FRANCE: All change at the bottom


Valenciennes are taking applications, while Sochaux have found their man

Valenciennes president Jean-Raymond Legrand has made the inevitable move to oust coach Daniel Sanchez from the club. His team had one only one game in Ligue 1 this term, and despite a draw at home against Reims this week, have looked nothing like the side which put in some excellent performances last season.

After two years in charge, the decision to replace Sanchez was clearly a tough one for the president, however he claims that he has no shortage of willing replacements lined up. “I’ve already received 40 CVs,” he told the gathered media on Wednesday, “I want someone experienced with the charisma necessary to get everyone moving in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, fellow strugglers Sochaux, who sit one point clear of Valenciennes in 19th place, have appointed Zambia coach Herve Renard as their new manager. The Frenchman, who has not coached in Ligue 1 before, has signed a one-year deal with the option to extend the deal if he can keep the club in the top flight.

Renard played alongside Desailly and Deschamps in the French u-16 team in his youth, and went on to make appearances for Cannes in Ligue 1. He is most renowned for his work with Zambia – first in reaching the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008, before returning to finish the job – taking the Chpolopolo to the title on home turf in emotional scenes in 2012.

The club, known as Les Lionceaux, have a storied history and have spent longer in the top flight in France than any other team over the years. Renard will have his work cut out for him to revive the club, which has struggled to get going this term – scoring just 7 goals and conceding a league-leading 18 in just 9 games.

Andrew Davidson

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