Saint-Etienne: why Claude Puel is not threatened

Against Montpellier, Sunday, Saint-Etienne suffered a 5th consecutive setback (1-0). Worse, the Greens remain on two matches in a row without framing the slightest strike in Ligue 1, their worst streak in the elite since Opta analyzed the championship in 2006-2007. Another edifying statistic: according to Stats Foot, Claude Puel has lost 51.7% on the bench of the Greens since his arrival at the club in October 2019. But the Stéphanois coach is in no way threatened. We explain why.

It is the cornerstone of the new project

Claude Puel was chosen by the owners of the club to carry the new Stéphanois project. He was the right man. He had already been approached, notably by Roland Romeyer, in the past. “He’s always the man for the job,” blows us a source close to management. Claude is appreciated. He is an upright man, with integrity, with real ideas. Yes, currently we have some difficulties. But everyone goes through bad times. We will raise our heads ”.

Puel has a clear plan, which appeals internally, notably with the use in numbers of young people from the training center or young recruits in post-training. “It’s normal that it takes time,” adds this source. At ASSE, Puel is more than just a coach. He is a real manager, who is also on the club’s executive board (the daily decision-maker), like one of his relatives, Xavier Thuilot, director general of ASSE. He always has the confidence of his leaders, he is always seen as the man for the job, and in particular by Roland Romeyer and Bernard Caïazzo.

The club can’t really afford to part with it

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, with the losses that this generates, particularly in terms of ticketing, in the midst of uncertainty around TV rights, ASSE does not really have the means to part with a coach under contract until June 2022 Especially with the uncertainties that a new change of manager would entail during the season. Admittedly, the Greens managed to sell Wesley Fofana very expensive for 35 million euros this summer (in Leicester) but the club had anticipated the increase in TV rights. The will, clearly, is to go on and raise our heads with Puel. There is no plan B anyway.

He has a medium-term vision

Behind this (obvious) bad patch, Puel is still as combative as ever. And that too is appreciated internally. ” In Lille (Editor’s note: when Puel trained the LOSC), we had not won for 12 matches. We then played in the Champions League and beat Manchester United and AC Milan. In Nice, we had lost 7 matches in a row in L1 but we finished fourth in the championship, ”Puel recalled on Sunday. “There is a gap between a bad series and the intrinsic quality of a group. Things do not disappear like that ”, insists the technician, convinced to follow the right path, he who has considerably rejuvenated his workforce since his arrival. So yes, he is still looking for the right formula – he has changed the system three times in three games – the sidelining of some players can challenge, but he also retains the confidence of a good part of his locker room.

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