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UNFP Trophies: Coach of the Year

Publish on 09/05/2022 at 08:58 - L.DAVEY

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Last year's winner Christophe Galtier is once again in the mix to pick up this season prize after an excellent first season at OGC Nice. But with tough competition from fellow nominees Bruno Génésio, Antoine Kombouaré, Jorge Sampaoli and Julien Stéphan, who will come out on top? Check out our run-down right here…

The UNFP Trophies are a number of awards given annually by the National Union of Professional Football Players to players playing in France's Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, as well as to managers and referees, the most prestigious one being the Player of the Year.

Ligue 1 Uber Eats Coach of the Year

The team that has won the most Manager of the Year awards is LOSC with five wins since the awards' inception in 1994, with Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain on four apiece. Christophe Galtier has won the award a record three times, once with Saint-Etienne in 2013 and twice with LOSC - in 2019 and the title-winning season of 2021.

Galtier has company at the top of the list in the shape of Laurent Blanc who also has three successes to his name. Blanc claimed his first award as Bordeaux coach in 2008, adding two more in 2015 and 2016 as coach of Paris Saint-Germain.

The Nominees

Christophe Galtier

Last season's title-winning coach with LOSC took over the reins at OGC Nice in the summer with the ambitious Côté d'Azur side hoping Galtier's could recreate the success achieved at the northern club. Despite a promising start, Nice have maintained a push for Europe and with just three games left to play this season, find themselves in with a shout of qualifying for any of the three European competitions next season. Galtier also led Nice to the Coupe de France final where they eventually lost 1-0 to Nantes.

Galtier currently boasts the best defensive record in Ligue 1 Uber Eats (29 conceded), shutting out newly-crowned champions Paris Saint-Germain during both clashes this term.

Bruno Génésio

The former Lyon coach has built on a promising end to last season and led Rennes to the brink of Champions League qualification. The Breton side have entertained throughout the campaign with a free-flowing attacking style and are currently the league's second highest scorers with 77 goals.

Génésio has instilled a belief in his side that has led Rennes to the cusp of European football again next season, picking up a host of fantastic results on the way including a win against star-studded Paris Saint-Germain and a league double over Lyon.

Antoine Kombouaré

The former Paris Saint-Germain defender has become a cult figure since his arrival at La Beaujoire in February 2021. Nantes were staring relegation in the face when he took the reins, only to steer them to safety via the play-offs.

This season Nantes have gone from strength to strength and produced an exciting brand of football whilst developing some of Ligue 1's best young talent.

Kombouaré has brought a feel-good factor back to the club with a top-half finish on the cards. The icing on the cake was Nantes' spectacular Coupe de France victory over Nice on Saturday night, to cap off a wonderful season for the 58-year-old coach.

Jorge Sampaoli

The Argentine coach has had a solid season at the Orange Velodrome, leading OM to second place with two games left to play. Sampaoli has tightened up a leaky Marseille defence and got his side playing some attractive football after a summer of change when they brought in over ten new signings.

Despite struggling to find his best attacking formation, Marseille are the league's joint-fourth top scorers with 59 goals and boast arguably the club's best crop of midfielder's for many years.

Sampaoli led Marseille to the semi-final of the Europa Conference League, eventually losing narrowly to Feyenoord but a return to the Champions League will erase the pain of their European exit.

 

Julien Stéphan

Julien Stéphan has encountered a tremendous first season as coach of Strasbourg leading them to fifth place with two games to play and European football very much on the cards.

The former Rennes coach had a sticky start to the season but quickly stamped his authority on the Alsatian club with attackers Habib Diallo, Ludovic Ajorque and the returning Kevin Gameiro all hitting the ground running.

Stéphan has made the Stade de la Meinau a daunting prospect for visiting sides as well as claiming a host of impressive wins on the road, most notably at Nice and Lens.

A deserved nominee for the manager of the Year, Stéphan has all the credentials to win honours in the coming years.

>> UNFP Trophies: Goalkeeper of the Year

>> UNFP Trophies: Young Player of the Year

>> UNFP Trophies: Player of the Year

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