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Zidane, Blanc, Motta, Henry: these well-known L1 coaches and still without a club

A title of champion of France on the CV is in no way the guarantee of finding a bench in Ligue 1. If the month of June saw two of them take the direction of Exotic Championships – Leonardo Jardim to Shabab Al-Ahli (UAE), Rudi Garcia in Al-Nassr (Saudi Arabia) – others are still on the fence at the dawn of the new season: Laurent Blanc, Paul Le Guen and Claude Puel.

They will console themselves, or not, by noting, without complaining, that a triple winner of the Champions League, Zinédine Zidane, is also still free. Non-exhaustive review of available well-known L1 coaches on the bench or in the field.

On the market since this summer

Jocelyn Gourvennec (50 years old)

Last club: Lille, June 2022

Winner of the Champions Trophy with Lille, coming out at the top of their Champions League group before being eliminated in the round of 16, Jocelyn Gourvennec missed the final sprint in Ligue 1 with LOSC (10th). This, however, led to him being sacked after just one season with the Mastiffs. Before the formalization of his arrival and even more after the end of the 2021-2022 financial year, he was not spared by a radical fringe of supporters.

Pascal Dupraz (59 years old)

Last club: Saint-Etienne, June 2022

Appointed coach of Saint-Etienne last December to avoid the descent, Pascal Dupraz, ousted from Caen in March 2021, failed to carry out the “maintenance mission”. After being dismissed from his post, the former Toulouse coach mentioned, in an interview with Le Parisien, the death threat of a supporter who would have pushed him to leave the club, regardless of the outcome of the season.

Pascal Dupraz only spent six months in Saint-Etienne. (A. Réau/The Team)

Christophe Pelissier (56 years old)

Last club: Lorient, June 2022

FC Lorient formalized last Sunday the departure of Christophe Pelissier, three years after his arrival in Morbihan, and two years from the end of his contract. The two parties have thus found common ground on the financial level to free themselves from their commitment. The former technician from Amiens has notably declined the offer of FC Sochaux (L2), in recent days, preferring to take a little rest, to possibly seize an opportunity in Ligue 1, during the season.

Frederic Antonetti (60 years old)

Last club: Metz, June 2022

FC Metz’s relegation to Ligue 2 cost Frédéric Antonetti his place, after four seasons of collaboration and two years from the end of his contract. A bench whose technician had already moved away from himself, spending part of his season in the stands, after having been notably banned from settling there for seven matches after his altercation with Sylvain Armand, sports coordinator of LOSC.

Frédéric Antonetti has not found the key to keeping FC Metz in Ligue 1. (A. Réau / L'Équipe)

Frédéric Antonetti has not found the key to keeping FC Metz in Ligue 1. (A. Réau / L’Équipe)

Paul Le Guen (58 years old)

Last club: Le Havre, June 2022

Paul Le Guen was dismissed on June 16 by the HAC, a week before the resumption of training, by President Vincent Volpe, one year from the end of his contract, against the backdrop of negotiations for the sale of the Norman club . Triple champion of France on the bench of OL, he arrived in the oldest club in 2019, ten years after leaving PSG and French football, for experiences with the selections of Cameroon, Oman and Turkey. .

They have proven themselves

Zinedine Zidane (50 years old)

Last club: Real Madrid, May 2021

At the end of May 2021, Zinédine Zidane decided to leave Real, a year before the end of his contract, due to a lack of ” trust “ towards him from the management of the club. He then said to himself that he would have told his staff that he wanted to lead a team the following season. “There are not fifty clubs where I can go. There are two or three possibilities.he assured The Team, on June 23, in a river interview for his 50th birthday. Not in the Premier League because of his English which he considers insufficient. At PSG, he does not say no. But not right now. His desire: the Blues.

Zinédine Zidane, in the stands of Roland-Garros.  (N. Luttiau/The Team)

Zinédine Zidane, in the stands of Roland-Garros. (N. Luttiau/The Team)

Claude Puel (60 years old)

Last club: Saint-Etienne, December 2021

Claude Puel was removed from his position as general manager of AS Saint-Etienne after a rout in front of Rennes (0-5, December 5, 2021). Champion of France in 2000 at the head of AS Monaco, winner of the UNFP Trophy for best coach in 2006, he was seen at the end of May in the stands of Roland-Garros. That day there were also other coaches without a bench, such as Zinedine Zidane, Clarence Seedorf or Arsene Wenger.

