enter image description here
The Manager Who Hadn't Worked in 12 Years Is Making History in Ligue 1 France. What's Going On?

Brest is sensationally fighting for European cups this season and is currently in second place. Such a grand success for a modest club (15th in terms of squad value in the league and 14th place in Ligue 1 2022/23) was almost impossible to predict before the season started. So what happened?

The key to success was the unexpected appointment of Eric Roy as head coach at the beginning of 2023. It was surprising even by Ligue 1 outsider standards, as he hadn't coached for 12 years! Although Roy started out quite well, after a decent playing career, he worked as a sports director in his hometown of Nice. In 2010, he took over a sinking club without a coaching license and saved it from relegation. But after the third season, he was dismissed with a scandal (Eric Roy won the court case, and the decision to dismiss him was deemed unlawful).

Eric only received his coaching license in 2016 but only worked as an executive in Lens and Watford. Then, Brest appointed Roy as head coach until the end of last season (and some club employees couldn't find a coach on Google), and history repeated itself.

Roy saved the club from relegation, and now Brest is in second place! Moreover, the team tries to play football: it is in the top 3 in terms of shots, top 2 in terms of key passes, and top 1 in terms of aerial duels won. In addition, Brest is third in Ligue 1 in terms of PPDA. This means the team tries to play its own football and suffocate every opponent, although it does not insist on principles. And it can't be said that the club is fortunate: the deviation from xPTS is only 6 points, but this is a top-6 Ligue 1 level indicator.

And Eric Roy also works well with players. For example, the captain and living legend of the club, Brendan Chardonnet, cements the defense, one of the best assistants in the history of the club, Romain Del Castillo, has already recorded 5+5, Pierre Le Melu, with experience in the Premier League, has become the leader of midfield, and 21-year-old Bradley Loko is lighting up on the left flank of the defense. Moreover, the last three are included in the symbolic Ligue 1 team, according to Whoscored.

A beautiful story is unfolding before our eyes!

Published by Patrick Jane