Beaten for the fifth time in five matches, this Tuesday evening in Ligue 2, and now eighth in the standings, Saint-Etienne announced the sidelining of its coach Laurent Batlles.
The thinking heads of the Greens discussed it in person, for many minutes, with the main person concerned. And then, an hour and a half after the final whistle of the meeting between Saint-Etienne and Guingamp (1-3), ASSE’s fifth defeat in a row in Ligue 2, executive president Jean-François Soucasse presented Tuesday evening to the press. To announce the unfortunately expected sidelining of coach Laurent Batlles.
Arriving on the Greens bench on July 1, 2022, the former midfielder will not have survived this dark series, which plunges the Forez club to 8th place in L2, he who is aiming to climb to Ligue 1 this season Batlles is summoned to a pre-dismissal interview on Wednesday. And it is Laurent Huard, the director of the training center, who will take over the interim at least in the very short term.
“I’m not in denial, I know our ranking”
“There is a situation that is difficult for our club,” explained Soucasse, showing an affected face. “Unfortunately we realized that as things stood, we were going to have a lot of difficulty achieving our objectives regardless of Laurent’s unfailing investment, his love of the club, his visceral desire to succeed in this mission. But today we must project ourselves towards the objective which is ours. For these reasons we considered that a new mobilization around a new dynamic was necessary.”
And the manager justifies this strong choice: “There are electroshocks, call it what you want, to be implemented. These are never pleasant moments. It is a decision as always difficult to make. You see matches and results, I see people involved, who look for solutions, sometimes who find them or less at a time. The responsibility that is mine is to give momentum to this team. (…) Today I am not in denial, I know our ranking, I know that it is not in line with our ambitions.”
Asked about the future, and therefore about the successor to Laurent Batlles on the Saint-Etienne bench, Soucasse assures that there “was no planned plan, nor anticipated research” before the defeat against the EAG. “It’s not very elegant or productive to do all that,” he observes. “Today there was a match to win, the objective was not achieved. And the quality of our match was very far from what we can expect from a team aiming to climb.”