract knowing that Manuel Neuer was and would remain number 1. It was clear that “Alex wasnâ € ™ t going to have a chance to play in Munich”, regrets Christian Heidl today. Especially since the headlines of the German press make the keeper falter “When the rumors came out that he was going to join Bayern, he lost the captain’s armband and started to make a lot of mistakes”, reports David Verhoff.
In July 2020, NÃ¼bel joins the Bavarian ogre, free and ambitious. “Alex wants to destroy Neuer in the medium term. When you go to Bayern, it’s to win,” explains his agent in the columns of 11Freunde magazine, which NÃ¼bel nâ ???? was unsuccessful. “Toni Tapalovic, the goalkeeper coach at Bayern, is very close to Neuer, I think it had an impact on NÃ¼bel who is very close to Neuer. He played little with Munich and that affected him. When he started to impose himself on Schalke, he had a lot of confidence in him, he knew he was Was good. When you come to Munich, you are very small among the many stars and the fact not to play did not help, “says his agent.
Facing him, Manuel Neuer does not give up any ground. The Nationalmannschaft holder is clearly opposed to the idea of his sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, trying somehow to negotiate fifteen games for his understudy during the season. He will only play one cup, one championship and two Champions League match. TO
So it was after noticing that the future was blocked in the short term in Munich that NÃ¼bel arrived on loan in Monaco, still in the role of Manuel Neuer. and in the optics of returning to steal the place of the goalkeeper in the 106 selections with Germany. “For that he must be more confident in his qualities and take steps because Bayern is waiting for him, assures David Verhoff. They want to recover him as a very good goalkeeper who has gained experience abroad “and out of sight. “The German press does not really follow his debut with Monaco, we talked about his mistakes on the foot in the third preliminary round of the Champions League but that’s almost all, articles will be certainly done at the end of the first year to take stock “, thinks Verhoff
A report which, after two months, allows Dirk groÃ ?? e Schlarmann, journalist for Sky Deutschland, to confirm his doubts about Alexander NÃ¼bel: “I have never understood these many journalists who are there. ? announced as a very good goalkeeper. With Schalke, he had very good starts, great games, but failed to keep that level. ®n the errors on a lot of meetings. He and his agent explained it by the complicated situation of the club which was then fighting for the maintenance but I think he didnâ € ™ t think so. Was just not good enough. I never understood why Bayern decided to buy him. He is talented but not enough for a top European team. “
Polo Breitner also has some reservations: “This enthusiasm around him is an enigma, when you see how Ter Stegen came to MÃ¶nchengladbach at 20, there was a difference. Lucien Favre launched him into a maintenance operation and we immediately saw that he had something. When Neuer arrived at Schalke, I had doubts about the fact that he becomes a great goalkeeper and finally he has become so we have to see what will happen but NÃ¼bel is already 24 years old and his record is good. is that it cost more points than it brought to a team. I do not have a reference match of NÃ¼bel unlike To Ter Stegen or younger Neuer. ” TO
A benchmark match, that’s what Niko Kovac is looking for for his goalkeeper, assured that a great performance will resonate like a click for someone who has never been personally compared to Manuel Neuer. “He is obviously happy to see that some see him as his successor but for the moment he is focused on his work, on him. He is happy to have playing time in this composite team. e young talent, “says his agent. Game time in peril as young Radek Majecki pushes behind him. Holder tonight against Sturm Graz, Alexander NÃ¼bel still has the confidence of his coach but both are aware that credit is never unlimited. TO