Under the tutelage of the recently-departed Christophe Galtier, Lille’s dogged and determined nature propelled them to the unlikeliest of Ligue 1 triumphs for the first time in a decade, as a 2-1 win versus Angers on the final day of the season saw Les Dogues finish one point clear of PSG atop the pile.
Adding a long-awaited domestic crown to the silverware cabinet and an impending return to the Champions League was not enough to convince Galtier to stay on
, though, as the 54-year-old stepped down from his post merely 48 hours after securing the Ligue 1 crown, having achieved what he set out to do before taking on a new challenge with Nice.
The appointment of Jocelyn Gourvennec as Galtier’s replacement was underwhelming to say the least – with the 49-year-old winning just seven of his 32 games in charge during his second spell at Guingamp in the 2018-19 season – and his Lille side have flattered to deceive in pre-season so far.
Indeed, the Ligue 1 champions opened their exhibition campaign with a 2-0 success against Belgian outfit Waasland-Beveren before suffering defeats to Gent, Benfica and Porto, with the latter team claiming a 2-0 win last weekend against an almost full-strength Lille side.
A highly sought-after trophy continuously eluded Mauricio Pochettino during his time at Tottenham Hotspur, but given the moves that PSG have made in the transfer market, the Argentine can be forgiven for dreaming of a silverware-filled first full season at the Parisiens helm.
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Let us not forget that Pochettino took under a fortnight to get his hands on that coveted first trophy of his managerial career,
as the former Spurs boss oversaw his side’s 2-1 win over Marseille in the most recent Trophee des Champions in January 2021 – a game rescheduled for the winter amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
However, Pochettino will not need reminding that his efforts to bring Champions League glory to the Parc des Princes ultimately ended in failure, while a second-placed finish in the French top flight would not have appeased the ever-demanding Parisiens board either