Despite off-field issues last summer, it has been a fantastic start to the season for Nantes. The club has endured a difficult 2019 with the tragic death of striker Emiliano Sala and also the resignation of former manager Vahid Halilhodzic just days before the season began. However, fast forward to the present and Nantes find themselves second in the table, notching an impressive six wins from their opening nine games.
Efficiency Key for Nantes Under Christian Gourcuff
Christian Gourcuff is Proving an Excellent Appointment
Nantes owner Waldemar Kita has kept his recent theme of appointing experienced managers and his latest appointment, Christian Gourcuff, is proving a shrewd one. Gourcuff knows Ligue 1 having managed Lorient for 25 years across three spells as well as a brief time in charge of Nantes’ bitter rivals Rennes. Gourcuff arrived on the eve of the new season but since their opening weekend loss to Lille, it’s been full steam ahead.
Gourcuff and Nantes are proving to be a perfect match with both the manager and the club aiming to rebuild themselves following difficult periods. Gourcuff has struggled since his final spell at Lorient ended in 2014. Since then, he failed to settle in a job which included 18 months at Rennes, but he may have found a place to belong at Nantes. The club itself has endured a difficult 2019 with the incidents beyond their control off the field. Emiliano Sala’s death has sent ripples across world football, none more felt than at Nantes. Not even Cardiff City’s money for what would have been his dream move can replace the man the club adored.
However, fast forward to this season and things are certainly on the up at the Brittany club. Nantes have notched 16 points from their last eight games, including an impressive 13-point haul at home. Gourcuff has transformed a team which headed into the season full of trepidation and a fanbase which feared the worse. It’s no surprise Waldemar Kita has already handed out an improved deal to Christian Gourcuff following their tremendous start to the season. While a formal announcement has yet to confirm a new deal, Gourcuff and Kita have thrashed out new terms according to Get French Football News and the fans are delighted with the news.
Efficiency Has Been Key to Nantes Impressive Start
Christian Gourcuff is fully aware the players he has are not going to be world-beaters, but they have proved how fantastically equipped they are as a team. They are resilient, hard to beat and can score a goal. However, their most impressive trait is their efficiency when attacking and defending. Gourcuff has used the players available to him brilliantly making them stubborn at the back but also, managing to get his attacking players to take their chances in front of goal.
Nantes have scored just nine league goals this season but amazingly, eight of those goals have counted in earning their 16-point haul. Despite only having three goal scorers in Kalifa Coulibaly, Moses Simon and Abdoulaye Toure, Nantes have taken their chances in front of goal. Meanwhile, defensively, they are also earning plaudits conceding just five goals. Only Paris Saint-Germain and Reims have conceded fewer. Nantes have also kept six clean sheets and impressively, they are the only side in Ligue 1 yet to concede at home.
The Stade de la Beaujoire is somewhat of a fortress, with Nantes winning four of their five games all by a single goal. Efficient 1-0 wins over Montpellier, Nice, Reims and Rennes as well as a goalless draw with Marseille have proved how fantastically Nantes are performing at home. The fans are certainly enjoying what they are seeing, and long may that continue.
Long May Nantes Terrific Form Continue
Nantes have been efficient ever since Christian Gourcuff arrived and that will be a theme throughout the season, but they will face tough challenges, starting with Metz this weekend before games against Monaco, Bordeaux and Saint Etienne to come before the next international break. Gourcuff has got the fans believing and his new deal is fully deserved as Nantes attempt to shock French football by securing a place in Europe. Nantes are firmly riding the crest of a pretty amazing wave. Long may that continue.