Christophe Galtier’s appointment at Paris Saint-Germain has dominated the headlines this summer but he is not the only new arrival on the bench of a Ligue 1 Uber Eats club. As the 2022-23 campaign starts this weekend, Ligue1.com runs the rule over all the managerial changes made during the close season.
Christophe Galtier (Paris Saint-Germain)
Galtier really requires no introduction given the reputation he has built up over the last decade and counting in Ligue 1. The 55-year-old was chosen by PSG to succeed Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout at the Parc des Princes, with the capital club’s new football advisor Luis Campos knowing Galtier well from their time together at LOSC Lille. Galtier moved to Paris at the start of July, shortly after leaving OGC Nice, the club he led to fifth place last season as well as to the Coupe de France final.
Galtier has signed a two-year deal and immediately admitted that he would need to adopt a more expansive approach in Paris than he did at Nice, or even at Lille before that. “I will adapt to the players we have here,” he said at his first press conference.
He has been named Ligue 1 coach of the year on three occasions, including the prize he shared with Carlo Ancelotti in 2013. Galtier enjoyed a fine eight-year spell at AS Saint-Etienne which included victory in the Coupe de la Ligue in 2013, and he then went on to Lille and led the northern club to the Ligue 1 title at PSG’s expense in 2021.
However, a disappointing end to last season at Nice and his links to Marseille – Galtier was born in the southern city and played for OM – meant some doubts were inevitable among PSG players. He also has limited Champions League experience.
“I understand why there is a debate about my legitimacy, especially as in the Champions League with Lille we didn’t do so well. But those six matches will still be useful to me,” Galtier, the first French coach of PSG since the departure of Laurent Blanc in 2016, told sports daily L’Equipe.
“I am not the flag carrier for French coaches. It is up to me to show that I am capable of leading an army of really top players. But if I didn’t think I could handle the pressure I would be somewhere else.”
After one competitive game he already has his first piece of silverware in Paris in the shape of the Trophée des Champions.
Igor Tudor (Olympique de Marseille)
Marseille’s summer plans were thrown into turmoil when Jorge Sampaoli left the club at the beginning of July. Unhappiness at the progress of Marseille’s close-season recruitment drive was at the heart of his departure, with the Argentine having previously made clear he wanted the club to be ambitious in the transfer market in order to build a team capable of competing in the Champions League group stage after their second-place finish last season.
OM moved quickly to replace Sampaoli with the appointment of the Croatian Igor Tudor, the 44-year-old former defender who represented his country on their run to the 1998 World Cup semi-finals and spent much of his playing career at Juventus. A colourful coaching career started at hometown team Hajduk Split before spells at PAOK in Greece, in Turkey with Karabükspor and Galatasaray and in Italy with Udinese. He returned to Hajduk in 2020 before joining Hellas Verona early last season and leading them to a creditable ninth place in Serie A.
Tudor has signed a two-year contract at the Vélodrome where he must prove himself in Europe – he has never previously coached in the Champions League. “I believe in one thing, which is attacking football, with intensity and bravery. I want people to come to the stadium and not leave disappointed,” he said at his unveiling.
Pre-season results have been concerning, however. OM lost to two English second-tier sides in the shape of Norwich City and Middlesbrough before drawing with Spanish Copa del Rey winners Real Betis in a game played in England. On Sunday there were jeers at full-time from fans in a crowd of 62,672 at the Vélodrome after Marseille lost 2-0 to Italian champions AC Milan. It has not been a serene start for Tudor, who also saw his assistant Mauro Camoranesi leave just a week after arriving on France’s Mediterranean coast.
- Above picture courtesy of OM.fr
Lucien Favre (OGC Nice)
Nice saw the departure of Galtier as an opportunity to move on after their underwhelming end to last season, when they missed out to FC Nantes in the Coupe de France final and had to settle for fifth in Ligue 1 having at one point seemed poised for a podium finish. They swopped to bring back Lucien Favre, the 64-year-old Swiss coach who was previously in charge at the Allianz Riviera from 2016 to 2018 and led Les Aiglons to third place in his first season on the Côte d’Azur.
Favre then returned to the German Bundesliga to join Borussia Dortmund, where he spent two years in charge before being sacked in late 2020. The former Servette, FC Zürich, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach coach had been out of management since then.
“It feels special to be back,” Favre said on his return to Nice. “It went well here between 2016 and 2018, both on the pitch and in terms of my relationships. I have stayed in regular touch with a lot of people. I was contacted by another club, but as soon as OGC Nice came in I said: ‘I’m going there’. Nice have to be trying to finish regularly in the top three, or even better!”
Paulo Fonseca (LOSC Lille)
It was always going to be a big ask for Jocelyn Gourvennec to follow on from Christophe Galtier at Lille. Gourvennec led LOSC to victory in the Trophée des Champions at the start of last season and took them to the last 16 of the Champions League, but they finished a disappointing 10th in the league. Few tears would have been shed among supporters when Gourvennec was sacked in mid-June, and two weeks later the club named Paulo Fonseca as his replacement.
The 49-year-old from Portugal was appointed on a two-year deal at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy and is preparing for his third spell coaching outwith his homeland. Fonseca was in charge of several modest Portuguese sides before a season at FC Porto in 2013-14. However, his first real success came at Braga, with whom he won the Portuguese Cup in 2016. After that he won three titles in three years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk and then spent two seasons at Roma.
Fonseca was living in Ukraine with his Ukrainian wife when war broke out there earlier this year, and eventually escaped the country in a minibus to Romania after being helped by the Portuguese embassy. Now he has hoping to make Lille competitive again at the top of Ligue 1.
“I am sure we can build a strong team with a strong identity, a team that wants to dominate its matches and play attacking football,” he said following his appointment.
- above picture courtesy of LOSC.fr
Régis Le Bris (FC Lorient)
After escaping relegation at the end of last season, Lorient have opted for a fresh start for this season. Christophe Pélissier, the man who brought the Brittany club back up to Ligue 1 in 2020 and has kept them there since, has departed. He has been replaced by Régis Le Bris, a name that few football fans outwith Lorient will have heard of.
The 46-year-old Brittany native played briefly for Stade Rennais and for Laval before moving into youth development. Over the last decade he has worked as the head of Lorient’s youth academy and then as coach of their reserve team. Now, having just obtained his professional coaching licence, Le Bris has signed a three-year deal as coach of Les Merlus.
“This is not new for him. He has been a coach for 20 years. It is not a gamble but rather a decision,” said Lorient president Loïc Féry.
- above picture courtesy of fclweb.fr