“The opponent never likes to run too much”

“The opponent never likes to run too much”

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Christophe Galtier facing his biggest challenge, Igor Tudor already shaken, the Lille bet Paulo Fonseca… the benches of Ligue 1 welcome again this season a slew of technicians with high ambitions, between good game and top of the table.

Lucien Favre has ambition in Nice.


Christophe Galtier, his greatest challenge

Voted best Ligue 1 coach three times (2013, 2019 and 2021), the unexpected 2021 French champion with Lille arrives in Paris with a sense of accomplishment.

“It’s a privilege to have a workforce of this level,” recalls the man who stole the trophy from PSG during the 2021/2022 season.

At the head of the most powerful club in France since the beginning of July, Galtier will have to convince some skeptics.

“I prepared for it and if I accepted this position, it is because I am capable of it”, he assures.

A good leader of men, he never managed egos like Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi or Neymar. And his European experience – no victory in C1 – is quite meager, for a club obsessed with the Champions League…

Igor Tudor, already heckled

The Croatian, new coach of OM after the departure of Jorge Sampaoli, was the subject of a bronca for his first match – friendly – at the Vélodrome, after a calamitous preparation ended with a defeat against the AC Milan (2-0).

The off-season proved to be disappointing with three defeats, a draw and only one victory against the amateurs of Marignane-Gignac (N2).

“I want people who come to the stadium not to leave disappointed,” the 44-year-old coach had proclaimed, promising “attack and intensity football” very different from the possession game advocated by Sampaoli.

After an excellent season with Verona in Italy, the former Croatian international will have a lot to do, he who has never led a team in the Champions League, which OM will play this season.

Peter Bosz to bounce back

“Normally, I would have been fired because of the results by being 13th in a club which wants to play for the Champions League”, confided in January the Lyonnais coach to Progrès.

He will have finally finished 8th and retained the confidence of his president, Jean-Michel Aulas. But with the takeover of OL by billionaire John Textor, Bosz will hardly be entitled to another faux pas.

Especially since the Dutchman has obtained the desired recruitment. Alexandre Lacazette is back to make up for Moussa Dembélé’s back-to-goal shortcomings. As for Corentin Tolisso, also repatriated, his state of health is already making a lot of noise…

The month of August will be decisive. The first matches of the season, against affordable opponents, should bring OL to the top of the table. Otherwise, beware of the storm…

Very ambitious Lucien Favre

Unlike 2016, Nice President Jean-Pierre Rivère did not fight to convince Lucien Favre. Because Ineos, owner of the “Gym”, has changed the size of the club.

Upon his arrival, the Swiss has also proclaimed his ambitions. Nice “must, within two years, regularly finish in the top three and even more!”

The current internal restructuring limits the arrival of recruits and wastes time. But Favre, 64, remains patient.

From Dortmund, he kept the requirement for high and aggressive pressing, to play quickly in transition. His philosophy is above all to push his players to constant technical improvement, reflection and initiative, such as dribbling.

“If you can’t counter, you have to move the ball around because the opponent never likes to run too much,” he said.

The Paulo Fonseca bet

After the disappointing season under the leadership of Jocelyn Gourvennec, Lille bet on the Portuguese Paulo Fonseca, known for playing an attractive attacking game.

But with a workforce less talented than in previous seasons, will the former coach of Braga, Shakhtar Donestk and AS Roma manage to do better than the mediocre 10th place obtained last year?

The 49-year-old technician, however, showed his ambition: “We want to have a team with a strong identity, a team that dominates the match, which produces good football,” he told AFP.

Fonseca will however have to find the right balance to avoid being surprised on the counter, because if his teams score a lot, they concede a lot of goals…

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