The series of five games without a win, including three consecutive defeats, in Ligue 1 and an 11th place in the standings were fatal to Reims coach Will Still. The Champagne club announced its ouster in a press release on Thursday May 2.

“It has been decided that Will Still and his deputy Nicolas Still will step down from their respective functions as of today,” it is written. With only three games remaining at the end of the season, this early separation comes as a surprise as Reims is not threatened by possible relegation.

On the other hand, the Marne club, which has just lost 4-1 against the red lantern, Clermont, should not move from the soft underbelly of the ranking, while it only has difficult matches remaining: a trip to Brest ( 3rd), and the reception of Marseille (7th) then Rennes (9th).

Will Still seemed set to leave in the coming months anyway. The young 31-year-old Anglo-Belgian coach made no secret of his desire to go and coach in England soon. “It’s just my house. I want to come home,” he confided to The Athletic in February 2024.

“Obviously the Premier League is every manager’s ultimate dream (…). But if there’s an ambitious Championship club that wants to work in the right way, be open and honest about things, and really try to push to get somewhere, then I’d love to do it.” , he added, causing tensions with his leaders in Reims.

Meteorological rise

But this break remains brutal for Still, who had until now experienced a meteoric rise within the club. First assistant to Oscar Garcia, Still was thrust onto the interim bench in October 2022 after the Spaniard’s departure, then confirmed in his role a month later, at only 30 years old and when he was not didn’t even have his professional coaching license, thanks to a series of six games without defeat.

However, this was not the initial plan of the Reims leaders, who wanted to find another technician. French football then discovered this young coach with bold ideas and frank, even shattering, declarations. Will Still is quickly becoming popular at Reims and elsewhere in Ligue 1.

The results follow: his team finishes 12th in 2022, then 11th in 2023 thanks in particular to a series of nineteen games without defeat which pushes the club to extend Still until 2025. But Stade de Reims does not progress during the 2023-2024 season. Despite a very good start to the year – Reims was 6th and therefore virtually European until the 19th day – Will Still’s players are unable to beat the higher ranked teams and the results have no longer followed in recent weeks.