Monday 23 September 2019

Claude Puel rejoins short list of French Premier League managers

Claude Puel has been given a second chance to prove himself in the Premier League
Claude Puel has been given a second chance to prove himself in the Premier League

New Leicester boss Claude Puel is one of only seven French managers to have worked in the Premier League.

Puel previously divided opinion during a season-long spell at Southampton and h aving returned to English football at the King Power Stadium, Press Association Sport looks at how his fellow countrymen coped in the top flight.

Arsene Wenger - Arsenal (1996-present)

Three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup triumphs has etched Wenger into English football folklore. Having arrived as an unknown from Grampus Eight, Wenger revolutionised the Gunners and won the double in just his second season. The invincible campaign of 2003-04 has gone down in history and while Arsenal have not won the league since - leading to criticism of Wenger - he remains one of the best managers in the Premier League era.

Gerard Houllier - Liverpool (1998-2004) and Aston Villa (2010-11)

Houllier initially arrived as joint manager with Roy Evans but eventually took sole charge at Anfield. Houllier failed to win the title but did complete a famous treble in 2001 when Liverpool won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. After leaving in 2004 he returned to England six years later for a brief and unsuccessful spell at Aston Villa, although he broke the club's transfer record when signing Darren Bent for £24million in 2011.

Jean Tigana - Fulham (2000-03)

The former France international was a surprise choice with Fulham still in the second tier at the time. But in his first full season at Craven Cottage he helped Fulham to the top flight and set a record by winning their first 11 games of the season, claiming the title with 101 points. He took Fulham to an FA Cup semi-final and into the UEFA Cup but was sacked in April 2003 with the club facing relegation before replacement Chris Coleman saved them.

Jacques Santini - Tottenham (2004)

A huge flop at White Hart Lane, Santini's reign spanned just 13 games. He joined from France after taking the national team to the Euro 2004 quarter-finals - where they lost to eventual winners Greece - but struggled to settle in north London. Santini started well and was unbeaten in his first seven matches but then won just once more before resigning for personal reasons, his last game being a 2-0 defeat to Fulham.

Alain Perrin - Portsmouth (2005)

The former China and Qatar coach lasted just 231 days at Fratton Park and only managed four wins in 21 games after joining in April 2005. His biggest highlight was a 4-1 derby win over Southampton which pushed the Saints closer to relegation. But just two wins from 14 games in 2005-06 saw him axed in November - paving the way for Harry Redknapp's return to Portsmouth.

Remi Garde - Aston Villa (2015-16)

Garde arrived at Villa Park with his new side bottom of the table. However, the ex-Lyon boss' safety-first approach contributed to Villa scoring only 27 league goals through the season. Creative midfielder Jack Grealish was dropped for over-indulging at the Christmas party and Garde was sacked in April with the midlands outfit adrift at the foot of the table. Aston Villa were relegated with a paltry 17 points.

Claude Puel - Southampton (2016-2017) and Leicester (2017-)

Puel was appointed at St Mary's ahead of the 2016-17 season after Ronald Koeman departed for Everton. An eighth-place finish in the Premier League and a trip to Wembley for the League Cup final failed to win over sections of Saints fans, who became increasingly frustrated with negative tactics which saw them fail to score a goal in their last five home games of the campaign.

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