A regular starter alongside Axel Disasi, Benoît Badiashile has not missed a game since the start of the season. He spoke to journalists two days before the trip to Lille, and the 19-year-old central defender is not getting ahead of himself despite the current good run by AS Monaco, who have won its last four games.
Benoît, we imagine that with this streak of four consecutive victories, everything is going well?
Everything is better indeed since our last loss. We’ve managed to raise the bar with a four-game winning streak, but that’s not an end in itself. The season is still long and we must continue on this dynamic to hope for something at the end of the season. We are certainly in a good position, but we must not get ahead of ourselves. Of course, when you’re AS Monaco, you have to have high goals.
You were important in particular in keeping a clean-sheet during the last match.
We defend together and it is so much easier for us with the help of the midfielders. We all press together, and that’s our strength this year. Youssouf (Fofana) and Aurélien (Tchouameni) do a lot of good for Axel and me. They help us to defend better but are also good offensively in the recovery phases. This gives us more defensive stability.
You will face LOSC, a very strong team in this league and one which is also doing well.
Lille have a lot of offensive assets like, for example, Burak Yilmaz who impressed again yesterday by scoring a brace against Prague, but we also have our strengths. Wissam (Ben Yedder), Kevin (Volland), Sofiane (Diop) and Gelson (Martins) are in good form and I hope that we will play as we have done in the last matches. Our attackers are working together very well, in the last four games it has worked really well and we will of course need them to hope for a good result in Lille.
So there is no need to go and score from a corner?
(laughs) If Axel and I can keep going up and getting goals at set pieces, then we won’t be say no to that. But we have good forwards who are there for that. They are used to working together in training, but the coach is also keen to keep his working groups together so everyone stays involved.
How can you describe your relationship with Axel (Disasi)?
We understand each other very well on the pitch, Axel and I. Since he’s French, it’s easier. I like playing with him, he has very good qualities and I hope that we will continue to help the team together this season. It’s my best run of form, since I arrived, we’re on the right track and the coach is giving us some stability.
Since you are talking about the coach, how did his integration go?
When Niko arrived he showed us his way of playing. It took a while for it to take, but now it’s getting better. We have our patterns of play and know what to do. Nevertheless, it’s out of the question to let up. With a coach like that, it’s not possible to fall asleep, and when you’re a young player, even less so. There is still a long way to go, we haven’t proven anything. The coach is very rigorous, he demands of us that we always be at 100% and if things don’t go well, he sometimes gets upset. When that happens, you quickly understand.
It this common?
Even when we are winning 3-0, he will yell at us to keep us working. The manager is never satisfied and that is a help for us as young players so that we do not slack off and keep working to keep the results coming. But of course, he’s not a dictator either (smiles). He knows that sometimes we make mistakes because we are young. There is no fear of failure, because even if you fail once, he wants you to keep trying. And if that happens in a match, you have to know how to raise your head so as not to drop your level and then be unable to catch up.
Do you still feel young on this team, even though you’ve been here for several years?
At 19, it’s tough to say that one is a leader. It’s true that for me it’s easier because I’ve been in Monaco for a few years. For example, as I knew them personally, I was able to help Youssouf, who is now someone who likes to carry on and laugh in the locker room, but also Aurélien, to fit in when they arrived. I haven’t had the easiest of times here, but all these various experiences have made me progress. That’s probably why it’s easier for me today. I hope to contribute to the success of AS Monaco.
France is a country that has developed many talented central defenders. Does it push you even more towards excellence?
It is true that there are a lot of talents in the French team at my position. It forces me to work even harder and give my best every day to hope to be called up with the senior international team. I think all players aim to play for their country one day.