As Paris Saint-Germain is on the verge of securing their 11th French league title, one might have expected coach Christophe Galtier to receive some recognition. However, he is uncertain about his future as the team’s coach for the next season, and even his colleagues are disregarding him.
The organizers announced the shortlist for coach-of-the-season this week, and Galtier was not included. The list featured Franck Haise from second-place Lens, Igor Tudor from Marseille, Pascal Gastien from Clermont, Paulo Fonseca from Lille, and Philippe Montanier from Toulouse.
Every coach in the top division participated in the nomination process, and Galtier failed to secure enough votes. His predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino, who led PSG to their record-equaling 10th league title last season, experienced the same situation.
Given the high expectations created by the armada of stars playing for PSG, winning a French league title is clearly not enough to make a season a successful one.
Even if the challenges posed by Lens and Marseille this season have been consistent, PSG’s incapacity to fare well in the Champions League has been eclipsing the rest.
“It’s surprising and somehow also unfair,” former France coach Raymond Domenech, now the president of the coaches’ union, told L’Equipe newspaper. “Even if Christophe has the best team, being champion is not as simple as people think. He had to manage his stars, in a peculiar season with the World Cup in the middle. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
And it’s true that PSG’s downfall started after Lionel Messi guided Argentina to victory against France and Kylian Mbappé in a World Cup final that pitted club teammates against each other.
Lens beat PSG on New Year’s Day, handing Galtier’s team its first defeat of the season and triggering a series of dismal performances that culminated with a second straight elimination from the round of 16 in the Champions League.
PSG has lost nine games in all competitions in 2023, a poor record likely to lead to Galtier’s departure, even though his contract runs until the end of the 2024 season.