Nice-Matin have today analysed how the relationship between Christophe Galtier and those at Nice broke down in the space of a season, leading to his departure for Paris Saint-Germain after just a year in charge.
The Ligue 1 title winner with Lille made an initially strong start – the club’s transfer business was dragging on in his opinion but he was otherwise happy to get down to work and fine-tune the team for his 4-4-2. Several people at the club considered Calvin Stengs to not be the right profile for his system, despite the coach pushing for his signing, and the Dutchman quickly fizzled out during the season.
The former Saint-Étienne man led the club to second place by the halfway point in the season, but those at the club were wary of what they considered a lack of “consideration” and too much secrecy on his starting lineups, to the point of asking for walls around the first team’s section at the training ground.
Relations rapidly deteriorated once the January window rolled around, with Galtier criticising the team’s lack of experience and character. Director of football Julien Fournier – whose falling out with Galtier became public by the end of the season – regretted the team’s lack of adventure in their away defeat to Marseille in March. The manager would then respond by starting with four forwards, but an employee of the club explains to Nice-Matin that several players had not been in optimal form as a result of observing Ramadan – “their physical stats practically halved”.
Amine Gouiri would struggle out wide while the behaviour of Mario Lemina and Jean-Clair Todibo is said to have frustrated their coach. Andy Delort would hold things together on the frontline up until the Coupe de France final, which was lost to Antoine Kombouaré’s Nantes side, at which point the division between pro and anti-Galtier camps grew deeper. His relationship with the directors would also worsen, with his entourage speaking to the media all the while he laid out his pans for the future to INEOS’ Dave Brailsford. In any case, Julien Fournier no longer wanted to work with him and Jean-Pierre Rivère decided it was time to part ways. Now, with Galtier moving back up north, Lucien Favre is expected to make a comeback to Les Aiglons.