Gourvennec on departure, Kombouaré back: waltz of coaches at FC Nantes

For several seasons, FC Nantes (FCN) has accustomed its followers to major upheavals as soon as the club finds itself in bad shape

Gourvennec on departure, Kombouaré back: waltz of coaches at FC Nantes

For several seasons, FC Nantes (FCN) has accustomed its followers to major upheavals as soon as the club finds itself in bad shape. The 2023-2024 vintage is no exception to the rule. According to L'Equipe, the FCN, currently 16th in Ligue 1 (out of 18) after its defeat (1-3) at home on Saturday March 16, during the 26th day of the French championship, will separate from its coach Jocelyn Gourvennec and call on an old acquaintance, Antoine Kombouaré.

Kanak, a former player of the club, also coached Nantes from February 2021 to May 2023. With Kombouaré, the club notably won the 2022 Coupe de France (1-0 victory against Nice in the final). Despite this line added to the FCN's record, Kombouaré himself ended up being sacked by the Kita family, owner of the club.

Commando operation

Jocelyn Gourvennec only lasted four months in charge of the Nantes first team. Also a former Canary (from 1995 to 1998), the Breton returned to the club as coach during the season, in November 2023, to replace Pierre Aristouy, another victim of the FCN's poor sporting performance. But Gouvernec failed to turn things around, picking up just 10 points (out of 39) in 13 Ligue 1 games.

It is now up to Kombouaré to carry out a commando operation to keep the club in the elite. The former coach of Paris Saint-Germain (2009-2011) has eight Ligue 1 matches ahead of him during which he will need, with a team that is slipping, to gain valuable points to try to escape from the bottom of the standings.

Tuesday March 12, L'Equipe published an interview with Kombouaré where the technician, without an employer for almost a year, recalled fond memories of the world of football. In the title of this interview, he mentioned Nantes and said: "I didn't think it would be so complicated."