While the rumor of the arrival of the former coach of the Blues at the head of the Loire-Atlantique club swells from hour to hour, the question inevitably arises whether it would be a good idea for both parties.
1993. We have to go back to that year to find the trace of Raymond Domenech’s last experience as a club coach. In this case Olympique Lyonnais at the time. Then, he left his club at heart to lead the Hopes selection of the France team for eleven years, before moving to the A with the key to a world final in 2006 and a resounding failure at the following World Cup in South Africa (2010) which sealed the end of his mandate. Since then, the name of Domenech had been announced on the right or on the left – Standard de Liège, Saint-Etienne, Algerian selection in particular – without any of these tracks succeeding. Will it be the same with Nantes, which is looking for a lasting successor to Christian Gourcuff, sacked on December 8 due to the poor results of his team?
Nantes, a washing machine with coaches under Kita
The rumor, in any case, is meant to be consistent in believing different sources, even if some, like L’Equipe, also put forward other names, in particular that of Antoine Kombouaré which would appear to be a more credible solution than to “dust off” a trainer who has not practiced for 27 years. In a club, of course. Which has absolutely nothing to do with being at the head of a selection, with its five or six gatherings in the year which does not require you to get your hands dirty day after day. All the more so in Nantes, a real coach washer since Waldemar Kita took power in 2007. Thus, in thirteen years, no less than fourteen different coaches have taken place on the Nantes bench, with even a Michel Der Zakarian who has played a encore from 2012 to 2016 after a brief stint in 2007-2008. And this, without counting the few temporary workers, such as the current Patrick Collot who will lead his last match this Wednesday evening in Lyon. Hence this inevitable question: what the devil would Domenech do in such a mess, he who seems to be having happy days as a consultant for television and radio?
The Twittosphere has already started to attack Domenech
The sporting interest of such a challenge, namely to save the Canaries from a relegation which, slowly but surely, begins to hang down their nose from the bottom of their 15th place in the standings, is not particularly exciting. Unless Domenech turns out to be in lack of sidelines and daily training sessions. The former coach of the Blues is not in his first contact with the club of Loire-Atlantique since Kita had already approached when replacing Vahid Halilhodzic in 2019. The Nantes president therefore has more in the ideas by returning to the load, undoubtedly well aware of the enormous media blow which it would carry out leaving its “retirement” Domenech. But speaking of blows, the Lyonnais knows he will have a lot more to receive when he comes back. Moreover, the ruthless Twittosphere has already not failed to run wild on the subject by “complaining” the poor Nantes players if they were to have in January 2021 “Raymond science” as a coach.
An argument which, however, should not be such as to scare away a Domenech who is not afraid either of being in the light, or of being under fire from critics. After his resounding departure from the French selection in 2010, he did not hesitate to play with his image of “man to be killed” in an advertisement for an online poker site. Likewise, he has a sense of provocation and his return to a Ligue 1 bench would not lack salt in a championship that is looking for strong stories like this one could be. But once again, we come out of the purely sporting sphere and almost immerse ourselves in “people”. Putting aside the only question that really interests Nantes supporters: after 10 years without coaching at all, and 27 without practicing in a club, does Domenech still simply have the capacity to do so?