Has Montanier made the worst managerial move ever?

8Jun 2013


Despite guiding Real Sociedad to the holy grail of Champions League football, their victorious coach is off... to Rennes

When Alan Pardew led Newcastle to an unexpected fifth-place finish in the Premier League in 2011/12, he was promptly rewarded with a shiny new eight-year contract by owner Mike Ashley.

While many observers (myself included) viewed this bestowment as somewhat overzealous by the Toon Tycoon, it was at least admirable in its sentiment.

This example of gratitude is something the powers-that-be at Real Sociedad should take heed of, as the French coach who has just guided them to the hallowed position of 4th in La Liga, has left the club for home soil.

But Philippe Montanier is not heading for Lyon, Marseille or Paris St-Germain, he's taking up a three-year contact with Rennes, a side that finished 13th in France's Ligue 1 this season.

Despite Montanier moulding Sociedad into one of the most exciting teams in La Liga - described as a blend of Barcelona and Real Madrid - the man who orchestrated a 15-game unbeaten run was only offered a one-year extension to his contract.

When you consider that Sociedad had recently endured a three-year exile from Spain's top division, Montanier's achievements over his two years with the Basque club become even more praiseworthy, while the decision not to offer him a longer contract grows more baffling.

Such is the utter domination of superpowers Real and Barca that the La Liga landscape is always a struggle to make third and fourth positions, though even these spots have largely been monopolised by a cartel consisting of Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla in the last ten seasons.

Financial instability has long been as issue at Sociedad, while the limited shelf life of managers is a problem throughout La Liga.

Now it seems rather than risk that kind of uncertainty over his future, Montanier has made the outwardly barmy move to manage Rennes rather than overseeing Sociedad's season back at Europe's top table.

You have to admire the man for sticking to his principles in some respects and opting for financial security, though he has confirmed that he will actually earn less.

Surely he will always be left wondering what offers he may have got had he followed in the footsteps of Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini - the overwhelming 1.01 favourite to take the vacant Man City job - by guiding this talented Sociedad side to the latter stages of next season's competition.


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Keywords: Montanier, manager, Real Sociedad

Source: Betfair

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