When Zambian Football Association broke the news that their Head Coach Herve Renard quit after being approached by French League 1 club FC Sochaux, I felt petty for the Zambian national team as they will have to start life without one of the best managers on the globe.
Zambia’s loss is FC Sochaux’s gain as the French side will be guided by a winning coach. Renard might have failed to send the Zambians to FIFA World Cup next year in Brazil, but you will have to remember that he won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where he beat African giants Ivory Coast in the final.
The French born manager wasn’t given a chance by anyone in the start of the competition but he went on to win Africa’s ultimate football competition where his team dedicated the victory to the 18 Zambian players who perished in a plane crash in 1993.
In FC Sochaux, twice League 1 champions in 1935 and 1938, the 45-year-old will be expected to lead the Montebeliard based club in a new and positive direction.
In 2014/2015 season, the main objective will be to qualify for Europe before setting their eyes on challenging the likes of Lyon, Marseille, and the two big spenders Paris Saint Germain and AS Monaco. The Les Lioceaux lie second from bottom on the log that forced them to release their former manager Eric Hely from his duties and appointed Renard to at least make a top half finish in a 20 team league table.
The players at his disposal are the likes of Sebastian Corchia, Kalilou Traore, David Sauget and on loan Zambian international Emmanuel Mayuka who will reunite with Renard all at helm. I don’t see a repeat to the side that won the Coupe de France in 2007 under the guidance of the former AS Cannes player.