Stade de Reims engineered an injury-time winner at home to Ajaccio this afternoon to drag themselves up to eighth place in the league (1-0). The win means that Les Rouges et Blancs have not lost a single Ligue 1 game since the arrival of novice manager Will Still in October 2022. According to Stats Du Foot, he has become just the second manager in French top flight history to go unbeaten in their first 16 games, behind only Thomas Tuchel.
In a press conference after today’s win, the league’s youngest manager (30) underlined his passion for the role:
“It’s a special day when you win with the last kick of the game. These kinds of emotions are why we do this job.”
The Belgian-British dual national has eight wins and eight draws across his first 16 games, and his next task will likely involve converting draws into wins. But there is no rush: since he arrived, only PSG have collected more points in the league than Reims. This is particularly indicative of his success, considering the fact that the previous manager, Óscar García, collected only one win across their first ten games before he was dismissed.
Importantly, the Marne club have managed to hold back opposition from higher positions in the table. They registered two scoreless draws against OGC Nice, as well as two late draws with LOSC Lille (1-1, 2nd January) and reigning champions Paris-Saint-Germain (1-1, 29th January). Their next two fixtures against both AS Monaco (3rd) and Olympique de Marseille (2nd) will be crucial, but they will enter both games with well-earned confidence.
GFFN | Brendan Cox