FEATURE | Director Julien Fournier’s sensational interview could mean the end for heavily criticised coach Christophe Galtier at Nice

As discussed by L’Équipe, OGC Nice director of football Julien Fournier’s interview with the sports daily, in which he heavily criticised coach Christophe Galtier, could mean the end is nigh for the former Lille and Saint-Etienne manager at the club. This was Fournier’s first major interview since Nice’s crushing Coupe de France final defeat to Nantes last month, a match in which Galtier’s side offered very little in attack, as was often the case in Ligue 1 since Christmas.

Relations have been frosty between the two men for some time, with Fournier reportedly expected to leave his role this summer, something he now suggests won’t be the case. Nice-Matin had stated last month that Fournier no longer wished to collaborate with Galtier, after disagreements regarding transfer policy. However, as Fournier explained, he would be staying until the start of next season at least, but admitted: “maybe, in September, [the club] will want to work with someone else.”

Galtier meanwhile seemed to openly admit a rift, saying after the cup final: Will I be the coach of Nice next season? The question should really be: ‘Why wouldn’t I be?’ There may be disagreements, clashes, but we don’t live in the world of the Care Bears.” Galtier meanwhile had described the team as overperforming and still had lots of missing parts. We’re trying to qualify for the Champions League, but we strengthened with an Angers substitute,” in reference to the club’s winter signing of winger Billal Brahimi.

Fournier’s unprecedented outburst, say the paper, and his apparent continuation in his role at the club, for now, makes Galtier’s position even more uncertain. His job has been in doubt after a disappointing end to the season with the futures of all of Nice’s main hierarchical figures seemingly in flux. In addition, famed sporting director Luis Campos, who worked at Lille with Galtier before the club won the title last season, is reportedly eyeing Galtier to take over as PSG coach – a club Campos will soon officially join. Fournier, incredibly, came close to outwardly appealed for PSG to come and sign his coach, saying: “Each passing day makes PSG’s task more difficult, because we have to move forward with next season. If they want him, they must not delay.”

L’Équipe suggest Fournier’s interview and the widening rift could ‘mark the end’ of Galtier at Nice as Fournier roundly criticised the team’s, and the coach’s, results this season, explaining: “There’s been a lot of negativity around the team. Christophe was extremely successful in Lille but, as happens to some players too, he performed less well for us… You never know a person until you’ve worked with them.” Fournier went on to say any complaints over the club’s winter transfer window from the coach would be “giving yourself an excuse. This team, as it is, could have had better results – with more attacking momentum and sometimes more courage… I think that, if Christophe had given his full measure with the qualities he has, we would be delighted right now.”

Fournier continued: “I think that, of the eight teams who are in front of us, there are those who would’ve liked to have our attacking force. When I look at the second half of the season, there were very few games that we controlled. We scored with individual moments, sometimes at the last moment. It means that, individually, our players have talent. But we had no collective strength.”

For now, both men remain at the club but Nice’s transfer window and the futures of most of the club’s hierarchy remain uncertain at best as internal chaos reigns at the Allianz Riviera.


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