Stade Rennais FC have announced that former coach Julien Stéphan has return to the club, replacing Bruno Genesio at the helm following the Brittany club's slipping to 13th on the back of four defeats in a winless run of five matches.
That winless run came after a 3-1 Brittany derby win over Nantes, but that victory itself was a turnaround after five consecutive draws had followed on from their opening-day drubbing of Metz.
In short, Rennes had stopped collecting results under Genesio - despite another summer of considerable transfer action - but in an official communiqué, the club cited 'personal reasons' as being the notable cause of the bilateral decision to end the former OL boss's tenure at the helm of Les Rouge et Noir.
Stéphan: 'Determination to help the team'
With the revenant Julien Stéphan announced as Genesio's replacement in the same communiqué, it seems that the club and the former coach had been thinking about giving it another go for some time.
Stéphan said when presented to the media on Monday: "I'd like to thank the shareholders and the whole club for the renewed confidence they have shown in me, and in particular for entrusting the job to a French coach. It's a welcome back to my roots. I'd like to pay tribute to the work of Bruno Genesio, who is a coach of the highest calibre. My past experiences have strengthened me, and the period of inactivity I've been through has encouraged introspection. I'm back with a lot of freshness and determination to help the team build a new dynamic and hope for a more positive rest of the season."
Stéphan, who cited burnout when he ended his first stint at the helm of the club back in March 2021, had an impressive debut term as Rennes' head coach, notably engineering a Coupe de France triumph that saw Rennes topple PSG on the way to clinching the club's first silverware in almost 50 years.
This time it's personal...
However, after a spell with Strasbourg, Stéphan is looking to take care of some unfinished business in the north-west.
"I think I made a mistake at the time," admitted Stéphan back in March. "We were ninth, three or four points behind the fifth-placed team with a game in hand. I didn't make the right decision for my career. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it differently.
Stéphan now has a tough task ahead of him, starting with the visit of Will Still's formidable Reims team for their Ligue 1 Uber Eats Round 13 fixture at Roazhon Park on Sunday 26 November.