Ligue 1 – The direction of Christophe Galtier in the face of the great challenge of PSG

The point of no return reached in his relationship with Julien Fournier, sporting director of Nice, along with an adventure that will end on the Côte d’Azur, will almost make him forget: wherever he goes, Christophe Galtier is appreciated. .. at least for its players. But this summer, the coach crowned champion of France with Lille in 2021 will change size, joining a dressing room certainly unique in France, and perhaps in Europe: that of PSG.

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It is impossible, in this context, not to remember his words during his presentation in Nice last summer. “Going from the French champion in Nice, I obviously understand that he can challenge, but I know what I want, I know where I want to go, and I am convinced that it is the right project for what I want. Do the rest. Of my career (… “When I took over from Alain Perrin, we saw where Saint-Etienne was and what we did together. In Lille, we were in a bad position to finish very high. Maybe I’m this type of coach and not another.” .

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Obviously, the Marseille man has decided to show that he really could be different. It no longer starts from “low” to end high, but, this time, starts from above. Even beyond the sports results, the question that will fuel the debates in the coming weeks is very simple: do you have the shoulders to manage such a dressing room? Before him, many were the ones who broke their teeth there. But even more have praised the merits of the Galtier method.

Christophe Galtier and the Lille players after their French title

Credit: Getty Images

It gave me the strength to rebel

If we were to list the pillars of the latter, the first would be, without taking too many risks, its strong relationship with its players. “I trusted Christophe Galtier. Not many people would have counted on me, but he did. thanked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the microphone bein Sports in 2013. This is where people got to know me. I revolted. It gave me strength to revolt and keep scoring goals.

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Another striker pampered by the former defender, Burak Yilmaz, an important element of the coronation of Lille a year ago, had finished the season of Ligue 1 with 16 goals despite periods of hole: first goal on the 5th day, no goal from November 8 to December 23. – and an injury that sidelined him between early January and mid-March.

“The coach has been helping and supporting me since I arrived.the Turkish striker told the press at the time. He knows what he wants and he explains it to me very clearly. If he takes a step towards me, I run towards him. It is because of this relationship that I have been able to adapt more quickly. ” So much so that the former Galatasaray player would have liked to follow Galtier to Nice last summer.

You feel like you can live with them for a long time

“He’s someone you like to work with for three, four or five years. There are coaches, you work with them for two years, and he has to stop. But he, you feel like you can live with him for a long time.” launched Dante to his side last March BFM Nice Côte d’Azur. Your gaming system works because there is mental power transmission in your computer. Everyone is worried. It has this great quality of making attackers realize how important they are to defensive work. “

Involve the whole group, from starters to substitutes. Involving an entire eleven in defensive work, from defenders to attackers. Galtier is also, and obviously, strong and willful. “It’s difficult to remember just one thing, but it would be his characterlaunched Benjamin André in front of the press during the reunion between Lille and Galtier last season. He has a temperament and transmits it to his players and his group. That’s what he did beyond football characteristics. Our team was a bit like his character. “

He asked for our opinion on anything and everything

A compact, 4-4-2 LOSC organized with working runner players. But the defenders who worked with him will tell you: Galtier’s game identity is not just his solidity. “To be honest, what Christophe Galtier is asking of a central defender in the construction of the game makes me a little shaken.José Fonte confessed in the columns of French football. In 2018, when I arrived in Lille, I had to adapt because I was leaving for eleven seasons in England. “

“The control he has over his game model … He knows what he wants, when it doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work, all in a second. It’s still quite remarkable … His system isn’t very defensive.” resumed Dante at his side.

The 55-year-old coach knows what he wants, of course. But he also knows how to change, to adapt. And above all, show great humility. “He was the first to be questioned, very few coaches would have done ithe told Loïc Perrin, the former ASSE defender The team in 2012. Many of us have enjoyed it. He asked for our opinion on anything and everything. We are a group that may need affection, he felt. He changed the way he acted. “

Transfer everything to PSG …

His press conference after the defeat of Nice in Strasbourg in early December (3-0), in the midst of a difficult period (a victory in five games), is the perfect illustration of the words of the ex-captain of the greens. “I can’t blame my players for the lack of physical effortGaltier reacted. I have to question what I ask of the players. I am primarily responsible for what we no longer see in my game. Maybe I’m asking too much. Our game should be less readable. “

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A capacity for questioning that, if ever manifested publicly alongside Paris, could become a weakness, in a context that can quickly become hostile. In the same way that their relationships with their players and their control over their groups can hardly be transposed, as they are faced with superstars, who are not managed as young players to model. All this without even talking about tactics and his preferred 4-4-2, inapplicable in Paris as it is. But all this, the person concerned, who has the intelligence to adapt to different contexts, knows.

It remains to be seen how this dressing room will host a coach with references who have never gone beyond the French framework. Galtier, in any case, has already started a very involuntary seduction operation a few months ago, campaigning for the extension of Kylian Mbapé to PSG, or regularly showing praise and class to Paris, especially in the Champions League. Then he was far from imagining what awaited him. And perhaps we are far from imagining what this could give.

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