Jean-Luc Vasseur wants to lead Everton to glory in the Women’s Champions League… and he believes Scouse lessons and baked beans could be key to sparking a revival at the club!
- Jean-Luc Vasseur was appointed Everton Women manager at the end of October
- The side are currently languishing down in ninth in the Women’s Super League
- He has ambitions of building a team capable of winning the Champions League
- He feels Scouse lessons and baked beans could play a role in the club’s revival
Jean-Luc Vasseur smiles, takes a sip of his espresso then asks if we are here to speak about the weather or Covid.
The Everton women boss was forced to isolate when he was contacted by the Government’s track and trace system at the start of the month. Vasseur tested negative and is fully vaccinated. But because he received his two doses in France not the UK, he was subject to mandatory quarantine.
‘The terrible part is that in my apartment my windows don’t open to the maximum. We don’t have much fresh air, so I was in prison!’ jokes Vasseur.
Jean-Luc Vasseur hasn’t had an easy start at Everton as he had to quarantine earlier this month
‘I was very frustrated with the situation, a bit angry because the rules are not correct but I respect it.’
The 52-year-old is now six weeks into the job and is beginning to get a feel for his new home on Merseyside.
‘When you move you accept change. I am not looking for the same things in England as in France. I discovered the bean during breakfast so you have the best breakfast in the world. It is Liverpool, it is famous in the world, for The Beatles but also for the team — Everton first and there is another team but I’m not sure of the name or colour!’
Vasseur (right) says he has been taking ‘scouse lessons’, although they are not going well. ‘Terrible. I understand the women, maybe because they don’t have as big an accent. But for the men it is terrible.
He won the Champions League with Lyon in 2020, and thinks he can take Everton into Europe
‘I had Lucy Bronze at Lyon, she is from the north, Nikita Parris, she comes from Liverpool. When she spoke in Lyon I would say ‘slowly please’ and not with the accent, because she has a big accent, like me.’
Vasseur, who had a 15-year playing career, managed in the third, second and first division in France before joining Lyon in 2019. What drew him to Everton? ‘I come because I am ambitious and passionate. I know what is the best benchmark for the team in Europe because I come from Lyon, the best team in the world.
‘I know the way to build a team for us to play in the European competition and maybe in the future to win the Champions League.’
Vasseur’s first season in Lyon could not have gone better. His side won every trophy available without losing a game and he was named UEFA’s Women’s Coach of the Year.
Lucy Bronze said she played some of her best football under the Frenchman.
Vasseur has experience of coaching talented players, having worked with Lucy Bronze at Lyon
‘Lucy Bronze is an outstanding and amazing player. Very clever, very strong, I think she can play with the men, I’m sure.’
Winning everything was the minimum expectation in Lyon. They had lifted the Champions League five years in a row before his arrival. His second season was tougher, with injuries to key players, Covid break-outs and the emergence of Paris Saint-Germain — who won the league and knocked Lyon out of Europe, a result which culminated in Vasseur’s sacking.
But he has no bitterness about his departure. ‘When you arrive in Lyon there is a habit to win, to continue to win. In Everton it is a little bit different, there is a lot to build. I need to change the vision, the mentality. There is a lot of work.’
After investing heavily in their squad during the summer, Everton had their sights set on third place and qualifying for Europe. But a disappointing start saw them languishing near the bottom which led to Willie Kirk’s sacking and Vasseur’s appointment at the end of October.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw against West Ham indicates it will not be a quick fix.
‘There is a long way to go. We need to be patient. I accept to concede goals but always to score one goal more than the opponent. That’s always my philosophy.’
Everton Women host Manchester United in the Continental Cup on Wednesday. Season ticket members and official members can attend for free. Otherwise, tickets at evertonfc.com/women/tickets
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