Soccer. Club president, player, youth coach… Unusual one-night coaches


Stade Briochin did not invent anything by parting ways with their coach Didier Santini after just over a month of competition. This season alone, the penultimate of the National championship has been overtaken by some of the most prestigious teams on the continent such as Chelsea which landed Thomas Tuchel or Leipzig which separated from Domenico Tedesco.

Where the Breton club stands out is in its choice of coach to take over the interim, with the appointment of Guillaume Allanou… its president. A unique situation for French football which recalls other examples of one-night coaches with surprising profiles. Overview.

The special jubilee of Stanislas Staho

Certainly, even the most fervent supporters of FC Nantes would not mention him among the distant predecessors of Antoine Kombouaré on the bench of the Canaries. Stanislas Staho has nevertheless left a special place in the history of the club eight times champion of France. The Franco-Polish defender with 265 matches in the Nantes jersey took care of his exit by climbing into the costume of the main coach for the last match of his career.

The club was then playing in the bottom of the second division rankings during the 1955-1956 season. With a matchday to go, coach Anton Raab resigned, forcing the experienced Staho to sit on the bench for the matchday 38 clash against Angers Sco. Beaten (0-2), FC Nantes finished in 17th place and Stanislas Staho ended his football career on this astonishing experience.

Jörg Berger, the failed bet

He did not have impostor syndrome when he settled on the bench of Arminia Bielefeld. In 2008-2009, Jörg Berger already had a rich coaching record with a dozen German clubs under his belt. But it is the timing of his appointment as head of the Bundesliga team that makes the latest adventure in his career particularly comical.

Inducted to replace Michael Frontzeck on the eve of the last day of the championship, Berger is on a mission to save the club from relegation. He leads a single match against Hanover, concluded with a draw (2-2), which is not enough to maintain the team, last in the standings that season. The technician is not retained. He only stayed a week in his post.

The European parenthesis of Gilles Bourges

It is rare for a coach to know his only experience on a bench in a club on an evening of the European Cup. It is however the strange trajectory that Gilles Bourges experienced at Paris Saint-Germain. A year before the takeover of the club by Qatari investors, Olivier Frapolli’s current assistant at Stade Lavallois is the goalkeeper coach of the capital club.

While the PSG led by Antoine Kombouaré is qualified for the group stage of the Europa League, it is however he who will be propelled to the front of the stage during this competition by taking advantage of the suspension of the head coach. Against all odds, the former goalkeeper led Grégory Coupet’s teammates to Ukraine in the draw against Karapty Lviv (1-1).

The unexpected promotion of Neil Critchley

It is an evening that will certainly remain engraved in the memory of Neil Critchley. For one match, the English technician settled into the position of manager of a reigning European champion club. The usual Liverpool u23 coach led the Reds to the English League Cup quarter-finals against Aston Villa (5-0 loss) in the 2019-20 season.

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He owes this opportunity to an unlikely telescoping in Jurgen Klopp’s player schedule. The latter were to play their semi-final of the Club World Cup in Doha and their national cup match on the same day. Impossible. It was finally Critchley who represented the Mersey club with his young players. Steven Gerrard’s current assistant at Aston Villa will therefore not have had the happiness of training Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mané or Roberto Firminho despite everything.

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