They want to launch their career for good

Thierry Henry (44 years old)

Last club: Montreal Impact, February 2021

Thierry Henry’s first experience as head coach on the bench, or at the bedside, of AS Monaco in crisis was not as convincing as his media career. Consultant for Prime Video after a no more encouraging rebound at the Montreal Impact, the 1998 world champion, assistant to Roberto Martinez with the Belgian selection, does not yet have the card to the point of being cited as soon as a post frees. His name was mentioned during last season, when the seats of Ronald Koeman (FC Barcelona) and Vladimir Petkovic (Bordeaux) began to wobble.

Thierry Henry was a consultant for Amazon Prime last season.  (B. Papon/The Team)

Thierry Henry was a consultant for Amazon Prime last season. (B. Papon/The Team)

Thiago Motta (39 years old)

Last club: La Spezia, June 2022

Two years from the end of his contract, Thiago Motta was dismissed from his post last Tuesday by the leaders of La Spezia, which he managed to keep in Serie A (16th). He left without severance pay, so that his staff would be paid. For his second experience as coach of a professional team, after spending three months in Genoa, the former Parisian midfielder fulfilled his mission within the Cinq Terres club. Before being dismissed from PSG himself, Leonardo would have seen him on the Parisian bench. Motta, who led the club’s U19s in 2018-2019, has kept a real rating in the mind of Nasser al-Khelaïfi.

Laurent Blanc (56 years old)

Last club: Al-Rayyan (QAT), February 2022

Quadruple champion of France with Bordeaux then PSG, with the added bonus of a quality of play praised at the time and never seen since in these two clubs, Laurent Blanc has curiously not coached at a high level for six seasons… Once again, this summer, his name circulated near Lyon. Last January, Jean-Michel Aulas spoke publicly about him (“Yes, I’m thinking about it… You never know?” », he said on Europe 1). But the former coach of the Blues, sacked from Al-Rayyan in February, does not only have supporters at OL, who preferred Rudi Garcia to him in the fall of 2019.

Sabri Lamouchi (50 years old)

Last club: Al-Duhail (QAT), June 2021

In search of a club after his experiences in Rennes (2017-2018), Nottingham Forest (2019-2020) and Al-Duhail in Qatar (2020-2021), Sabri Lamouchi is one of the technicians that leaders regularly think about in League. In the summer of 2021 in Brest and at the Girondins de Bordeaux, then in Saint-Etienne in recent weeks before the appointment of Laurent Battles.

Sabri Lamouchi, when he was manager of Nottingham Forest.  (S. Stacpoole/The Team)

Sabri Lamouchi, when he was manager of Nottingham Forest. (S. Stacpoole/The Team)

Remi Garde (56 years old)

Last club: Montreal Impact, August 2019

Like the other former Gunner Thierry Henry, Rémi Garde did not benefit from his time at the Montreal Impact to bounce back, after leaving Aston Villa in March 2016. After the departure of Juninho from his position as sporting director of Lyon last December, his name appeared, in vain, in the debates. Logical for those who have known all the football professions at the club (player, head of the recruitment unit, director of the training center, assistant coach, main coach). We also talked about him a year ago, in Brest, Strasbourg or Montpellier.

Frederic Hantz (56 years old)

Last club: Al-Khor (QAT), September 2020

Free since leaving the Qatari club Al-Khor in September 2020, Frédéric Hantz, who has not been seen on a French bench since Metz in May 2018, was in the final against Pascal Dupraz to succeed Claude Puel in Saint-Etienne last December. Based in Mauritius, his job interview by videoconference was inconclusive. In May, he was still on the shortlist for the position of coach of Côte d’Ivoire with Antoine Kombouaré. But Idriss Diallo, president of the Federation, chose Jean-Louis Gasset.



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